Rebecca Gutsell and Gg Bebe – her unique handmade baby shoes and stylish baby changing clutch bags.

10 Sep Bags and baby shoes by Rebecca Gutsell

Our Principal Melissa recently met up with Prescott & Mackay ex-student Rebecca on a work trip lecturing in LA where she and her family have relocated from the UK. It was fascinating to hear how Rebecca has honed her crafts skills over the years and transformed her former office based career into one that now is fully immersed in the creative sector by launching her own brand of baby products. The brand has seen great success back home and is now proving a massive hit State-side.

Pink themed baby shoes and clutch bags

Ge Bebe consists of two niche products that are tailored to sit together but have their own unique appeal. The baby shoes come in a wide choice of materials and colour ways and have a distinctive quirkiness that certainly marks their tiny tot wearers out from the crowd. LA trend-setting momnies have been falling all over themselves to get their offspring shod in a pair.

But kids are not the only ones to benefit from the brand. Rebeccas’ bags might just look like a regular clutch – albeit a very stylish one – but don’t be deceived. Once opened, their secret weapon is revealed. Fully lined in waterproof fabric, these bags miraculously transform into a baby changing kit that swiftly allows a nappy change at the drop of a hat and at any occasion without cramping anyones style, least of all the mothers. The range again comes in a choice of colour options and includes a line that draws heavily on Rebeccas British roots with references to the famous red London busses, Union Jacks and the mini cooper.

Rebecca is showcasing some of her product at the upcoming Odd Market’s event on Sep 18th at The Autry · Los Angeles, CA

Check out her Facebook page for more details

Sunny, one of our students talks about how our courses can help him with his career.

21 Jul

Sewing june 15

Sunny is one of our students, he is train in Interior Architecture Design, however he was never really in practice and got into the music industry for many years before deciding to go back to his roots of design.

He took Sewing Techniques Using Industrial Machines Course and now he would like to take Luxury Quality Small Leather Goods Course

When did you become interested in Fashion?

Fashion was always something that went along with what I am doing – the aesthetics, functionality and creating a unique solution or identity etc.

 What did you do when you first finished school?

Exhibition design for luxury brands and retail malls.

How did you discover P&M?

I was searching for a course on industrial machine and found P & M during my routine web search for interesting reads.

Which course have you done with us?

Sewing Techniques using industrial machines

What were you trying to achieve with this course?

To fully understand the technical side of leather goods making using industrial machines in order to achieve the creations I had in mind.

 Did you achieve it?

Yes, it has been very fruitful to learn fundamentals I did not apply previously.

 How is your professional career related with this course?

The course help to understand the process of bag making and I can apply them in many areas especially during the production process.

Which courses would you like to do next? Why?

Small leather accessories making to improve and learn new techniques.

Two-Day Tutu Making Course. 1-2 August

13 Jul

Click here to book on.

Take a look at this article and see what you can learn:

The Last - Prescott & Mackay's Blog

The tutu we are talking about in this article refers to the tutu skirt, which is made of short and stiff tulle. There are many reasons why a ballerina’s tutu looks so breathtaking. Here are only a few:

1) Each tutu uses at least 10 metres of tulle.
2) It is multi-layered.
3) It takes time to make: including the decoration and bodice, a professional tutu can take three weeks to construct.
4) it extends the beauty of a ballerina by fully exposing her technique and body lines.

The tutus that are not for professional use are often for children or for people who want to have fun. Many parents have to buy cheap versions, which have four or six layers, for their children because of economic considerations. That’s a pity, but a good tutu is acturally very expensive. However, a six layer tutu can never  compare to a professional one, which has at least 10 layers –  even that is for the…

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Five-Day Shoemaking Course. 24-28 August.

6 Jul

We are running a Five-Day Shoemaking Course on 24th-28th August.

Click here to book on and complete a pair of ladies of fully close shoes by the end of the session.

Take a look at this video and watch what you can do:

Freed of London Tour. 9 July

30 Jun

Click here to book on our Freed of London tour the 9th of July and discover not a just a little bit more but everything about them.

Last Places Available for Freed of London Tour

26 Jun

We have scheduled a Freed of London Tour. 9 July

Click here to book on and come with us to know the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of professional dance shoes.

Have a look at some of the pictures we took last year.

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Sandal Making Courses in London

1 Jun

Melissa Needham is running four Sandal Making Courses at our teaching studio in London.

June 20th.

July 11th.

August 29th.

Last month she was teaching in LA. This are some of the sandals our students made there.


Click here to book on and learn how to design and customize a pair of unique professionally made sandals.


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Success Story: Katie Harland on how to start your own footwear label

8 Jan

Katie Harland attended a Two-Day Intensive Introduction to Footwear Design seminar with Aki Choklat last summer. Harland is now about to launch her first collection and we interviewed her to know how she is doing so far and ask her for advice.

Prescott & Mackay: Can you tell us a bit about your background?
Katie Harland: I have always been creative right back to when I can first remember. Whether painting glasses, knitted neon wool hats or painting portrait commissions creativity is not a job to me, its a natural part of my day without which life would be incredibly drab. Having initially thought I wanted to become an artist I studied at the Slade in London, but I found this quite isolating and lonely. I therefore embarked on a fashion internship with a stylist before eventually ending up as a creative in an advertising agency. From here it became obvious that I wanted to embark on my own creative venture so I moved client side for a couple of years to get an understanding of networking, finance and managing a business. Through a process of mess finding I seemingly entered into the shoe business following years of frustration at the inability to find the perfect flat shoe: pumps were unsupportive, heels uncomfortable, trainers unprofessional and brogues unflattering for women. I had always loved shoes but was fed up of how boring or expensive and impractical so many ‘work’ shoes were. This felt like a real challenge and would give me the opportunity to merge my keen interest in product design, fashion and colour.

Photo by Katie Harland

Photo by Katie Harland

P&M: How did you find Prescott & Mackay and how was your experience with Aki Choklat’s course?
KH: I couldn’t have done it with out him! The main problem is the internet with things like this. If you are trying to find out about an industry nothing compares to talking face to face to someone who has first hand experience in it. I was lucky that I already new what I wanted to do largely, so the 2 x day intensive course was perfect as one day was spent refining designs and the second day I learnt a wealth of information about the industry which has proved invaluable to me every since. I still often refer back to the volumes of notes which I scribbled down on that weekend and they have provided a solid guide.

Photo by Katie Harland

Photo by Katie Harland

P&M: You have finished the prototypes of your first shoe collection and it will be launched soon. How has the process been so far?
KH: The process for me has been fairly straight forward, as I had one clear design and then different colour and material variations to form the collection. However my production manager in Portugal has been the saviour of the whole operation. It’s been amazing to have someone to liaise directly with the factories on my behalf and monitor the day to day production process through out. This has meant that my time is subsequently freed up to focus on photography, websites, stockists and networking.

P&M: What are the main challenges and difficulties you have found?
KH: Finance. This was always going to be the hard part. When starting up your own label there’s a lot of ‘chicken and egg’ that goes on. Should I look for stockists once I have my samples or should I try and sell some online myself first? Should I be going to show rooms straight out? Is it worth the money to fly to Milan for Linea Pelle or out to Portugal to see the factories? The questions are never ending and always boil down to more money. Buying out a large amount of stock to start an online store is not only daunting but also opens up all sorts of questions such as where do I store this and would will manage the dispatch of shoes to buyers. I sat down about a month ago on Excel and created a beast of a timing plan which has helped to straighten this out in my head: at some point or another you’re just going to have to take the plunge.

Photo by Katie Harland

Photo by Katie Harland

P&M: Which advise would you give to those students keen to start a business in footwear?
KH: Talk to everyone. Hunt out what ever contacts you can and never stop showing people your work and asking advise. Not so much on the design its self, as this should remain your vision, but more on ways into the industry. I’ve been for coffees with buyers, designers, tutors, merchandisers, the list goes on, and each one brings fresh perspective to the issues I’m facing and is more often then not, incredibly keen to offload whatever advise they have.

Photo by Katie Harland

Photo by Katie Harland

P&M: How do you see yourself and your brand in the near future?
KH: Coming for a marketing background I would love to see people having fun with my brand. The shoes are designed to be feel-good and stand-out so I would love to see people sharing photos. Aside from this, I have worked hard to give me shoes a strong brand identity with the classic shape, bold pony skins and neon laces, so the dream would be to have a recognisable style. For someone to see a women walking down the street and know that she’s wearing a pair of ‘Rogues’…I don’t think I could ask for more!

Katie Harland’s website will be up and running in March and her collection will be launched in April. In the maintime you can find her on Instagram under rogues_uk.

Interview with Dominique Dufait at MADE LONDON

27 Nov

A couple of weeks ago we went to have a look at MADE LONDON, one of our favourite fairs for designers and makers, showcasing the best craft and design from the UK and beyond.


We spoke with a few people and discovered some amazing designers-makers! The work of Dominque Dufait cached our eye and we asked her about her background, career change, design and selling. Here is an extract about what she told us.

Dominique at MADE LONDON

How to be an architect and a designer-maker

I’m an architect. My husband and I have our own architectural firm, Archimago in our hometown of Bruges. Being an architect is still my main job, it’s very versatile and I’m the head of design, so I get to design everything from houses and schools to interiors, furniture and leather goods.

Being an architect and a designer-maker of leather goods for me is inseparable. I see it as a part of our work and I simply love designing! Whether it’s a house or a bag, it still is designing. I like to work in different things. After a stressful day at the office, craft making gives me what I need.

Dominique by ©Smila Dankert

My architectural background has an influence on my style. People who know my architectural work will recognize the style in my leather goods. My aim is to design simple and timeless collections.

What makes her craft unique?

All designs stand out by their simplicity and design language. It’s simple, sleek and pure design. I cross out the unnecessary and keep the essential.

It’s a 100% Belgian product, made in Belgium and made off Belgian vegetable tanned leather. In order to ensure the highest level of quality, I handcraft all of the products in my studio, fully stitched by hand using the traditional saddle stitch. All the handbags are tailor-made, the costumer can create their own bag by choosing the colour of the leather, thread and size.

Dominique's leathergoods

Trade shows versus selling online

MADELONDON was my first fair abroad, I didn’t know what to expect!

In Belgium there are no shows like this, where they are mainly focused on starters and young designers. In London there is a good mixture of young and older designers.

Getting selected for MADELONDON was actually a dream that came true; I really wanted to experience it myself. The atmosphere was great, great people and there was a lot of interest in my collection.
Dominique leathergoods

In the UK there is probably more awareness of the importance of preserving and developing crafts than in Belgium, but it is also coming here where some initiatives are already emerging.

The big advantage of doing a trade show is that you meet the clients so they can see the product first hand and I can tell the story behind my collection.

I started my Etsy shop in October. Nowadays it’s an extension and a necessity.

We are hiring! Lecturer in Shoemaking and Footwear

13 Oct

We are looking for an experienced, part-time lecturer to join our team of Lecturers and deliver its popular and highly regarded curriculum of short shoemaking courses throughout the year. The successful candidate will take over a proportion of the schedule and help further develop the program of courses.

The successful candidate will have professional, hands-on experience of designing both men and ladies footwear, pattern cutting, closing, and producing finish product. They will need to demonstrate excellent levels of craftsmanship, the ability to communicate clearly and concisely to students and an enthusiasm for passing on their expertise to both newcomers to the subject and improvers. They will also ideally have some experience of lecturing in this field.

If this sounds like you, send us an email with your CV, cover letter and portfolio, including detailed pictures of designs and finishes. Any interview offered will require the candidate to present a portfolio of relevant work demonstrating their skill levels.

We look forward to hearing from you soon!