It’s always fun meeting new people, which is why we came up with the idea of The HTF Hot Seat – a regular post to introduce you to the creative dynamites behind some of your favourite hardtofind products. This week’s seller in the spotlight: husband and wife team Lucas and Hayley Lepola from Alphabet Bags.


We’re known on hardtofind for our… simple, fun and cheerful accessories!

Right now we’re inspired by… being parents of a toddler is giving us lots of ideas. Finding time to make them happen is a different matter!

Our favourite part of the making process is… developing ideas from an initial drawing and illustrating all of the lettering for our collections – it’s fun but challenging. Receiving samples in the post is the best! When you’ve spent ages sketching and imagining something, to be able to hold it in your hands is pretty awesome.

We work from… a fairly large office/warehouse setup in our hometown of Saffron Walden in the UK. Saffron Walden is a fairly small town but we like it. We feel very lucky to live near to our office and enjoy walking to work most days.

A typical day for us involves… getting up early and spending hours negotiating leaving the house with our two year old, June. She’s in nursery two days a week and spends some of the rest of the week in the office with us, which is really a home from home. We take turns playing with June and getting day-to-day work done. Emails, packing orders, shipping to stockists, and general admin takes up most of the day. If we have time we work on new collections, photograph new items and try to keep up with Instagram, Facebook, etc. The day goes pretty quickly and we’re always feeling like we’re months behind with our plans! Then it’s home to make June some dinner, maybe catch a movie, do a little more work, or spend some time planning our home renovation (which is also running waaaaay behind schedule.)

Our proudest business moment was… being asked to design a UT collection for Japanese brand Uniqlo. We have always been fans and customers of theirs. They were such a joy to work with and collaborating with them was a huge deal for our little brand.

When we started our business, we wish we’d known… if you work hard to make something that you’re proud of, chances are it will get copied, directly and indirectly. It would be nice to know how to prevent that from getting to you. We still don’t know.

We’d describe our personal style as… mid-century modern, with vintage and antique bits and bobs. Simple but not minimalist.

Our last purchase was… a potty training book and sticker chart!

The first thing we do when we wake up is… coffee, always.

The motto we live by is… you will never regret doing the nice thing.

We’re hoping 2017 will bring… a happy and healthy little brother or sister for our daughter. Hayley is due with our second in late July. At the same time we’re hoping to launch lots of new collections in 2017. Currently working hard to get our first embroidered patches and enamel pins produced.

Everything tastes better with a little… Ben and Jerry’s lately. Despite the cold weather, this seems to have become a habit!


1. ‘Mama, You Got This’ Canvas Pouch 2. ‘Bon Voyage’ Grey Wash Bag 3. ‘Get Out Of Town’ Oversized Travel Pouch 4. ‘To Have And To Hold’ Tote


PS. This illustrator is doing her bit to keep gents well-dressed and the woman behind Merci Maman.

Hardtofind is Australia’s leading online curated marketplace for gifts, fashion and homewares.