17 Oct 2014

Insta-Collage, New Stuff and A Very Quick Post

Hi y'all *waves* I have been MIA on the blog for a while I know, but it's for a good reason, I have been busy trying out new designs, testing out new fabric and stuff. I have a new bag design but I haven't named it yet...will share more about that soon, I made some all leather bi-fold wallets and attempted my first ever fully hand stitched and unlined leather wallet with vegetable tanned leather... and I finally got a brand new 2 faced cutting mat! It was about time because my last cutting mat was barely hanging in there... it has served me well though, I have glued, drawn, painted, pinned, punched, skived leather and much more on it, some markings on the mat had faded out and my cutters have started cutting right through it. Yes! I have used up my money and then some where that cutting mat is concerned, it is still in use mind you but as my glueing and edge coating mat, no glue on my new mat...No sir! hehehehe.

Anywhoos, enjoy an Insta-collage of a few of the stuff I have been able to freeze in time. See more of what we've been up to on Instagram here and please don't forget to drop a comment so that we will know you stopped by.

Gidan Nodza bags are available for purchase here. Also you can like our facebook fan page here and our Instagram page here for quick updates and to view more pictures.

Thank you so much for stopping by and may your reality be much bigger than your dreams, Ameen. 

25 Sep 2014

My Bag Making Journey...

Collage of some of my very early bags

For most of you that don't know, I am a self taught handbag maker/designer/creator...you get the idea. Deciding I wanted to make bags was small hurdle. Knowing that It was something I had to learn on my own while in law school at the same time didn't make me loose sleep. Making the kind of bags I wanted to do and getting it right however is another thing. Internet service in Nigeria was not as accessible as it is now so a sure way of learning the craft was to teach myself. Now teaching myself involved deconstructing bags to see the components and also see how the pieces were cut and put together. I have deconstructed so many bags (my mom's especially) to get to where I am now, I have bought second hand bags for the sole aim of deconstructing and reconstructing. I collected fashion magazines and spend hours/days just looking at the bags and imagining them in pieces and components. On my first trip abroad - UK to be exact. I remember entering Selfridges and just GAWKING at the bags. I was in bag heaven! You have to understand that these were bags I only saw on pages of magazine and there I was in the same room, sharing the same space with some pretty high end bags. I didn't buy any, I didn't even touch any... frankly I didn't have to because I was already awed...also the price points then was enough to put the fear of God in me lol! But you can trust that I was more than inspired, my whole life then revolved and still revolves around bags. I have walked up to total strangers and complimented them about their bags, even asked to take pictures of their bags. 

This Nkechi bag was made way back in 2007. I remember how proud I was of myself when I made this bag. It was my first time working leather EVER!  I didn't have all the fancy tools and machine I use now, I didn't even know that there was anything called edge kote amongst other hand working tools sef.

Anyways here I am years down the line, though I have gotten better at my craft and I don't deconstruct bags anymore, I know I still have a way to go and a lot more to learn, I am only as good as my last bag! Also, I am my own worst critic ever!

Gotta run, so much to do and so little time. Thank you so much for stopping by, and may your story be like that of the stone rejected by the builders- Ameen ��


22 Sep 2014

Blast From The Past: Phone-Shots

This post was way back in May 2012. The sewing machine in the picture is long gone, my workshop arrangement has changed, my tools and work process have improved but the January bag has remained basically the same through the years ��. Anyways enjoy the post and pictures below as posted then��

A few phone-shots of what has been occupying me lately; bags, leather, more leather and hardware of course.

That January bag sold off almost immediately I singed off the last stitch. The style is so simple yet classic in a way, a style you will not tire of quickly *I hope* I have more in different colours and leather type- will post here and in the shop soon. This whole GN full leather bag version has taken off beyond my imagination- Like the Aduke and the Chiaka bags I can't seem to make this one fast enough- will post more pictures soon I promise.

Most times I am in Mushin I forget to take pictures but the pictures up there are from my last trip. I was waiting for my order to be brought in from the ware house and I took these shots to while away time. I never get tired of coming to this leather market, rain or shine I will roll up my jeans and wade through the muck happily. That room is always like that, leather everywhere- Note to readers: In places like this don't be afraid to search, pull, un-furl and take the leather after your heart outside- that way you get a good look at colour, finish, scratches etc

I always keep my hardware i.e rivets, buckles, eyelets, studs, rings, zip heads blah blah blah in clear plastic containers for easy identification but right now I have loads and lots that I can sometimes have several containers of the same type of hardware i.e rivets and eyelets and rings and buckles and ...you get the picture:| I swear my next apprentice will be given the task of sorting, packing and labelling all of'em before he/she can say Gidan who?! I am trying to see if I can source my hardware from USA, UK or Italy (consistency and durability being the watch word) who knows I might auction or give off some hardware cos God knows I've had some of them for years, some still in the nylon bags they ware wrapped in when I got them- the lady that I got them from years ago is actually offering to buy them off me- I kid you not lol! Anyways when I do decide what to do with my excess hardware you guys will be the first to know.  

Ok, gotta go, this was supposed to be a quick short post but....oh well I'm still learning how to make that kind of post *rolling eye balls* 

Thank you ever so much for stopping by and always remember to be thankful for what you have.


20 Sep 2014

Gidan Nodza is live on the HUB!

Do you know the HUB? Have you been to the HUB? Do you belong in the HUB? Can you handle the HUB? So, come check out the HUB. The HUB is like an exclusive club for members only, you have to be invited, you have to fit to belong, you have to... I'm just kidding hehehehe. The GTB SME MarketHub is a free, secure e-commerce and business directory platform where businesses can list, promote and sell their products and services online. With the SME MarketHub, you can buy and sell a wide range of products online. In essence the SME MarketHub allows you to promote your business to an audience of customers near and far. 

Yours truly (Gidan Nodza) is listed on the HUB! While we have a website where you can view all about the brand Gidan Nodza as well as see our pictures and even make a custom request, our MarketHub storefront is where you can make direct purchase with your Naira MasterCard or VisaCard and your item will be delivered to you anywhere in Nigeria and very soon, around the world for that matter. So finally! GN products are available online for direct purchase yay! See pictures of what our SME MarketHub front page looks like below.

Most items listed on our storefront are available for purchase but if it happens that the item at the time you wish to purchase is not available, we have provided a link to enable you make a custom request of that particular item and *whispers* you can further customise the said item at no extra cost *wink* So what are you waiting for? Head on over there and feed your curiosity...you know you want to *wink wink* 

This is what our storefront looks like now. You can learn more about the SME MarketHub from their video below. 

That's it for now folks. Thank you so much for stopping by and hope you are having a great weekend.

Whatever you do stay safe and remember to wash your hands regularly #ebolawatch


14 Sep 2014

Being Frank About The January Bag

I have made so many January bags I cannot keep count, sometimes I will find a picture or two from my archives and I will go like "Oh wow! I totally forgot I made that bag" or a customer will drop me a mail and just mention on the side that she is still totally loving the Red or Blue January bag she got from me/I made for her, or someone would tag me on a picture of them rocking their January bag... that kind of stuff. I have to admit that it always feels good to discover/find an old forgotten project or a current picture of an old piece especially if it's still in use because it kinda gives me an opportunity to watch the process of wear and tear on the piece and give me a chance to understand how my brand of customers use my bags and to know which angle of my craft needs improving... Hmmmm you get what is happening here right? Yeah! This is me shamelessly begging for pictures of your Gidan Nodza bag, wear and tear and all I want to see it! and who knows, you might get a newer version of the exact piece *pun intended* lol ����

As I was saying... The first January bag I made was far back in 2011 and boy oh boy it was totally different from what it is now (in my opinion that is) the truth is "this" current design was what I had in mind originally but something happened from design to execution and "that" was the outcome. I used the bag for a bit, understood what I had to do to tweak it, got a few peoples opinions, made, sold and gave out a couple, I tweaked the design again until I finally settled on the design as it is now. You will notice that design wise, everything about each bag is the same except some versions have zipped compartment in front while some don't. Well that mainly depends on the material I'm using. An all leather version will tend to have a zipped compartment out front so as to create a little something going on out front instead of leaving all that wide and endless space that is the front body bare, the dyed fabric version however is usually without a zipped compartment because there is already a lot going on and you don't want to interrupt the pattern flow hehehehe... *does that make sense to anyone else but me?* lol! Anyways I have created a collage of the January bags that I have... I have more pictures but unfortunately the collage maker could only take a maximum of ten pictures (will update the collection if I find another collage app that will take more) So go through the pictures and see if you can tell the earliest and the current. Ohhhh... before I forget, read the post on the first ever January bag here and tell me which version you prefer ��

Gotta go! A new week is upon us and I expect to have a super busy one. Thank you so much for stopping by and May life be good to you and yours- Ameen. 

Whatever you do stay safe and remember to wash your hands regularly #ebolawatch


13 Sep 2014

From old to new...

I had made (and forgotten) similar versions of this bag years ago ... 2009 to be exact! So imagine my surprise when a customer requested for an almost exact version of the bag. I have to admit feeling chuffed that a customer would take the time to go through my blog to find what she wanted ������. To be honest though, it has been on my mind to go through my old designs and pick out pieces that I will revamp, but of course I never got round to doing it. So this request is kinda double special because it forced me to drop everything I was doing to do just that. I had to go through my archives, both physically (old sketch books and jotters for measurements) and electronically (old flash drives for pictures) to get the exact details about the bag. My methods, tools and machines have changed improved drastically from 2009 so I was quite eager to see what a 'newer version' of the exact piece would be. I tried to stay true to the original design and even though I made some slight changes to it, I made a conscious effort to make sure that the changes will not affect the overall look of the bag when finished, I think I nailed it and the customer thought so too hehehehe. See older versions here and here and let me know what you think. 

Front view
Side view
Back view

Like the first 2 versions, this bag is very roomy and the lined interior has 2 phone pouches, a zipped compartment and an extra pouch as well as a top zip to further make sure contents are safe. 

OK gotta go finish the work I have on my work table. Thank you so much for stopping by and hope you all are having an easy weekend? Whatever you do stay safe and remember to wash your hands regularly #ebolawatch


31 Aug 2014

Ini-Obong: Tie-dye and 3D

It's September already (well it will be in a few hours anyway)?! Wow! Time really does fly...very soon it will be Christmas and next we will be saying Happy 2015 and stuff...wow! Back the post shall we...

Gidan Nodza on Polyvore

The Ini-Obong bag is spotting a new look. Remember the original look here and the first one ever made here? Well I have modified the look a just bit. The top handle...well the only handle really has been made longer, why? You might ask...well so that it can be hand-held and shoulder-carried as well, that way it eliminates the need for a longer removable/adjustable handle which some customers have complained gets in the way and ends up getting missing when you forget where you dropped it. Also, the lock has changed...and might change again unless I start making them myself *sigh* Thank you Mushin market for your inconsistency! Anyways, enough talk enjoy more pictures below;

So, of all the Ini-Obong looks, which is your favourite? I would really love to know. Also, what do you guys think about my Polyvore look? Whoop or booo?

Gotta go, thank you so much for stopping by and remember to enjoy "now" while you can and worry not about the tomorrow ...


29 Aug 2014

Blast from the past: Three in One Custom Order Bags

Blast from the past: 25/08/2009

I absolutely love it when I get custom orders especially orders that will have me wondering what the heck I got myself into making bags in the first place lol! The purple bag in the picture is one of such custom request and it is my most versatile yet, it can be a shoulder bag/messenger bag and by adding the second strap it becomes a back pack. It is large enough to be a laptop bag and still roomy to contain other stuff too. The brown on the other hand is a shoulder/messenger bag. Each bag has compartment for a laptop, two outer zipped pockets, a pouch, interior zipped compartment and phone pouches. 

Ok, so back to the present hehehehe. Looking at these bags now I can't help but smile because I remember how I felt when I accepted agreed to do the bags - the purple bag especially, I worried for a long time that I was not going to be able to do the bag as per specifications, nail bitting moment I tell you and even after I made and delivered it I was sure that I was going to get a mail from the owner telling me how disappointed she was that the bag failed to meet up o her expectations and blablabla... So, imagine my relief when I got the comment below from the owner;

"I have not been to your blog in ages, I just wanted to let you know that I loved my bag (I actually wrote you a long newsy email about it and just as I clicked the send icon,the computer I was using went burst so I dont know if you got it or not) Im sorry I have not written again, but my bag is the coolest thing and Im happy to see a picture of it!

Well done!" 
Needless to say, it made my day!

Anyways, thank you so much for stopping by and the weekend is here yay! So, have a great one and stay blessed ��! 


23 Aug 2014

Backpack of life!

Very cheesy title I know but I couldn't come up with anything else appropriate for what I'm about to share. I found this bag while I was googling for anything I could find on backpacks and I was like OMG!!! Brilliant! I mean yeah, some might think it creepy and all but you gotta admit it is...wow! The detailing on the skull is fantastic... wish I had this while in the University, I would have rocked the stitches off the bag! Anyways what do you guys think? Hell yeah! Hell no!! (pardon the pun) or WTF?! Read more about the bag, the production process and if it's your thing, the price here

So, what are you up to this weekend? Whatever it is stay safe �� and thank you ever so much for stopping by.


16 Aug 2014

Quick one...

Something I found while trolling the internet looking for "How to build a handbag brand" Found some very interesting read here and here

Source: Onairbyvickychavarri.files.wordpress.com


10 Aug 2014

All the bags in the world...

I found these stories while I was randomly surfing the internet (instead of working hehehehe) and thought to share.
Check out this lady's 3 story closet, the picture below is just a collage I created of some things in the "closet" Her bag collection is mental!

Photo and story source: Purseblog and Neiman Marcus Blog

...and read about how she was robbed; http://www.purseblog.com/chanel-bags/americas-largest-closet-robbed-1-million-luxury-goods.html

I am not going to judge the 3 storey closet, or all the shoes, bags, jewellery etc ... To each his own right? But you have to wonder though, when people showcase a blow by blow extent of their wealth out in the open especially on the internet, is that not begging to be robbed? ... #justwondering

Anyways, thanks so much for stopping by and have a great week ahead.


6 Aug 2014

Tie-Dye, Batik, and 3D Clutches...

It's been a wet week 'every-day' here in Lagos and though I absolutely love when it rains I have found myself wishing for a bit of more sunshine... shopping for leather is no fun in the rain. Anyways, the show must go on right? Rain or no rain orders must be completed lol! So, I've been very busy and have not had time to take pictures soooo I decided to share these picture of the Lolo clutches I made a while back. Following the first sets of Lolo clutches I made (read post here) I got a request to make a piece exactly like the first Red and golden yellow I made, but since no two pieces made at Gidan Nodza are ever the same I tried to make it as close to the original but not such that you would mistake one for the other, the result I would say was more than satisfactory...*feeling chuffed* See the picture of the said clutch below and two others I made while I was still in the 'Lolo Clutch making mood'. Please let me know what you think and of course which version is your fave!

All 3 clutches were made with fabrics dyed using our 3D dyeing technique, read about the dyeing technique here

Ok, so this is where I sign out! Thank you so much for stopping by and enjoy what's left of the week.


2 Aug 2014

Joke Shoulder Bag...Chain up!

The Joxy clutch bag has been redesigned and renamed the Joke Shoulder bag. I have piped the bag and have also added detachable chain handle to give the user a choice of clutching or carrying but apart from that everything else about the design remains the same. These two clutches are available for purchase on our online shop and we will deliver anywhere! See my attempt at creating a look using the Black and Red version of the Joke Bag on Polyvore, what do you think? Should I just stick to making bags and leave the mixing and matching to the pros? Let me know and No! I won't hate you for being honest, I will just put you in my black books and be shooting internet missiles at you steady...lol! just kidding hehehe but seriously I would love to see the looks you can create using GN bags ��
View pictures below;

Black tie-dye fabric- red and black 3D dyeing effect-red thread surface stitching and red Saffiano leather

Brown and burnt orange tie dye fabric-orange thread surface stitching with orange Saffiano leather

Ok, gotta run so much to do so little time (am I beginning to sound like a broken record?) Oh well, it is what it is *big grin* Thank you so much for stopping by and may God's Grace be with you always-Amin.

I'm loving this lady's blog http://dressed2dnines.blogspot.com I will see if I can ask/beg/bribe/blackmail her into modeling/posing/mixing and matching some GN pieces ...hmmm now that I think about it, I definitely will *getting excited* 


31 Jul 2014

Clara Top Handle Clutch: New Bag Alert

For the very "lady like" Lady. Clara clutch bag will encourage you to carry along just your essentials.  
The interior will easily hold a wallet, a phone, some essential cosmetics. Bag has a zipped compartment and a phone pouch. Bag measures approx; 8"H 9"W and 2.5"D.

Just one of these is available for purchase. Visit our E-shop to buy it and much more.
(yeah, today is one of those slow blogging days, sorry *sheepish face*)

Thank you so much for stopping by and may your reality be much bigger than your dreams.


22 Jul 2014

Fabric Dyeing, Custom Orders and then some

Fabrics of the moment

Its going to be a busy couple of days here at GN. I have some custom request to take care of and in between that I have to check with my leather supplier for some black leather she promised I would get tomorrow, after a number of visits and rejecting what she showed me she promised to surprise me tomorrow... well here is hoping. 

Anyways find below pictures of what I've been up to and what I will be busy doing for the next couple of days.  

Picture story of my process of dyeing the fabrics I use for my projects.

 January Bag and Patchwork Aduke bag loading...

They are ready!!!  Remember I wrote about them here, well these Joxy clutches will be renamed. More on that later. 

So gotta run, those bags won't make themselves will they? *sigh, sometimes I wish though* 

As always, thank you so much for stopping by and always remember that the grass might seem to be greener on the other side but it usually isn't! 



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