In 2012 there was a spate of iPhone auto-corrects published on Facebook – these for people who don’t know, are when the auto-correct function on an iPhone changes the text message from that which the sender intended, usually correcting a typo and substituting with the phone’s best guess, which is often hilariously random nonsense.
One which particularly tickled me was an exchange where one writer asked, “what colour is your dress?” and was answered not with the intended “fuchsia” but the rather memorable “Fuck-weasel”. It became my favourite expletive for a while but I also started to think about what kind of a personality a real Fuck-Weasel might have. Obviously, I thought, it (she?) would be brave and feisty, strong and undaunted – all the things I am not but wish I could be.
A few months later when my daughter was struggling in a previous job with a colleague who gave sanctimonious speeches that Lauren was obliged to listen to in silence, I made her a Fuck-Weasel holding this person by the throat and looking triumphant. I found a little purse and wired it so the weasel stood up when the purse was opened and I suggested Lauren put it on the desk – facing only towards herself so that the feisty little beast would remind her that although she had to be quiet she didn’t have to allow the brow-beating to get her down.
Well, actually she was made redundant shortly afterwards, but in any case she survived the lectures.
I continued to refine the idea that we all have an inner Fuck-Weasel but that sometimes we need to be reminded not to accept things the way they have always been. The weasel stands for that inner grit or resolve that we need to call on when we have to do something scary – like launch a handbag brand… which is why I had to make one for myself just before we launched Louella Odié.
I have now made several others for friends and family – each in response to a particular moment of stress in their lives. I didn’t intend that they became talisman. I believe we have the resources inside ourselves to achieve what we most want to do. It is just that really believing that is so difficult. Sometimes you have to be reminded to clench your buttocks and grit your teeth and go the extra, scary, mile.
Setting up Louella Odié has been so exhilarating and we have met so many wonderful people who have bought our bags and championed our baby brand that I wanted them all to have a weasel to remind them they can do what they dream of doing. So from our second collection onwards every Louella Odié bag will include a pink weasel pin inside the inner pocket.
Now you know the story behind it I hope it will remind you to push for your dreams. We recognise that our brightly patterned bags are not quiet, submissive or conventional and we really hope that their owners are not either, which is why we have always said that our bags are for strong women. We would love to hear your stories where you needed to call on your inner weasel, please share them with us.
Karen and Lauren