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Creative Brockley man's broccoli bags prove a global fashion hit
When Simon Obee designed himself a bag to celebrate Brockley, he never suspected the quirky carrier would end up selling all over the world.
The creative 33-year-old cleverly used a heart-shaped piece of broccoli to illustrate love for his hometown when he made the tote bag for fun last July.
But since then the popular design has proved a global hit and Simon has sold around 300 bags which have ended up in Hong Kong, Sierra Leone, America, Canada, Germany and, of course, Brockley.
He said: “I like making stuff and being creative when I’m not at work.
“One of the first things that struck me when I moved here was how strong the sense of community was, so I thought there must be a market for products that allow people to show how proud they are to live in Brockley.
“I made one bag and people started saying ‘where did you get that from?’ and it kind of spiralled from there.
“I think the Brockley/broccoli association works because it is a really foodie place – people really care about where their food comes from.”
It came as a welcome surprise when people began sending Simon pictures of themselves carrying the reusable cotton bags all over the world.
He continued: “I think some people live here and went travelling, some people sent them as presents, some people bought one because their surname is Brockley.
“It feels good to see them everywhere – I thought it would be a niche market, I never expected to have international customers.”
Simon, who lives on the border of Brockley and New Cross has also created a slightly edgier bag for New Cross and more recently one for Nunhead.
Using the iconic I Love NY and crossing out NY with a bright red, graffiti-style X, Simon began a blog titled New Cross is Better Than New York.
He added: “The best thing about the bags is the people I have met through making them.
“I get so much pleasure when I walk around and see someone carrying one - I always go and say hello.
“I want to do some more designs for places in London, but only places I can walk to.”
Simon’s trendy creations are available for £4.50 from Brockley’s Rock fish and chip shop, The London Particular Cafe in New Cross and The Dish and The Spoon Cafe in Nunhead.
For more information visit i-broccoli-brockley.blogspot.co.uk or follow him on Twitter @Brockley_Bags