Sophie and Sam Hurley from Honest Wolf. Image supplied.
Sophie and Sam Hurley are the founders of luxury luggage and accessories brand Honest Wolf which they launched in June 2020 at their farm Papanui Estate. The couple were inspired by the phasing out of plastic bags and high quantities of wool on their third-generation family farm. Together they came up with Honest Wolf’s first product; the casual shopper – a biodegradable, fashionable shopping bag made from wool. Sophie and Sam have since expanded their range to include high-quality tote bags, luggage, wallets and more, utilising the wonders of wool and leather.
We caught up with Sophie to find out more about their brand, what inspires her and what you would never catch her wearing!
Tell us about your latest collection?
Our growing collection of luxury luggage and accessories are forever pieces that you will be proud to pass through the generations such as The Tote and The Weekender. Using the wool grown on our family farm in an alternate way to what the generations before us have done is exciting, and we are continuing to build on the legacy before us and use nature’s wonder product in ways that will be seen and admired by many. Each beautiful bag we add onto our collection is for no particular person, or for a specific time in your life – they are multipurpose and can be used through different stages throughout your lifetime.
What made you become a designer?
Wow – the word designer to describe what I do definitely is not something I ever imagined but it does explain one of the many roles I have as a small business owner who wears various different hats at once! My husband and I design our pieces together – both with no experience other than a keen eye for fashion and functionality.
Bags by Honest Wolf.
What inspires you?
To continue to grow my skills and drive for more in life. It is something I have grown up with watching my parents go from project to project and I get my inspiration from them to continue to be better and to not settle for anything less.
Describe your personal style and how it influences your designs?
To be honest – I have always had a love for lifetime pieces which aren’t always easy to find. I aim to buy once and buy right – so the majority of items I invest in for myself I hope to have for a long time which has influenced our designs in several ways. Colour trends seem to change every season, however there are safe colours which are always going to be in fashion. All our pieces are in colours that are natural to the land and are what you would see in a rural environment. This would be similar to my personal style – not a huge one for bold prints but for simple styles that will last forever.
What is your all-time favourite purchase?
It would have to be our dining table from my sister’s store, The Vitrine. The amount of laughs and memories made around one single piece of furniture. Oh the stories it could tell!
What wardrobe item should everyone invest in?
A statement winter coat – will dress up any outfit and I am not a lover for the cold unless there is snow involved.
Do you have a style rule you always obey?
To invest in high-quality, lifetime pieces instead of fast-fashion. Saving the planet and the pocket.
Bags by Honest Wolf.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
A dream come true for me is that we have created this business from our remote farm – meaning I can continue my passion while bringing up our family around me. Continuing my career while working for someone else was going to be difficult due to our location, so to be able to work for myself, employ others who also live remote and have the flexibility to work around my son and to watch him grow is so special to me.
What can’t you live without?
My family and friends – for sure.
Finish this sentence – You would never catch me wearing…
A frilly short skirt or dress! Below the knee for me!