TOWIE”s totes have the X Factor: New bag has become celebrity must-have (but which designer will you buy from)
When Chloe Truczka first saw a member of Little Mix carrying one of her bags, she could scarcely believe her luck.
The 22-year-old designer first started making her HunniBunni jute bags after graduating from university and just six months later, she has become a celebrity hit.
But she needn”t have been too surprised, similar personalised hand-painted bags – made by other companies – have also been spotted hanging off the arms of TOWIE girls, TV presenters and even Katie Price.
Proud owner: Perrie from Little Mix with her personalised HunniBunni jute bag
Little Mix”s Perrie has rarely been spotted without the oversized tote since her win.
It features a caricature-esque painting of the singer – with an emphasis on her love of fake eyelashes – as well as her name and a microphone.
But the idea of personalising jute bags is not as original as Chloe might have thought.
Two other companies, ClaireaBella and Scruffy Little Cat sell the same style of bag, with similar motifs.
Designer: Chloe Truczka, 22, with one of her HunniBunni bags which shows her holding a bag with her face on
All three companies are selling well but there might not be space in the painted jute bag market for the three of them
One year old firm ClaireaBella, in particular, is keen to defend its place – even though Scruffy Little Cat got there three years before they did.
Chloe isn”t worried, though, she told MailOnline: “There are more than 30 million women in the UK, I”m sure there is more than enough room for all of us.”
Each bag takes her about three hours to make and she had to stop taking Christmas orders on December 1st – so there is more than enough demand.
Chloe said: “My mum was the one that spotted the photo (of Perrie) and told me about it.
“She just started screaming and we were jumping around the living room.”
Customers have been snapping up HunniBunni bags for every member of their families so the criminology and applied psychology graduate has taken over her parents” conservatory in Orpington, Kent, and turned it into a mini factory.
Last night Chloe was up until 4am finishing bags to ensure they could be posted in time for Christmas.
But seeing Perrie wearing the bag is bound to boost business – which seems to have worried rival company ClaireaBella”s cult following who have targetted Chloe”s twitter site.
Solicitors have assured HunniBunni, though, that they are different enough for there to be no copyright issues.
Chloe has the sketchpads to prove that she has been drawing similar designs for years.
Nevertheless, ClaireaBella”s loyal fans have criticised Chloe. They even tweeted Little Mix to tell them that their bags were “fakes”.
Before both companies, though, there was Scruffy Little Cat – who again seems to have a similar design.
“We”ve been doing them for four years,” Scruffy Little Cat”s owner, Sharon Sumpton, told MailOnline.
“Oursare the original ones as far as we know and we don”t have a problem with other companies as long as they do not come too close to our designs.
“We are quite a small company so it is difficult to pursue things,” Sharon added, beforerevealing that they are engaged in legal proceedings with ClaireaBella so she could not say much more.
TOWIE fans: Maria Fowler with her ClaireaBella bag, others from the TV show have also been spotted with similar totes
The original: Amy Childs (left) and Katie Price with Little Scruffy Cat bags
Sharon and Chloe do seem to have a harmonious relationship, praising each others” designs and offering congratulations when they are seen on the arms of celebrities.
But with ClaireaBella, who did not respond to a request for a comment, apparently upset with the market feeling crowded – how long can the three companies compete for customers… or keep offering free bags to celebrities