Meet The Founder
I am Sally, Solo parent of a 12 year old, Owner and founder of manners London, lifelong hustler (on a quest for rest), poem scribbler, word lover, joy seeker, designer & survivor (amongst other things)
I made this by accident in one of the hardest chapters of my life. I made these clothes at a time when I needed to be brave. A time when joy always felt just out of my reach. At a time when I needed a lot of help to feel good in my skin, these clothes saved my life.
It sounds dramatic but in many ways it's true! We left Bali fast. Me, a 5 year old a few pieces I’d designed for myself. (Bali doesn't really cater to bigger sizes so I had over time found people to make all the things I needed) We arrived in London broke and broken but determined to somehow put our lives back together. It’s hard to talk about the first years there, but I was determined that I would never work for ‘the man’ again. That I would never be at the mercy of any man again and that we would someday be free.
So with jet lag, one succulent (for the display), a fading tan and kid in toe and 15 items I hustled a stall at portobello road market,and prayed that women with small tops and large bottoms would buy them. And they DID! So I called Dewa in Bali and asked him if he’d take a risk and make me some more. And so the road to freedom began! For 4 years living in temporary accommodation our tiny flat filled up with stock. I moved to Spitalfields market and started (and finished) a law degree which I studied for on my market stall, with a hot water bottle stuffed down my trousers and chip butties for lunch every day and I kept pushing. Women came and tried things on and I saw them stand a little taller, I saw their eyes soften a little as they looked at themselves in my nearly always broken mirror and I knew I wanted more of that!
I am soft, strong, squishy woman and the high street has never been my friend and I always imagined how many other people felt like this. I'm the chick that shouts 'You look great in that dress!" to the person on the metro, (much to my kids embarrassment) so I wanted to translate that into clothes. Into clothes that make YOU want to say that to your reflection in the mirror!
I started sewing at 11. Then spent years searching for something that didn't exist. That's how it all began, just me wanting to feel powerful in my clothes, wanting to feel unapologetic about my body and wanting the same for every person around me!
When we take back our power and stand a little taller, speak a little louder, feel a little stronger, shit changes, we rise and in that rising we can give each other a leg up.
So here I am 7 years later still creating clothing that lifts you up when all the women in you are tired. Clothes to fight in, clothes to love in, and clothes to cry in.
I hope you love them as much as I do
Love Sally x
Founder & Designer
P.s. In September 2020 I was awarded the GBEA Entrepreneur of the year in Fashion and Beauty for the South West!!!
P.P.S Ooh and I appeared on Dragons Den in 2015. Have a look to see ‘the man’ AKA Peter jones tell me this would never work. Heeyyyyy Peter! ;) I’m still here boo boo x
THE MAKERS, FABRIC & IDEA
So now I had to really hone down this idea.
I’ve always loved simple but well-fitted clothes; bodycon dresses, skirts, jumpsuits & leggings are timeless staples for any wardrobe. Along side this I have always hated wearing bra’s!
Based on what I love to wear (and not wear) and struggled to find in any decent quality, I designed a core collection that women could wear and feel sexy AF in. Women with boobs, bums and tummies need clothes that are form flattering and comfortable. And so the search for the perfect fabric began..
Premium quality fabric, made from 90% cotton and 10% elastane, is something I will never compromise on, I chose thick cotton jersey for my entire range - it’s what makes Manners different to any other brand.
I also decided to have some strong prints in the collection, they’re all originals, screen-printed and dried under the Indonesian sun. (rainy season gets pretty tricky!),
Pak Dewa, his wife Ibu Sunny and their grown up son and daughter made the brand a reality, they’re magicians when it comes to tailoring and know how to fit clothes to a woman’s body, they understand my ridiculous drawings and I couldn’t have made this happen without them.
The hustle, to PRESENT DAY
From selling at Portabello Market in London in 2015 and I moved to Spitalfields market. Where I spent 4 years! In the sun and the snow. It was hard and wonderful. A rollercoaster always! I miss meeting people, I miss the food, the laughs. I miss the chip butties. I do not miss the freezing tits and the guilt at dropping my kid here and there or dragging him along with me.
In October 2019 juggling the stall, a full time law degree, motherhood and the online elements of my business got too much. It was time, so now I’m just here, behind my laptop, working on the dream.
In December 2021 me and my son moved to Spain. Because the sun, the sea and speaking another language are what fill me with joy, and joy is what I want to pour into my business, my designs and hopefully you will feel that joy when you put on my clothes!
It’s been such a ride and I would not be here without the help and love and time and support of more women than I could possibly count. I feel emotional thinking about it. The women who climbed out of 3rd floor windows so I could take pics of them on my phone. To the women who stripped off in a train station in the winter to be videod. To the women who helped at shoots and cared for the kid and brought me hot drinks and bought my clothes and listened to my complain and held me when I cried. Thank you!
Fuck I love what I do, fuck I love what we can do together. Here’s to more of all that good stuff!