SMART INVENTION: A model wearing the Tullsa London pouch
FED UP WITH carrying cumbersome bags, south-east Londoner Denny Anthony developed a prototype pouch bag that has been turning heads since it was first publicly showcased at the end of 2015.
He has now secured contracts to distribute the bags to retail outlets in London and Cyprus and is developing a waterproof addition and one that women can wear. The inspiration for his bag concept came during a trip to Ibiza, Spain in August 2015, where Anthony’s shoulder strap ‘man bag’ did not integrate well with what he was wearing on a night out.
“I had always liked nice clothes and being coordinated” the 34-year-old says. “Although the bag was practical, it did not look visually appealing to me and seemed to dampen down the whole aesthetics of what I was wearing.”
Driven to find something with a better fit, Anthony went to work as soon as he returned from his holiday. He enlisted the help of a local artist, fashion designer and manufacturer to develop a prototype.
The bags come in black and brown leather and hang on one shoulder, like slipping your arm through a sleeveless jacket. It is secured into place with a clip that goes across the chest, which means the days of messing about with handles are over.
The pouch has been designed to hold multiple bank and Oyster cards, as well as having space for keys and money. The initial idea was only meant for Anthony’s personal use, but he was soon persuaded to develop the idea into a business after receiving strong interest
from the public.
“I would have people ask me where I got the bag from and many did not believe that I invented
it,” he said. “It let me know that I was on to something.” Once the prototype was developed, the brand name ‘Tullsa London’ followed.
DESIGNER: Denny Anthony
There is an obvious parallel with Tulsa in Oklahoma, US, which flourished during the early 1910s and was known as ‘the Black Wall Street’ because it was home to several prominent black businessmen.
But Anthony’s version has an extra ‘l’ and the name came to him in a dream. He said: “The word was against a black background with words such as ambition and motivation disappearing and popping in a kind of vortex.”
During the development of Tullsa London, Anthony enrolled at GSM London – a higher education institution specialising in business management – in February 2014. He is a second-year BSc (Hons) Business Management student and was able to use elements from his studies to build on his business.
“I happened to tell a GSM London staff member about my idea,” says Anthony. “She advised me to go and speak to Paul Moran, who heads up the Formation Zone, to see what opportunities the college could offer. Paul was able to signpost me to where I could get a list of free advice and guidance from lawyers, for example, on intellectual copyright.”
The budding entrepreneur showcased his pouches formally for the first time at GSM London’s freshers’ week at the beginning of February, and was surprised at the feedback he got from students and staff.
Anthony is making plans to increase production. His next goal is to develop a waterproof version for a retailer in Cyprus that wants 50 units of his bags, and to focus on a range of female pouches.
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