Imagine a teenager with the organisational skills of his mother. Or a mother with the fearless pluck of her teenage son. Powerful stuff, no?
Mother and son team Rebecca and Henry Patterson, both experienced entrepreneurs in their own right, founded Zellie together in 2019. Using the heady combination of different perspectives but similar DNA, they have created a bag business like no other.
Rebecca and Henry work in a spirit of lively competition to develop increasingly clever ideas for their products. Henry aced it with the Zellie Zipper *TM interchangeable patch design, but Rebecca wins every time when it comes to Pouch Management and switching the light off when she leaves a room.
Combining her knowledge as a professional organiser (yes that is a thing!) and years designing bags, Rebecca is responsible for the structure and internal design of the Zellie collection.
‘We work well together. Henry first of all sketches the design; he has a great eye for detail and quality. I then add the functionality; how the bag works and ensuring product longevity” explains Rebecca
Henry has spent much of his younger years in the public eye, having famously not found synergy with conventional schooling; he was told he was useless by the teachers, was bullied resulting in a stammer, which at its peak was so bad, he couldn’t say a sentence.
But don’t feel sad – he turned this on his head: at 10 years old wrote a children’s story book ‘The Adventures of Sherb & Pip’ which went on to sell thousands of copies worldwide (and developed in to a much loved children gift brand Not Before Tea which is still growing today).
He left school and travelled the world speaking about his newly founded story book and how to overcome negativity. Ironically he didn’t stammer when he was on stage in front of thousands of people and his confidence grew and it rarely makes an appearance now.
At 14yrs he wrote a second book Young & Mighty, with the likes of Sir Richard Branson, giving tips on how young people can earn extra money and find their passion.
This brings us to today. Spending the past five years travelling to the US, Asia and Europe, Henry, now 16yrs, set out to design bags that will simply carry is stuff – but also keep it all very organised and look pretty fabulous too.