One thousand stitches. Yup, that’s a lot. Not only is that the average amount of stitches that is needed to assemble, by hand, one of our messenger bags, but it is also symbolic.
It symbolizes the care with which we craft EVERY product we make. It encapsulates the attention to detail we put into our craft. It also symbolizes the first steps in the journey that we start with every custom leather good, especially the more creative ones.
Because, except for the simplest of our creations, hundreds or even thousands of small actions are required to create our items. We make our designs, often totally from scratch, custom-sized to fit the needs of the customer. The leather must be selected, laid out and carefully cut. Tooling (also known as leather carving) adds considerably to the time spent on a project. Then the edges are beveled and burnished before we can even start to hand dye, which alone is several steps. Every stitch hole is made by hand, too. Suffice it to say there are many steps the journey toward a complete bag. And we love every one of them.
You see, I revel in the craft AND the resulting creations we produce. Sure, it’s rewarding to see a completed custom leather product through our camera lens. It’s even more rewarding to hear from the customer how happy they are with the bag you made for them. Knowing that the hours of work makes someone happy, satisfied or even giddy is one of our favorite things.
But, for us, the actual process is also an immensely satisfying thing. It speaks to the truly rewarding feeling you get in your soul of creating something out of (almost) nothing: Crafting something that is both useful and beautiful. Making something that is not only “made well, but well made”. Arguably that is the same thing, but I feel deeply it is not. Something can be constructed to satisfy the requirements of the purpose it serves, but it’s about the actual work and processes that go in to that object. It’s the “how” and not just the result. The loving care that goes into each step. THAT is a huge part of it for me.
Many creatives share this perspective. The process is an integral aspect of the art itself. Certainly, part of it is merely a demonstration of a skill. But to me and many other artists I speak with, the process IS the art, too.
The point here is that the artistic process, the — “craft” of it– is an inherent value of what we make. People want to know that someone, has spent a great deal of time and attention to make something. That is a value we offer. You know that everything we make is made by hand. That every step in the process is almost “curated” as it were.
No one talks (or even cares) about the work or the craftsmanship, or even the art that goes into making say, a toaster, a computer, or even a car. And, maybe we should care about that. But we often don’t.
Not everyone will agree, of course. We all value certain things and not others. That’s ok. Many of our custom leather goods and bags are an investment, but that is exactly when and why you should care. That quality is not just the creative energy that goes into it. It isn’t just the experience that the crafter adds. It means it IS well made. It will last longer than something made out of PVU , or sub-standard leather and whipped out on a machine in a little longer than it took you to read this article. Sure, you paid a lot less, but then you get less.
But, that’s not how we roll. We only create quality, handcrafted, custom leather goods. So, if you think that is your bag (pun intended) and it makes you feel good knowing you are owning a quality item, then you definitely should talk to us!