If you asked me years back if I liked leather or not, my answer would’ve been “not so much”. I used to see it as a material fit for grandpas, boring corporate people, and prissy high-end wanna-be’s. Most of the people I’d met in the past saw owning leather as something that made them superior to everyone else, and it sickened me. People can be grossly full of themselves at the worst of times.
Putting that aside, I never really thought of leather as an investment until I met people who made a living out of creating leather goods. It didn’t occur to me that leather was a tough yet delicate material to work with, and that alone brought value to the table.
That being said, I’ve become more and more in favor of owning leather goods for mostly two reasons. One, leather has a very versatile look, meaning you can pair it with anything in your closet. From a rugged street style to a corporate attire, leather fits right in. Two, it really is an investment to own leather, and those with an eye for these kind of things will realize what you’re all about. They’ll know you’re not playing around.
(The owners of the brand I’ll be featuring are my friends, but all opinions on this post will be honest and entirely mine. This isn’t a sponsored post either; I just really want to spread the fact that there’s a cool, local brand that makes quality leather goods.)
Méräki Leather Artisanal is a new brand that makes leather goods (wallets, passport holders, coin purses, etc.) that are affordable, functional, and chic. Their products have had iterations based from feedback of their friends, buyers, and connections, and they’ve definitely become better at addressing their customers’ needs.
While they have pre-made leather items in their store, they’re also open to customs (which I love). If you've got a friend who already has everything, you can give them a leather custom with an engraving of their name and make them feel extra special. Who doesn't love an item made especially for them?!
Yes, leather looks beautiful. That doesn't mean the process is as elegant as the end result is. From our conversations, they've shared how painfully meticulous stitching has to be, just to make sure that it's both sealed properly and still looks tasteful. They've even mentioned a time one of them was accidentally stabbed while engraving a piece! Yikes. One of them also tried creating calligraphy using the engraving pen. Just thinking about having to create those lovely flourishes and lines on leather with a hot pen is making me cringe. Working with leather is definitely an ordeal.
Not all local brands are awesome (let's be real here), but those that are deserve more than just a shout-out. Let's support local brands as much as we can. Don't ask for discounts just because you're friends with them or because you feel that they're merely "local". If they're your friends, you should know the value of supporting them all the more!
I've had people come to me asking for free design because "it's just a hobby" or "it's just drawing". People like that don't deserve a spot on my friends list. If you think it's really that easy, do it yourself!(Sorry for the sudden bitter sentiment. I'm moving on, haha.)
That doesn't mean you can't give feedback though, as constructive criticism will help them improve. Just make sure you're commenting out of desire to help, not because you're trying to bring them down.
If you're all for supporting local brands and would love to have something custom-made (or just buy leather items), do check out Méräki Leather Artisanal on Facebook and Instagram. Spot their website as well and see more of their products!