What leather do you use?
We use an extremely high quality vegetable tanned cowhide from Hermann Oak of St. Louis Missouri.
Why do you use Hermann Oak instead of other vegtan leathers?
Quality and history. Hermann Oak is one of of the few remaining tanneries in the United States. They have been using the same process to tan their hides since 1881. The process is 100% natural and uses a "tea" made of oak tree bark and water. It can take up to 3 months to tan a hide vs a few weeks at other tanneries. This results in a very tight grain. The leather holds its shape more than others on the market and stretches less. It takes oil, softens and patinas far superior to other leathers that may appear similar at purchase.
We care about quality, origin and sustainability.
We also respect that this leather shows a grain unique to each animal/hide.
What are the lines I see in the leather? Is it a defect or damage?
Usually, these lines are grain from fat on the animal or scars from bug bites, barbed wire, etc..
We highlight these marks and hope that everyone appreciates the unique character of the leather as much as we do.
Can I request a piece with minimal grain or markings?
Of course! Contact us here and we'll do our best to find a piece that works for you.
That said, we cannot guarantee that unseen grain will not develop as the leather ages.
Large items like bags normally show some grain due to the amount of leather used.
What products do you use to treat/color the leather? Are chemicals involved?
Beginning with the tanning of the leather, our original pieces are make with 100% natural products. Each piece is is treated with a plant oil/beeswax cream from Skidmore's. This hydrates and protects the leather.
Edges are hand burnished with a natural sticky plant gum called Tragacanth.
All dyes are water based pigments, including the indigo dye that is sourced in Japan.
You do you create your Indigo Tie Dye style?
Where do your beads come from? Are they really old?
Our glass beads are generally 50-80 years old and are usually from Nigeria, Ghana, Mali, Uganda, Kenya andTanzania. Some beads and metals are even older. We source our beads personally with help from our friends in the LA West African community who are direct importers. We have long standing relationships and even know the extended families of some of our contacts.
We have studied our bead styles for years now and are confident in the quality and origin.
Is everything really handmade by you guys in Los Angeles?
Absolutely. And when we say handmade, that doesn't mean we design it and then send it to an LA factory to be "handmade" with other people's hands. We design, cut, sew, color, burnish, pack and ship every piece ourselves. No heavy machinery. No sewing machines.
Can I request a custom piece?
We work on custom orders all the time so it's never a problem. Just keep in mind that we have a very specific style and technique.
Contact Us to make a request