This week, the United States and Canada observed Labor Day created to commemorate workers and the impact of labor and unions throughout history in our respective countries. With this observance in mind, we felt it fitting to pay our respects to a specific type of worker, who is near and dear to our heart. Throughout the centuries, these particular tradespersons became the backbone of the small manufacturing industry while forging their own path to become skilled craft workers otherwise known as artisans.
Both artists and artisans express their creative visions through their art or craft. Where the difference may lie is artists tend to focus on aesthetic works, while artisans’ integrate design with functionality.
Artists use traditional methods of displaying their work in museums and consign in galleries or auction houses. For emerging artists, the addition of digital platforms (instagram, websites, online galleries, artist forums) are instrumental in showcasing and selling works of art.
The word artisan has become such an unfortunate marketing ploy to attach “unique value” to common everyday products. When in fact, an artisan’s goal is to create original and extraordinary pieces with skilled artistry and craftsmanship. Machines may or may not be used, but without a doubt, a good part of the process involves hand crafting. An artisan’s talent comes from taking their vision and using raw materials (such as textiles, ceramics, woods, metals, glass, and precious stones) and hand tools to create an exceptional end product.
Artisans create objects partly or entirely by hand, considered aesthetically practical and could fall in numerous categories from fashion and accessories, jewelry and watches, musical instruments, specialty food items, furniture and home accessories, Artisans typically study under master craftspersons and commit to continuous lifelong study of their chosen craft. Artisans use various marketplaces (traditional and digital) to promote and sell their works including in person marketplaces and fairs, private showings, trunk shows and numerous online sites that dedicate to specific demographics looking for custom handcrafted objects.
We have been fortunate to be introduced and interconnected with wonderful creatives and luxury craftspersons with global ties and colorful backgrounds who either brought their talents and skills with them to America; or were born with enough talent, ingenuity and drive to devour the craft and now whose skills are recognized by both peers and connoisseurs. These entrepreneurs embrace their world of manufacturing in specific industries that are recognized as the best in artisan.
As with our colleagues, Beau Satchelle Bespoke chose to serve individuals who appreciate and seek original goods with proven authenticity. Our clients are attracted to the uniqueness and want to own items that no one else has. Guarantees of quality and craftsmanship are key and owning or experiencing something created specifically for their passions. They expect exceptional products and world-class service because they have reached a pinnacle of living the good life and will pay top dollar to maintain that lifestyle.
So when seeking an artisan who specializes in luxury artisan pieces, it helps to understand factors that go into selling high-end objects:
Labor – an artisan’s obsessive dedication to detail and the love for creating excellence in his or her particular field. Even in the world of bespoke perfume, which takes personalization to a whole new level, developing a specific fragrance can take 12-18 months. . A bespoke suit can take up to 8 weeks and several fittings before it is delivered. A leather bag or set of luggage can take months depending on the client’s requests and intricacies of the design. A client pays for the time invested in the customization and work involved in the manufacturing of such a piece.
Even the methods of creating the design can add to the labor costs. A bespoke watch created by a master watchmaker is a collaboration of months with the client in designing the mechanics with custom tools as well as the personalized straps to fulfill the most demanding tastes. Even exclusive designers of machine sewn handbags offer bespoke handmade products to certain clients. Keep in mind, an elite leather craftsman of a hand-sewn item can even surpass his machine sewn counterparts in precision and durability.
Premium Materials – if you’re commissioning a bespoke item, the materials selected will reflect exceptionalism. Whether the sourcing for materials is local or overseas, leather bespoke companies will seek materials from sustainable sources which will impact the increased value of the purchased piece. We will only purchase premium skins, quality linen sewing thread, and distinctive grade hardware.
White-Glove Service – Bespoke artisans and designers absolutely stand behind their work. Many will require a nonrefundable design fee or a material costs fee, but the service you experience will be above and beyond. Guaranteed workmanship is a pledge that is taken seriously; the product’s worth comes in its heirloom characteristics and the ability to stand the test of time. A true master of bespoke invests time into developing white-glove services for both first-time purchasers and repeat clients.
Beau Satchelle’s artisans provide products to our clients in two ways. We have created a collection of products, (handbags, briefcases and other leather accessories) that are designed structurally the same but will not necessarily have the exact elements (i.e., the type of leather, the dye, the hardware and handles may differ).
Our second offering is exclusively bespoke and will be designed to the specifications of the customer. We have been commissioned to design and build briefcases, attaches, handbags, journals, wine carriers, chef rolls, leather costumes, leather jewelry, pet collars, phone cases, and reupholstered furniture. For us, the sky’s the limit as we encounter more niche luxury product requests for clients who desire a one-of- a- kind piece that no one else owns.
We are deeply inspired by our peers in raising the level of creativity and commitment to their manufacturing trade while inviting the world to experience their love of their particular craft. We love the challenge of being the very best artisans in the leather space and servicing the high expectations of our clients! -AJ
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Thank you to the following photographers:
Kees de Hoogh – Carving tile
Tima Miroshnichenko – Woodworking
Cottonbro – Tea Pot Pottery
Quang Nguyen Vinh – Pottery Pots
Mario La Pergola – Making of String Instruments
Aditiya Wardhana – Indonesia Weaving
elCarito – Indian Tailor
Yakuplpek – Moroccan Architecture
Sabinevanerp – Glass Blower
Salvador Godoy – Tailor
Anna Claire Schellenberg – Craftsperson
Konstantin Evdokimov – Leather Wallet
Chris Ralston – woman working at bench grinder
Raychan – Plate Artistry
Ricardo Parra – Artisan Lamps