Old World Craftsmanship

Catgory: General
4/10/2013

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We are not just going to bore you with leather facts and figures.  You are so special that you will also get to be bored by some of our Budd Leather stories!  There were always fascinating experiences we shared in our business travels.  It helps when one travels abroad that you take the time to at least appreciate the different cultures, architecture, and foods even if you are working!  On any given year our mission to Europe could include the any of the following depending on the country we were in:

1-      Try to find a new exotic belt skin manufacturer

2-      Find a soccer ball for our eldest son (huge soccer fan)

3-      Re-design a few new Solingen manicure sets

4-      Look for balsamic vinegar for our youngest son (culinary fan)

5-      Add a new “short” line of wallets in new type of leather

6-      Try some local beer and then try some more!

7-      Crunch new prices and costs and argue to keep them lower

We trained it from Florence, Italy to Modena and were then picked up by a driver to go about one hour further to work with a possible new belt manufacturer.  The train ride and drive were just magnificent with the train cutting through backyards, farms and mountains.  The drive had us hearing something unusually loud for such a quiet mountainside ride.  We didn’t realize that headquarters for Ferrari and Maserati are near Modena.  So along the quiet mountainside drive comes a sports car whipping around the curves going on a wild test drive. 

We met and worked with a man that had been making beautiful exotic skin leather belts his entire life.   

He patiently showed us how he used his hands to make the seam between two pieces of alligator skin virtually “seamless”.  We wound up buying belts from him and loved the product he made for us.  One look at his hands and you can tell he had been doing this for years. Over time our supplier and customer base have been through some changes.  The children of these manufacturers did not want to work with their hands.  They wanted to work with computers!  Factories that we had bought from for years were closing down.  Our customers here in the States wanted cheaper prices bringing us to import from the Far East. The costs were less but the quantities required are much larger. 

We still work with a few of our old factories in Spain, Italy and Germany etc.  The prices are high, but the quality of old European workmanship is worth it.  We are able to put through smaller orders in Europe as opposed to China.  This can also enable us to custom order product for our customers if they are willing to wait for the piece to be made!   We have done this with magnificent Italian brief bags and Spanish wallets.  Ask us and see what we can do for you!

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