#SupportLokalPH: The Leather Company

Recently, I've been discovering a number of local (i.e. Filipino) independent businesses. Some of them I've discovered online (on Facebook or on Instagram), others in bazaars. I realize how challenging it is for them to compete with the global market--just look at the shops in our malls and you'll see that most of the brands are from foreign companies ("local" businesses are usually re-sellers na lang)--so in my own little way, I would like to help promote their brand by featuring some of my favorite purchases in this blog.

The Leather Company

GENUINE LEATHER 100% HANDMADE

(Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theleathercompany/)

Über delayed review, as I bought this bag for my mom's birthday last May. Life got in the way, and caused me to push back writing this entry for a few months.

But as the saying goes, better late than never.

Roam Tall 2 Way Bag in Black Pebbled. Base price is 4,295 PhP

My mom wanted a leather bag for her birthday, but the current bags I have did not completely cater to her specifics. She wanted a roomy bag, with shoulder-length straps, zipper closure, and some sort of lining. Most of the bags I have are unlined, and without closure. So I had to look around for other makers that sell the type of leather bags that my mom wanted to have.


I stumbled upon The Leather Company's Instagram while browsing Bag Lust PH's feed. One of their bags caught my eye, as it had the zipper closure my mom wanted (most independent leather bag makers in the Philippines don't provide this), and after further inquiries I was able to confirm that they also provide linings to their leather bags (most independent leather bag makers in the Philippines make bags that are usually unlined, too). Then, I showed a picture of the bag to my mom, and she gave her approval to order a custom bag of her own.


Transaction with The Leather Company is quick and hassle-free; inquiries are made thru Viber; they are quick to reply and accommodating to my questions (as I have many of them).

To order, I had to fill up an online form, and I remember being quite impressed as they allow the most customization among all the makers I've tried. You can choose the color and the texture of the leather, the color of the lining (their bags are also lined with leather), the color and the placement of the stamping (stamping costs an additional fee of 150 PhP, with a maximum of six uppercase letters), and even the actual dimension of your bag (i.e. width, height, depth, drop, etc). You can even upload a picture of your peg.

As for payment, they have a PayPal option with no additional charges. And that's good enough for me.

The bag I got was a LOT smaller than expected. My bad for underestimating the dimensions sent to me. :(

Production of the bag takes up to a month after receiving payment; because of this I was not able to give the bag to my mom in time for her birthday. But I DID receive the bag as scheduled, and I have to say that when I got the bag I was a bit disappointed with the size.

To be fair though, when they gave me the dimensions (10"W x 10.5"H x 3"D) I was envisioning a big, roomy bag, when in fact the dimensions they gave me was just about the same as a coupon bond paper.

Beige leather lining

Because of the lining and the zipper closure, the bag was a bit heavy for its size, and it had a little more structure (I prefer slouchy bags though). The stitching looked good and sturdy, and the detachable straps look like it can hold some weight without stretching.

My other disappointment was the quality of the stamping. The bag was supposed to have the initials "MMTP," without foil. Perhaps it was because of the pebbled texture, or because the size of the initials was too small, but the initials are barely visible to the naked eye. Sayang.

 

When I finally gave the bag to my mom, she was also a bit surprised with the bag's size, at it really DID look big in pictures. Maybe they use petite models for the shoot? I don't know. Other than that, she seemed quite happy about the bag. I hope she uses the bag often.

Roam Tall 2 Way Bag size comparison to a Galaxy Nexus 7.

The Leather Company has other designs that I'm personally drawn to--they have this 3 way bag called "Stroll" that can also be used as a backpack--but right now I'm willing to wait a little bit more before deciding to purchase another bag from them. For now, the price point and the expectations vs. reality of the product is enough to curb my leather bag shopping appetite... for now.

Comments

  1. Hi Miriam! I landed here as a result of my blog hopping adventures. I can't remember from which blog I got your link. I have been back reading some of your posts and I'm enjoying the light and refreshing stories you share.

    I'm also looking for a leather bag. Preferably, locally produced. With your post, I think I have another candidate. I agree that most leather bags sold online by local IG sellers are "unlined." I have one unlined leather tote from Ni-qua. Although I didn't mind at all, I realized that it's still better if the bag has protective lining inside.

    Some local IG seller offer leather bags from Php 3,500 to Php 7,000. While I understand that bags are handmade and made of real leather, I find prices a little steep... especially for my budget. All the more when I discovered a local manufacturer who produces leather bag for this IG seller. I felt a little sad because the local manufacturer's price was like 4x lower than the retail price. As much as I understand pricing and profit, I was a little surprised. :) nevertheless, this will not prevent me from exploring local producers. I just hope that local manufacturers will never stop the excellent craftsmanship.


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    Replies
    1. Hi Diane! Thanks for dropping by my blog! I'm really grateful that you liked reading my stories. :)

      I've heard about Ni-qua, they also have good reviews online. Did you choose The Leather Company as your next bag?

      I'm glad that you've decided to go local for your leather bags; nice to meet another one supporting home-grown craftsmanship. I agree that leather bags (the real ones) cost a lot, but they're incredibly low maintenance and versatile, a worthy investment!

      It's kind of sad to know how much IG sellers mark-up their bags, but I'm hoping that it's not all for the profit. It's a business after all, and like you said they need to pay for other things--online/physical store maintenance (if ever they have one outside IG), salaries, loans, permits, etc. Perhaps try to go straight to the manufacturer and ask if they are willing to make you a bag--and tell me how it goes? :)

      Happy shopping, and may you continue to support local independent businesses!

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