At Attached Leather Co., exclusively handcrafted by the hands and hearts of Malaysians is not just a slogan. It’s a declaration of the proprietors’ passion for revitalizing the art of leathermaking in Malaysia.
A passion for leather
Founded in 2015 and solely operated by husband-and-wife team Faiz Rosli and Ayu Lamien, Attached Leather Co. specializes in custom-made handcrafted leather goods. Visit its bright and airy studio in Square Root Space, Kelana Jaya and you’ll be greeted with a warm welcome, a multicoloured assortment of raw leather as well as an extensive rectangular work area complete with rivets, pricking tools, a stitching pony and other leatherworking tools. The smell of freshly brewed coffee pervades the air along with the distinctive scent of leather.
The origin of things
“It all started when Ayu and I stumbled upon a small leather supplier’s shop while we were on holiday in Penang,” reveals Faiz tells. Ayu adds, “The shop was about to close, yet the owner was kind enough to spare some time teaching us the basics.”
The story behind the brand name has everything to do with the couple’s love affair with leather. They are both architects but decide to devote their expertise and artistry to leathercraft out of sheer passion, as denoted by the company’s name. “It’s a reflection of our strong sense of attachment to leather and Malaysian products. Faiz got very attached to his leathercraft really quickly and that rubbed off on me. That’s how we got the name,” Ayu explains.
Attached Leather Co. is determined to be both independent and local, as Faiz is quick to point out. “We don’t mass-produce,” he reiterates. The duo is adamant about creating locally made, authentic and fully handcrafted high-end products. Their policy is not to reproduce designs from other brands. “People would send us links to certain websites and ask, ‘Can you replicate this product?’ Our answer is a resounding no.” They are also ready to lend their support to the local community of artists and craftspeople. For example, they would direct customers to other local crafters, such as those who specialize in long wallets, demonstrating an admirable spirit of sharing.
Genius in the details
The wide variety of leather wares at Attached Leather Co., made in-house from vegetable-tanned or chrome leather, dazzle in their attention to detail, superior materials and exquisite craftsmanship. The design is minimalist, classic and sleek. Everything is handstitched — from key holders, card holders, trays and coasters to larger items like shoulder bags. Ayu and Faiz recently launched their 2016 Travel Goods Collection which features over 10 new products for men and women in four colourways, including iPhone sleeves, passport wallets, travel journals and luggage tags. “Our price range is from RM45 to RM600,” the pair indicates.
Joining forces for the love of leather
Attached Leather Co. also conducts leathercraft workshops for leather enthusiasts in collaboration with IDEAS, a local non-profit, and iM4U, the country’s leading volunteer community for youth. At around RM250 per person, aspiring leathermakers receive training in a 7-hour workshop spread over a period of 3 months. They will be instructed in crucial skills such as cutting, stitching and finishing, as well as given assessments on knowledge, application and workmanship.
Sweet smell of success
On top of all its winning formulas, Attached Leather Co. adopts a unique business model. The company chooses to advertise mainly on two platforms: Instagram and Yellow Pages Malaysia. There’s no grandiose plan for world domination for this artisanal brand, just a wholehearted commitment to quality and a localized marketing approach.
“Our vision is to infuse the look and feel of Malaysia into our brand,” Faiz states. “We don’t want it to be too commercial.” Customers visit the studio by appointment only, and everything is personalized and made to order.
The company has been featured in a Yellow Pages Malaysia marketing exercise as an example of an inspiring success story that can be emulated by small-scale businesses nationwide.
To learn more about Attached Leather Co.’s latest collections, workshops and other updates, visit their Instagram @xattachedx.