My husband and I have a common love for quality leather finds. While we’re certainly not fans of name brands with their inflated prices and mass appeal, we love leather items known for good craftsmanship and high standards in materials. Products that will look even better with years of use. Which is why I was thrilled when he recently discovered The Tannery Manila: a local leather company that makes an assortment of bags to fit the lifestyles of both men and women. Their bags are reasonably priced and are made from the stuff you know will last.
The Tannery Manila were kind enough to send over a number of their bags for us to photograph and review. I also asked Macy Lazaro, co-founder & marketing manager of the brand, a few questions about their well-run business. We snapped these pics over a hot Sunday a few weeks ago. I hope you enjoy our attempts at fashion blogging.
Hi Macy, Who are the people behind the Tannery Manila?
If we date back to history, the Tannery comes from a long line of leather makers, dating back to 1901 as started by the Hermoso Family. Currently, fourth generation siblings, Mariel and Macy Lazaro (that’s me) are partners in re-inventing the leather business, focusing on leather products, such as bags and accessories more than the leather material, which has part of their family’s legacy.
Where are the materials from? Where are the bags produced?
The materials or raw hides come as a by-product of the food industry of the Philippines. Raw hides come from different parts of the archipelago, Luzon being a main source of raw materials. They are brought to the Tannery, where they are further processed and after which, made into bags. At the Tannery, we innovate both the leather material design and develop finished products.
Who creates your designs? How often do designs change?
Mariel and I are partners both in business and in product development. Coming from a Chemistry background, Mariel is in charge of developing leather and finishing. Mariel works with leather technicians from Spain, Europe, and Indonesia to come up with the latest leather finishing to keep updated with global trends. I, on the other hand, graduated with a design course and is in charge of the brand and the products developed. I have an eye for current trends and incorporates this to the styles that we develop. While the products we make are often exported to Germany, Japan, Australia, I like to adapts the bags to best fit to local market.
What makes Tannery Manila different from other local leather brands?
Tannery is 100% home-grown brand. From the material to the product assembly, everything is manufactured in house. We are not just leather bags artisans, we pride ourselves of being leather experts. Our service is not just limited to the product, but in after sales. We try to inform our clients of how they can maintain their leather bags. We also offer warranties to our products, since we have our leather factory and bag workshop to resolve bag problems that our clients may encounter. We are not just about the product, we are also about the service after.
How are you able to keep quality good, but prices fairly reasonable?
We have been in the bag-making business for quite some time, and in the leather business for far longer. Working with a lot of clients and different types of customers, we have an eye of what our quality standards should be.
What are your best sellers?
For our ladies, the Kiss handbag is our best seller –it’s one of our more trendier shape.. Men’s styles, we have an assortment to choose from, its hard to choose best sellers, as the taste of the market really vary depending on their age, need and lifestyle. For unisex options, we have the Jane travel bag and the Jervin leather envelope.
If a woman where to have just one leather bag, what bag should she have? In what color?
A must-have would probably be that one bag that fits all the clutter she brings. It depends on her lifestyle and preference but a stylish handbag for the office and more dressier occasions and handy carry-all, such as as oversize tote bag, are two essentials. Between the two, if you can only have one at a time, go for a basic leather tote as you can use it when you travel, at the office, when you run errands —so basically everyday. A durable leather tote bag is always something you can rely on and will never go out of style, even years from your purchase.
How about for a guy?
It depends, but most of our clients have the luxury of travel, a good durable duffle bag should be in your priority list. We have Chico, Mathel, and Krouger as options. You are best represented by the clothes you wear, and even the bags you carry. A leather duffle bag will be a good travel buddy that can best represent either your sophisticated style or your rugged exterior. If you are a working professional, a good satchel or messenger bag will also do well, and not just to carry all your papers, laptop, and gadgets, but also to represent your good taste.
Do you sell your products abroad?
Yes, we have been exporting our products abroad, longer than we have launched our brand locally. We ship to Germany, Japan, Australia and join both international and local export fairs. We are regular attendees of Manila Fame which happens twice a year, at March and October. This is where we preview new collection, colors, and products. Do you offer custom-made products? Yes. We accept custom-made requests for personal needs and also corporate orders for giveaways and gift ideas.
You have a quite a few designs to choose from, where can people see your products?
We plan to open a store really soon. As of the moment though, we are limited to our online website (www.thetannerymanila.com) and our line up of events. We hold private sales four times a year and are regular participants of the Manila Fame Trade Show in SMX. We ask our followers, to pre-register so that we can update them with online flash sales and next events.
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