If you like the sophisticated look of leather bags, here’s a shop in the city which can replicate a design that you have been eyeing for long
Have you been eyeing a sleek, cool leather bag that you came across in a fashion magazine and hoping to get it custom made from a local shop? Why not? A) It will be more affordable; B) You can get one made quickly without losing your sleep over where to source the designer bag from; and 3) You can head to work or the party, and flaunt your accessory to your friends or colleagues.
If you like the idea, you will find several manufacturers who customise leather bags in the city. One of them is Pashmina Leather Boutique, near Deccan Gymkhana. Opened by the Godbole brother-sister duo, Bhagyashree talks about their boutique and what prompted her and her brother Kishore to venture into this field.
She says, “We didn’t have any formal knowledge and education when it came to leather, it was my brother’s sheer love for leather that prompted us to get into manufacturing. Eventually after a lot of experience and faith that people showed in us, we have now successfully completed so many years. A lot of people around us also helped quite a lot and shared their knowledge with us.”
Starting out in 1997, they now make men’s portfolio bags, leather purses, sling bags, passport holders, credit card holders and much more. They usually work with pure leather, although, some items are manufactured in nylon or foam if they receive bulk orders.
Sharing more about the quality of leather and the price range, Godbole says, “For portfolios and heavy bags, we use buffalo leather which is used to make heavy duty bags like corporate ones while sheep leather is a little bit softer, so it is mostly used for purses or small bags. The price range for bigger bags is anywhere between Rs 3,500 and Rs 7,000. Purses and smaller bags start from Rs 1200.”
They have ample designs available at the store but they also offer customisation like side change, compartment change and much more. Customers also come up with various designs that they want to replicate and create a designer bag of their own.
But the customisation is easier said than done. Godbole explains that a lot of time, people make silly demands which can’t be executed. She adds, “Women are more choosy. For instance, if there is a twelve-inch bag available, they would want an eleven-and-a-half inch bag to be custom made. It is obviously not a major change in terms of size but if a particular design is in their head, they want it to be replicated. And if we reduce the size by half inch, they expect a huge price cut as well, which is not possible.”
When you walk into the store to get a bag customised, remember all designs in fancy material cannot be replicated in leather. Godbole says, “The problem is that the other bags you see in the market can have a certain design or shape or colour but with leather you can’t really get that fancy look. It is sleek, sophisticated, however, you can’t expect a leather bag to complete your party look.”
Ask her how to maintain a leather bag during the rainy season and she says, “If you keep any type of leather wet, it will quickly catch fungus. Usually, finished leather has a lateral finish, but to keep it away from fungus, it must be cleaned properly. Secondly even if you are not using your bag, take it out from time to time and try to keep in open air for a few hours.”