Meeting ‘High On Leather': A Handbag Brand with a Twist

Bagstowear Messenger Bags for Men
Messenger Bags for Men

Autumn has already made its few statements ‘borrowed’ by the fashion vibes whereby new colour schemes have made their way through both catwalks and our wardrobes. We all have at least a few items of brown, perhaps a few bordeaux (the famous ‘wine’ colour) and wishing for the most recent colour hit of this season – marsala.

I’ve come across this accessory-making high quality leather brand a few weeks back when the colour matches and the vintage looks of their bags inspired me to invite them over for an online interview so that you, our readers could meet them too!

 

Quality Vintage-looking Leather at Wholesale Prices..

Find out from our interview below how has this project turned out into a standalone venture in its own right and now – showing full swing dynamics, based on consistent demand, particularly from the US market.

Before we dive into our interview session below have a look at the photos made precisely to showcase the diverse ranges, both for men and women:

Bagstowear_Leather-Duffel-Bag

Leather Duffel Bag, Now on Wholesale Prices, from $90. previously – from $150. Offer Ends 30th November 2015

 

To shop the collection, click here

 

Bagstowear_Retro_Leather_Duffle_Bag_22

RETRO LEATHER DUFFLE BAG 22″. Now: $112.

 

Bagstowear Messenger Bags for Men

Messenger Bags for Men, Now: from $85. Offer Ends Nov 30th, 2015

 

Bagstowear_Leather Duffel Bags Collection

Leather Duffel Bags Collection from $90

 

Leather Bags Collection for Women:

 

Bagstowear_Crossbody Messenger Bag for Women

Crossbody Messenger Bag for Women, $85

 

Bagstowear_Leather_Duffel_Bag-for-Women

Leather Duffel Bag for Women

 

Here’s what we’ve been discussing and what has particularly stirred our interest:

@BTW:

Please tell us a little about yourself: your background. In one of your interviews you’ve mentioned you’ve been an online marketeer for years now. How have you changed your career now to become a manufacturer and retailer of leather vintage-looking handbags? Where from have you come up with the idea of bag-making business? 

Ishmeet, High on Leather:

I have worked previously in with Startups, big MNC chains like Indiabulls and recently Shopify. I was always part of ecommerce department while digital marketing was one thing which always kept me interested for years now. However I’ve also found myself pationate about Leather Crafting and Wooden Crafting. I wasn’t thinking of setting up my own venture but as a Marketing Head in my last company I was handling the whole process of 2 ecommerce websites.

When once I was on my leave one of my closest friend Aneela Henry (who initially co founded the brand with me) has introduced me to leather bags manufacturing and I got the Idea of selling them abroad on a larger scale. As soon as I went back from holidays I resigned from my past company and have started making my own ecommerce website. Since then I have been adding different manufacturers across the globe who can provide me good quality leather bags at affordable price ranges.

@BTW:

What has prompted you to make your career change and what has been your greatest achievement in your new professional adventure? 

Ishmeet, High on Leather:

I was never sure of what I was doing within the first 2 months but I was sure of one thing: that when you quit working for sometime, its not like you have lost your skills or capabilities. You always have an option of finding a good job if your startup doesn’t work. Well for me it worked pretty fine and after first 2 months I was getting 3 times the size of my past salary and hence, I never took any other career turn.

@BTW:

Every new venture has its big days and ..not so big ones, we’re usually referring to these as learning curves. What were these for you so far? Your biggest challenges to date?

Ishmeet, High on Leather:

Well, when starting up a new venture people are less willing to trust your brand at the beginning and yet, why shouldn’t they? If a brand is selling a leather briefcase for $85 including free shipping which other retailers are selling similar quality products for twice as much people start thinking that the 1st brand might be of cheaper quality. It took us some time before customers have started to appreciate the quality leaving strong positive reviews online which has helped increase our brand credibility.

@BTW:

According to recent industry estimates about 65% of all leather bags are made of cow leather and only 9% made of more softer, goat leather, often known as Maroccan leather. You’ve previously mentioned that you’re a great advocate of quality leather bags. How are you choosing your fabrics? What are your main quality filters?

Ishmeet, High on Leather:

Well to our surprise that is what we thought that people love Cowhide or Buffalo hide instead of Goat Leather but our sales results have showed otherwise. The maximum order we or our resellers receive are of Goat Leather bags. For goat leather we have chosen a very different tannery from other competitors. Although this comes at a higher cost thanks to the word of mouth of our customers, we still manage to top it. Our tannery washes the leather atleast 6 times so that we can get rid of the leather smell and produce a very mild look and feel for our bags. Our leather looks thick and a little heavier then other goat leather bags which them more durable and well-resistant to scratches. For cowhide we have also chosen the best tanneries which provide for us full grained leather to design our creative bag ranges.

@BTW:

For almost every designer we’re interviewing there’s a question we’re asking about eco-trading. In your case you’ve actually mentioned previously that your bags are eco-friendly. What makes you say that?

Ishmeet, High on Leather:

Well, High On Leather uses adopts one basic strategy to make leather bags. We do not use any chemicals or any other materials which are harmful for environment instead we do the vegetable oil tanning to our bags which makes them look more vintage and rustic . Here’s a link on our blog which describes the eco friendly process in a little more detail:(http://highonleather.com/blogs/all-about-leather-bags/19103044-eco-friendly-leather-bags)

@BTW:

Who are your regular buyers they and why are your bags appealing to them?

Ishmeet, High on Leather:

Our target audience finds both genders from the age of 16 and goes up to 60 as our bags are made litterally.. for everyone! We have school backpacks, college bags, camera bags and all other bags that are related to certain professions. Every bag we have is made of 100% real leather and anyone who looks for plain and decent bags in distinct design is most welcome to join our audience.

@BTW:

Traditional belief is that female shoppers are more fashion-conscious than their male counterparts. On your site though Men’s Collection tab goes first followed by Women’s collection (for many retailers is the reverse). Why is that in your case? Would you say male users are your key audience? Do they tend to buy more bags than your female clients? 

Ishmeet, High on Leather:

Our bestselling bags are from the messenger and duffel categories. Although we get lot of orders for women bags still the maximum number of orders are for briefcases and messengers. Maybe that is the reason why you’ll see the majority of blog referencing to our site for men’s bags.

@BTW:

Now back to beauty & styling which has brought us to you in the first place: who is your style icon and who is your creative mind styling the shape and looks of your handbags?

Ishmeet, High on Leather:

Any celebrity who loves to carry a messenger bag or a satchel with formal clothing would be our style icon. We saw a lot of celebrities who carry Plain Leather Bags like ours in their daily life like Carmen Diaz, David Beckham and Brad Goreski.

@BTW:

Let’s go ‘behind-the-scenes': tell us a little about your team and how is a working day looking like? what do you start it with and how do you end it?

Ishmeet, High on Leather:

As we are located in India, I personally have to wake up most nights to coordinate with US timings. Other than that my content writers, social media people and Bag Makers work on regular Indian Timings. We have many freelancers working for us regularly as well while sometimes we have leather bag making workshops for our team whereto the coaches usually travels from different countries.

Bagstowear-Behind the Scene @High On Leather

Bagstowear – Behind the Scene @High On Leather

 

@BTW:

What’s your preferred model for men and why?

Ishmeet, High on Leather:

If you are someone who wants a leather bag for office or something that goes with formal, I would suggest Brown Leather Satchel( http://highonleather.com/products/brown-leather-briefcase). However, if you are looking for a regular casual bag then my personal favourite would be Vintage Brown Leather Messenger Bag (http://highonleather.com/products/vintage-leather-messenger) as this one is the highest selling bag and this is the bag from where I got the idea of selling leather bags. I still personally carry the one which I bought first time when I saw these leather bags last year. ;)

@BTW:

Ishmeet, High on Leather:

For women’s I would suggest my personal favourite Plain Brown Leather Tote (http://highonleather.com/products/plain-brown-leather-tote) as it is made of Cowhide which makes the bag stronger than any other normal bag but it is very light in weight so it can be carried for all purposes.

 

Here we go! I hope you’ve enjoyed our chat with Ishmeet whose drive for his new venture has helped him cross borders and slash prices which previously were not as much of a common practice for many retailers of similar product choices. It’s been certainly a surprise for us when we’ve checked his website and collections!

One thing I hope: that Ishmeet keeps producing good quality leather bags at tiny, cute & affordable prices, after all – we all love making deals and when it’s a ‘win-win’ for everyone why not jump on the right wagon if it’s arrived at your station?

Absolutely chuffed when discovering new handbag ventures worth spreading the word about!

Yours,

Amy Lloyds & Nadya Birca @Bagstowear

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