About this project
The Campaign has Ended !
Thank you to All Backers & Kickstarter.
This has been one of the most rewarding experience of our careers. It is the first time we have been so close and personal to you, good people and leather lovers.
Our seed money for establishing the workshop is important but not as important as all we have learned from you, our backers, about what you want and how to conduct a KS Campaign.
We expected to get seed money from this campaign and we got that and much more, your feedback and guidance. Thank you for both.
Dont worry about production, that's what comes easy to us, we have done this before, unlike KS Campaigns.
After all said and done, WOW!, thumbs up to you, we will definitely be doing this again.
Have a good one,
The grateful Harmattan Team.
PS: We have a beer to celebrate, then work, for you, with pleasure.
Oh, and, update, we will give you a progress report each week.
Who are we?
We are designers / entrepreneurs on our first foray into a self-produced / manufactured line of leather items. We used to do product design for others, mainly for manufacturers, so we have a lot of experience doing this. Only this time, we're doing it for our own ends, by our own rules. This time, quality & craft above all else.
Purpose of Harmattan
Working for others, in this industry, can be quite frustrating if you mean to excel. What we mean is, that the industrial manufacturer will require that the bag look expensive / qualitative (not necessarily be that ) and be as cheap as possible to manufacture as the overriding requirement. Even some bags that go north of 500 $ fall withing this category.
We got tired of this type of manufacturing and decided we wanted the chance to do the best that can be done. We discovered that no such chance existed and thus decided to create it.
This is HARMATTAN, our chance to excel.
Inspired by ...
We have tried to recreate the ageless look of the classic leather bag. This type of design has been around for more than a century and has always maintained itself as a standard of elegance.
The memories most of us have of grandfathers include bags like these. By lasting as long as they do, these items became an inseparable attachment for the owner. They create memories and get passed from one generation to the next.
The Difference in Harmattan
The difference, aside from the look, is that we have maximized quality in all aspects. The fittings are nickel plated cast iron and simple, unbreakable. The thread is polyester, the strongest. The leather is full-grain bovine leather, 7.5 Oz. (3 times thicker than normal ). We use vegetable tanning, a classic technique that yields the strongest leather and is also eco-friendly. This level of quality is so rarely used that we have had to custom order it in Italy at one of the few tanneries that still produce it.
We offer Lifetime Warranty as a token of quality.
Kickstarter & PRICING
When we designed these bags, the production cost was not a factor. We initially thought that we will end up with a selling price of around 500 $. That will happen when we jump to mainstream retail . We estimate a post-KS MRSP of 300 $ for the smaller designs and about 500 $ for the messengers and duffle.
Kickstarter is giving us the chance to cut out all the middlemen and offer our products at a decent price. This opportunity to couple affordability with design and quality has been a blessing. We would much prefer to sell these bags for less if possible. We want our products to go to people that appreciate them, regardless of budget.
Below, Our 14 Models, Specs, Prices & Details
NO CUSTOMS / Sales Tax for US & EU
New Reward, by backer demand, an interior organiser for the messengers, we are offering it at production cost to make up for not having it in the first place and to say thank you for being funded.
Add 45 $ to your pledge and an organiser will be added to your package.
Interior organisers tend not to last the decades that a bag does regardless of the construction quality. The trade-off we accepted in designing these bags is that we have made simple interiors in order to be able to offer Lifetime Warranty.
A simple messenger in the content configuration we have put together above will hold a 13" or 15" laptop & charger, mouse, a large book, a small and thicker book, a notebook, sunglasses, wallet, phone, belt, compass and a can of leather wax.
A double messenger will hold the same content plus an SLR camera & 50 mm lens (SLR's are not as thick as DSLR's).
All non-messenger products have simple interiors similar to the simple messengers. All pockets and compartments will be evident from the exterior product pictures.Production Schedule and Delivery
We have made the prototypes you have seen above using the exact same process that we will use for mass production so we have a very precise idea of what to expect once our project is funded. This set us apart from most of Kickstarter project and ensures that you will receive your reward in a timely manner.
Week 1 - Sort out payment into company bank account / Order Leather / Fittings / Packaging.
Week 2 - Travel to Italy for selection of each hide by hand.
Week 3 - Wait for Leather to arrive, sort out and inspect packaging and fitting deliveries.
Week 4,5,6,7 - Leather Reception / Cutting & Assembly
Week 8 - Packaging & Final QC
Week 9,10 - Delay Buffer
Week 11 - Start Shipping
Things To Consider
Almost all bags are made like shown above. Thin leather on the exterior, padding on the inside and cardboard or other reinforcing materials in between. The leather seems thick because of the cardboard that it's glued to. That's a construction trick that makes you think you have a real bag. If the padding does not tear first, the leather will, the first time it receives a serious scratch. To make things worst, 95% of the leather out there is Chromium tanned rather than vegetable tanned. Chromium tanning is much cheaper but decreases the resistance of the leather and is also toxic. Leather is priced according to thickness so thin leather makes for cheaper manufacturing cost as does the low quality of thread and fittings. All these thing are not easy to identify if you are not in the industry.
As I have said, the point is to excel in each and every aspect. We use the thickest leather that can be sewn, 7.5 Oz, that's X3 thicker than the usual leather used in bags, it is as thick as the leather, cardboard and padding put together. That means that no scratch will tear it and it also means that it will not become brittle with age. Part of its durability comes from the fact that it is vegetable tanned, a method rarely used these days because it takes longer and it is more expensive. We prefer it because it adds strength and it is eco-friendly.
A bag is only as strong as its weakest component. That's why we use no padding, the simplest and most rugged fittings and the best thread available.
The people that put these bags together have decades of experience and have worked for renowned brands (I don't think I can mention the names here) they have put bags together that go for 1 to 2 thousand dollars per piece so they are used to the level of quality we require of them.
Even so, anyone can make mistakes. To ensure that no bag will ever be returned to us for defects, we have 3 different levels of quality control. One is at the level of each individual piece of leather purchased and cut, the second is at the point of assembly and the third happens once the whole package is put together for shipping.
We are very confident in the quality we produce. We offer Lifetime Warranty. If your bag has an accident outside of a manufacturing defect, we will repair it for a small shop fee. Customer will be responsible for shipping fees to and from in both cases.
We take pride in ensuring that our products excel in every aspect, including packaging. The package will include all components of the bag, an owner's card, a leather sample for testing leather treatments, the dust bag and a label in the form of a key fob. The box itself is sturdy and is intended to be kept as a storage box. We don't believe in wasteful living.
For our Kickstarter campaign, we will engrave your name and a thank you message by default. If you wish to have another name engraved or nothing at all, please specify.
Once you receive your bag, it will be as shown in all our presentation images. That is the lightest color it will ever be. Once you are in possession of your bag you can apply a large variety of treatments that can darken it to various degrees. Wax will darken it the least while oils will darken it the most. We recommend trying these treatments on the leather sample found in each package first. We also recommend applying moisturizing treatment at least every 3 months to keep the leather hydrated and in good shape. Time will add character to your bag, it will only get better with time. Enjoy it and take care of it so that your grandchildren will have the opportunity to do the same.
Risks and challenges
We have one major advantage over most of the projects on KS. We have produced our generous line of prototypes using the exact same process that will be employed in large scale production.
However, there are always things that can go wrong:
Leather Supplier: We have been assured that we can have our custom leather in any quantity in 21 days, the tannery is reputable, but we may still encounter delays that will only be evident once we place the actual order. The maximum delay that we have calculated for this eventuality is 14 days.
Other Suppliers: The fittings are very important and we will have them on the spot upon funding end date. We have not had issues with faulty fittings but one never knows. Reordering in the cause of faulty fittings will incur a 5-day delay.
Assembly Workshop: The maximum production capacity of the workshop is 2000 items / month although that can be extended. We are prepared for any number of orders, but there is the possibility of having delays here but no more than a week or two.
We have reserved 2 weeks spare time in our schedule for all possible delays.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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