“I have a small but perfectly formed work space.”
Max’s perfectionist attitude was key to his success. Reluctant to do anything half-heartedly, he turned a friend’s two-week hobby into a business. Three years on, his British leather goods brand is growing vastly in popularity. Rawhide Custom only use British veg-tanned leather, sourced from a small-town tannery in England, as well as fastenings tried and tested in the UK and USA. Whilst creating bespoke, hard-wearing products, the emphasis is all on quality.
A true Northern soul, Max is comfortable in the North West. The hotbed of friendly, like-minded makers means it’s a perfect place for aspiring entrepreneurs, ready to give advice as well as receive it. However, building upon his brand ethos he believes a store in London would very much suit the Made in Britain aesthetic and he is open-minded about moving down there in the future.
“Small but perfectly formed” is the eloquent phrase Max uses to describe his petit workspace. Housed in the huge, industrial warehouse on North Docks, Liverpool, his studio is a compact wooden cube, attached to a series of other similar makeshift offices. It appears sparse but containing all the necessities for a practicing leather craftsman; a calico banner proclaiming the brand’s logo strung up on the main wall decorating the space.
Do you have any desire to move to London?
“I think long term that would be ideal. A lot of the stuff I make plays upon the British materials and techniques so having a shop in London would be great. It’s a lot friendlier up North though, even just from brief conversations in London you seem to get a lot more closed doors and everything is almost kept within a circle. In Liverpool, it seems a bit more open.
Around ninety percent of the other makers filling the space are male, a ratio which in Max’s eyes reflects the industry. However, it does seem to be changing. More and more females are signing up for studios in the warehouse and the phrase “a man’s job” is becoming obsolete.
In the future, the charismatic maker plans to carry on expanding his business, however is adamant the quality must remain key. Unwilling to lose the handwritten notes and small touches which make his brand unique, Max is adamant they will remain indefinitely. He is currently focusing all attention on attaining stockists to carry his products on a regular basis, hoping to spark stores’ interests with his high-quality, traditional accessories.
It’s a lot friendlier up North though
Megan Storey, the writer of this trendous article, is a fashion communication student at Liverpool John Moore’s University. She’s worked with a number of magazines across the UK and has a passion for arts, culture and fashion. Check out her full portfolio here
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