“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” ~ Ernest Hemingway
The Brand Game
As a fashionista in a consumerist world, we are all guilty of getting caught up in the labels. Prada, Gucci, Fendi, Chloë, the list goes on. I get it. In some cases, it isn’t the fact that it is the name brand as much, as it is YOU KNOW the quality of said brand. You KNOW the ins and outs and whether or not it will last for years to come. Yet, sometimes you have to look beyond the big names and look to the small businesses.
Many times- most times it is those companies where you not only find a hidden gem of quality, dedication, and products that cause people to stop and take notice, but you become a customer for life.
Which is where Cogliano Leatherworks comes in.
Cogliano Leather Works
Disclaimer: for the sake of honesty he is a good friend, but I promise, he didn’t pay me to write this review (though if he wanted to give me another bag as a thank you I wouldn’t say no for slaving over the twenty minutes it took for me to write this….just saying…) In fact if the bags really did suck, I probably wouldn’t be writing a review. I do value friendship over my writing career. But they don’t, so both my friendship and career are safe!
Joking aside, anyone who knows me, knows how much I love to support small businesses. From my coffee habits, to my jewelry addiction, it is those independently owned companies that have won me over making me a patron for life.
Cogliano Leatherworks was founded and run by the one man team (with some really cute apprentices) of Rich Cogliano. A leather aficionado, he began looking into making bags, when a company he loved had raised their prices so astronomically, that the WHO spending habits looked cheap. Rich wanted to create something that was stylish, well made, and yet still affordable. In a world where it is all about the bottom dollar, he is someone who like any artist, wants to share his talents with people. No one need sell a kidney here!
Located in Vermont the materials he uses are all locally sourced through out New England. Buying Acadia leather from Maine, every step in the bag making process from the waxing, treatment, and hand-stitching is done personally by him, by hand. Not a single detail is missed by him. These bags really are infused with all the love and passion he has for his craft.
He not only knows his shizzle, but he has a style that markets well not just with the fashionista, but the consumer who wants a solid, sophisticated product to use every day. After all you do not want to buy something that falls apart no matter how coveted. His bags are not only well made, he also has a warranty that surpasses the years Titanic has been sunk! Score! It is great to know a seller stands behind his product and Cogliano Leatherworks DOES.
The Every Day Tote
I started coveting his totes after I stopped at his studio one day this past Winter. Made from a variety of full grain colored leathers, no two totes are exactly the same. With a built in pocket, suited for an iPad, they are the perfect every day bag. You can literally fit your whole kitchen sink in it and it will not break. Believe me I have already tried!
As a bridesmaid’s gift, each of us was given a Cogliano Leatherworks tote bag and I admit I might have fanned girled when I saw it. Coveting no more because I now own one! Working with our favorite colors, he had made a beautiful cerulean blue tote in his signature style for me. It really was perfect.
But it doesn’t stop there. He doesn’t just make totes, but coffee sleeves, travel cases, iPad covers and more. If your heart can dream it and you ask him, he will create it. Okay that was a really corny tag line….Sorry Rich.
Corny tagline aside, with Father’s Day right around the corner, his leather products make the perfect gifts, customizable, unique, and at a reasonable price.