Like every other industry sector, the demand for handmade leather products has seen its ups and downs. There is a resurgence in this sector over the last five years – with DIY leather enthusiasts and young entrepreneurs using niche brands of handmade leather products. Fashion houses are working on “niches” and “handmade” designs with a story. This the newest way to buy niche products. And it doesn’t necessarily mean small amounts – it is focused and thanks to the web, dealing with a global audience.
What Is Driving This Trend?
Consumers are always on the search for unusual items, and with DIY videos, enthusiasts are entering the fray. Tools are easily available online, and buying materials is easy. The only thing in the way is one’s imagination – whether it is wallets, card bags, handbags, belts, book covers, luggage. Concept-based businesses such as slippers and jewelry are also making inroads into the market with unique products.
Handmade leather products are unique and different from mass-produced items, primarily due to its texture. Handmade leather items are charming, and this is one reason why luxury brands do well. Handmade products sell quite well on online specialty retailers like Etsy.
Many well-known brands have captured the niche market by playing with words to name their products. Some enterprising leather artists offer products made with upcycled leather, and these are quite unique. Old products are not wasted; in fact, being small allows customization and personalizing the product and service.
Well, not all products are made entirely of handmade leather – some have leather accents, and these are unique too. Since many consumers tend toward veganism and want ethically sourced and crafted products, there is a niche for this as well. Products made with leather resembling material can be crafted to meet this demand. Many entrepreneurs in this area are struggling to scale up and stay true to the core brand values. What is evident is that consumer thought processes have changed. Many want handmade products which tell a story and reflect their view of the world – having to tell stories close to their hearts.
A lot of this is possible thanks to online marketplaces – many niche brands don’t have physical stores and still make their presence felt. Online stores are a great way to launch businesses, as the barriers are low and launch times are minimal.
Organic Growth Of The Handmade Leather Products Sector
With consumers active on social media, the growth of many brands has evolved organically. Brand owners believe in being accessible 24/7 on social media – one reason for this is a short customer attention span. Quality of service is a top concern for independent brands. The fact remains that if you serve a niche market, you must maintain the character of the business because there are other brands offering similar products. The key differentiator is service. One way to maintain market share is to take custom orders and deliver on the promised date. All in all, the market for customised products looks promising and seems to be trending that way.