“Faire Leather Co. is also a vertically integrated company. This means they run and own their factory – the same factory that has produced for several luxury brands. This allows the company to produce and develop products without having to pass on the hefty prices of design costs to their consumers.”
polished exteriors, premium leather
With us, it's the same standards at unrivalled prices.
We usually try to do blog updates once week or as much as we can because we like to keep everyone updated on everything related to the brand. Today I thought it was fitting to write this as a letter - and an open one to all of you. When Joe and I conceptualised the product, it began as a favour to a friend, where I was just offering my humble opinion. I thought I was just, helping out.
As time grew, so did my interest in the project. With each prototype, I saw the work that goes into what makes a bag. I saw how our conversations with friends or strangers helped to fine-tune the briefcase as we finally got to the final sample. Before I knew it, we hadn’t just created a product, we’d built a brand.
I had a day job at the time, working in the F&B industry as a marketing guy. My hours were friendly, I had a good boss, and a great set of colleagues. I had been doing well and it looked like I was on course for a promotion. So when we launched in November and Joe said, “I might need you to quit and help me out here.”,
My answer was a flat no.
This changed very quickly throughout the course of our Kickstarter campaign. Sleepless nights, talking to customers and backers from all over the world and mapping out what we would do following the campaign was a tall order, but one that I enjoyed thoroughly.
It’s been one year since we launched Faire Leather Co.. In the last year, we’ve had several achievements and I just wanted to provide you with a brief look at what’s gone down in our first year.
Being invited by Glenlivet to participate in their Founders edition event
Making it as the most funded Kickstarter campaign in Singapore then
The release of more products including our popular Specter Bifold Wallet with Cardholder, Dress Belts, Cable organisers and our leather care kit
Successful crowdfunding launches into Taiwan and Japan
Expanding our presence into TANGS Singapore, METRO Singapore and Takashimaya Vietnam
Introducing our pre-order and back order modules to better gauge inventory and make what you truly want and need
Expanding our presence into Wolf & Badger, New York
Hitting a $1,000,000 in sales within 10 months
Releasing the Bond Slim Briefcase
Expanding our presence into London, Berlin, Dublin, Copenhagen and Amsterdam via Smartech
But amongst it all, I’ve been lucky to earn a hardworking team that’s been with us from day one. Trust me when I say we’ve got an exciting lineup of events to come and I promise it will be in everyone’s interest to watch this space.
Thank you for supporting us, it is through all of you that Faire Leather Co. is what it is today. Here’s to many years to come.
Since launching the Bond collection on Kickstarter, we have received several requests to make a smaller version of our luxury travel bag: the Bond Travel Briefcase – it seems that some of you are willing to accept a briefcase with reduced function in exchange for a lighter, slimmer briefcase, and we thought that it was a pretty good idea! Consequently, we have launched the Bond Slim Briefcase.
We designed this product to be the ultimate sleek briefcase for men, especially those working in a corporate environment – it has features such as pen holders, a laptop compartment and a business card compartment (with a pull tab for easy access). In addition to the laptop compartment, it also has compartments for your mobile phone and tab organisers for cables of varying sizes, making it a great leather tech organiser.
There are several built-in functions that make this product similar to our luxury travel bag: The Bond Travel Briefcase - it features a trolley slot strap that fits perfectly onto your carry-on luggage and a back pocket that is sized for passports (and most mobile phones) for easy access to these items as you transition from an airport’s check-in counter through to immigration and finally your boarding gate.
We have also provided you with the same handy sleeves to organise and protect mobile phone pins and SD/SIM cards.
If you wish to understand the differences further, we’ve created a more detailed comparison between the two briefcases on our Comparison Guide page. I hope it helps provide a clearer picture for you to weigh out the both of them and decide on which one is more suited for you! I believe that neither product is better than the other, since we created both products to fit different needs and preferences. I hope you guys will like our latest addition to the Bond family and thank you for your support. Keep those suggestions coming – you know how to find us.
SHOP: The Bond Slim Briefcase
BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE
Most of you may not know who I am (until now that is). I am Mel, COO of Faire Leather Co. - and that liner you see above has been my personal motto for as long as I can remember identifying with one.
A Typical Day @ Work
On a “typical” day, I cover an array of daily duties including keep tabs on our inventory levels, shipping efficiencies, P&L, as well as purchasing timelines just to name a few. As we speak, I’m working on improving our ERP system for real-time updates across multiple platforms and tools that we utilise. Recently, I’ve also taken on customer service with an aim to keep our response times within 48 hours, and our quality control in check.
As a feedback-aware brand entering the highly-competitive marketplace, we promised ourselves to rise above by not only creating stellar products like luxury travel bags, leather tech organizers and slim leather wallets to help you organize your daily lives, but also never forgetting that our customers (before and/or after the purchases) will always be our utmost priority, and a key factor to our long-term success.
The “busy-ness” does come in waves, and sometimes you don’t even know what hit you! (See what I did there?) Yet that’s really what keeps this role exciting - there are never two days that round up too similar, which really keeps things dynamic.
Other Areas of Work
From time-to-time, I also sit-in for our Product Development meetings, contributing with my past experience as well as ensuring that we optimise our packaging for cross-border shipping. This is not a typical focus for a Product meeting, but it is when I am there! This ensures that we don’t have to factor a huge percentage just to cover the shipping costs. This is done, of course, with no compromise on the functionality or design of the product(s).
I also partake in our external meetings with potential collaborators and partners, understanding their business strategies and goals, and aligning them with ours for synergy.
All Rainbows & Butterflies?
Anyone who tells you Yes is probably lying :)
One of the most difficult (and less typical) parts of eCommerce-based businesses providing Products which most might not know of, is Logistics and Fulfilment. For one, without a clear picture of the options, lead-times, potential hidden costs, as well as pros and cons of each option, costs could spiral out of control even before you know it. Additionally, any inability to optimise these options based on factors such as product weight & size, customers’ geographical locations as well as any special requirements could lead to much frustration for both the brand and customers alike.
As such, the first major task I took on was to understand the options we had, crunch the numbers, run a few rounds of negotiations, and pick the right ones for us. Between our first batch of fulfilment and the next few, we managed to reduce our shipping costs by a significant percentage, thereby allowing us to raise prices at a much slower rate than our costs were increasing.
Rule of Thumb
I always bear in mind that I am a consumer too - and in every decision, I contemplate. Will our customers be alright with this? Will they understand? What can we do to make it better?
Despite our carefully thought through processes and efforts, we do still face (some) customers who tend to get nasty; and I admittedly get personally affected because I know for a fact that we were doing absolutely whatever we could to optimise the purchase journey, including staying up till the other side of the globe woke up for the day just so we wouldn’t have to wait another day to process things. At times, I questioned why I was working so hard…
Above all that though, are the positive encouragements from other customers, family and friends, and the support from the Faire team that make the tough times worth it, and keeps us going and striving for more.
The Road that lies Ahead
There is no telling what lies ahead with absolute certainty, but I do know that the team will continue to work tirelessly to bring you more functional luxury at a fair price, along with outstanding service and communication.
Whilst striving to excel at this role, I will also strive to leave my laptop temporarily (please understand if I disappear for awhile!) to sneak in a Zumba class or two, join my Dragonboat team for a training session, or read a book to regroup my thoughts as I strive to excel in living Life as well.
For there is a wise Chinese saying - 休息是为了走更长远的路 - that reminds us that we rest for the continuance of the longer journey ahead.
Wishing you good health and happiness always,
Prior to Faire, Melissa Kay Soh (Mel) was Head of Brands Development at the Y Ventures Group (Joint Venture partner of Faire) managing the Amazon (North America) business unit through the value chain; she was also part of the key team leading multiple brand projects, including the launch of Faire Leather Co. via Kickstarter.
In the early years of her career journey upon graduation, Mel honed her skills in the areas of Product Development, Channel Management and Business Development.
Mel holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accountancy and Marketing from Singapore Management University.
Remember the Specter Slim Card Wallet? We created it almost a year ago and launched it on Kickstarter along with the Bond Travel Briefcase and Bond Everyday Padfolio, and we got really good feedback on it. Hence, we decided to make another version to accommodate slightly different needs.
Presenting: The Specter Card Wallet with Coin Pouch.
Like the Specter Card Wallet, it fits your cash and essential cards, with an external slot to accommodate receipts and business cards; also designed to fit perfectly into the pull-tab slots of our our luxury travel bag: Bond Travel Briefcase and leather tech organizer: Bond Everyday Padfolio
But unlike the Specter Card Wallet, there is also a zip compartment for coins and even a built-in keyring, whilst keeping in line with our usual sleek, minimalist design. Hope you guys like it.
Leather is essentially skin – it has natural oils that will dry out and get damaged when exposed to environmental elements. Hence, caring and maintaining your Faire Leather Co. product is important if you want it to remain in pristine condition for years to come.