The best thing about my business as a Canadian leather company isn't what I create, or what medium I work with. It is you. My clients, my friends and my community. You include me in some of the best and most cherished moments of your life and love story through what I create and for that, I am so grateful.
I remember getting a call from Tarun, a new client who had just purchased a messenger bag a week away from Christmas. My first thought during the busiest season of the year is, can I manage this in time to keep everyone happy? I was concerned I would have to deliver this bag after the holidays, and while many understand the handcrafted nature, I'm a people pleaser as many entrepreneurs are, and keeping everyone as happy as possible is my first priority.
In his call, Tarun mentioned how he had meant to buy this bag for Karolina, his girlfriend, for years. This was their second Christmas season together in Canada after they immigrated from India and Poland, and he wanted this bag to commemorate their new life together. While I usually try to put on a cool front, gushy love stories like these always get me.
Due to COVID, leather has been far more difficult to source as tanneries have greatly reduced their output to accommodate health and safety regulations. I was short on my oxblood leather, the colour of bag that they wanted. I rolled out my last hide and as I made my cuts I was down to the very last inch. Seriously, I was terrified I couldn't do it, but I JUST got this bag in. This was kismet and I was so adamant on getting this out in time to celebrate their beshert love.
After the holidays I connected with Tarun and Karolina and we got to talking about their story. A story of love, commitment, kindness and connection through years of a long-distance, finally united. By now, they are more than customers, true friends and kindred spirits.
The following is their story as written by Tarun.
The story dates back to 2019 when I was in a long distance with the love of my life; Karolina. She was in Poland and I was in India.
As every other long distance couple, we used to exchange a lot of media over phone. I vividly remember her showing me this lovely bag on Pinterest. She was in complete awe from the moment she laid her eyes on it. Being the minimalist that she is, there was no mention of her even wanting it.
I’m a spendthrift by comparison and after a lot of hunting on the internet, I found out that bag was from this amazing brand “Sadelmager” which was based out of Canada.
I used to visit Karolina for Christmas and I thought of gifting her this bag. Unfortunately, the logistics were tough to beat. I was in India, the bag was in Canada, the lady was in Poland, and there was a dearth of time since I worked long hours. Unfortunately, I had to give up this idea for the time being.
While in India, I had applied for immigration to Canada and I made a promise to myself that I will not only go to Canada, but I will also be successful enough to purchase a premium bag and gift it the way I always wanted to.
Fast forward December of 2020, caught between work and just days before Christmas, I placed the order online but due to some technical glitch, I did not get a confirmation email. I wasn’t even sure if Sadelmager was still operational as a lot of businesses either shut down or ceased operations due to the pandemic.
In hindsight, that technical glitch was a blessing in disguise as it led me to directly contact Rebecca who owns the brand and she was more than delightful to assist me with the order. She even offered me a complimentary embossing of a nickname that I have for Karolina inside the bag! The best part, I got the bag all wrapped beautifully, just a day or two before Christmas Eve!
This bag is not just a fantastic product in itself but also has a very emotional spot in our hearts. It is symbolic of a promise that was kept and reaffirmation of my belief that no matter what you set your heart to, you can have it.
I love hearing stories like these an I am so blessed that you include me in your community and in your life as a sustainable leather shop in Toronto.