THE BACKWARD VENDOR
Where are you based?
Unit 23, Gossamer City Project,
We craft all of our products and run our workshops from our studio in Hackney. Feel free to pop in, just send an email before you come at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are your products sustainable?
Leather is surprisingly more sustainable than one would think. We use vegetable tanned leather meaning our leather is coloured naturally. Furthermore, our leather is of the highest quality so our products are guaranteed to last. Leather is a much better natural alternative to synthetic fabrics which contribute to pollution, are not durable, and will never fully decompose.
Besides our leather, we source deadstock and vintage fabrics, using resources that already exist to us rather than creating more waste.
Workshops are run by experienced leather artisan and founder of the Backward Vendor April Mai. April is dedicated to sharing her love for leather with her students, helping them learn invaluable skills, and watching them create gorgeous products that last for years to come.
What sort of products can I make in your workshops?
Whatever you fancy! We run workshops that focus on a specific item, for example card holders, dog collars, saddle bags. Or, if you have an idea of what you would like to make, we run freestyle workshops where April can help you to bring your ideas to life. Get in touch if you’d like to discuss your ideas with us. Workshops are three hours long, but some products take multiple sessions to make, please contact us if you’re unclear on how many sessions it may take to make an item.
How much are your workshops?
Our workshops cost £130 per person, (or £80 per person for a group) for a three-hour workshop. Materials are included in this price. We do the have option of upgrading to a more premium leather on request. On your first session we will give a loyalty card which you can fill up with stamps to earn a free session.
Do I need to have any experience to attend your workshops?
Not at all, we run workshops for all abilities, from beginner to expert. And if you ever feel out of your depth, just let us know and we will take the time to work with you and help you through the difficult parts.
What materials will I use during the workshop?
All of our workshops use vegetable tanned leather, a sustainable and durable material which is guaranteed to last. We use only the highest quality of leather in our workshops to make sure that each student goes home with a beautifully crafted, high quality leather item.
Can I build on my skills between workshops?
Yes! The professional standard of leather crafting that you will be taught in our workshops requires lots of tools, so we have designed a series of craft kits which only require a needle and thread so that you can practice at home. These also make great gifts for any craft lover.
What skills do I learn in a workshop?
Our workshops will teach you skills such as:
- Pattern cutting
- Leather trimming
- Hand stitching
- Saddle stitching
- Polishing and burnishing
- Edge colouring
If there are any specific skills you would like to learn, let us know and we can tailor a workshop to your needs.
Are children welcome?
Certainly! Kids over 12 can attend workshops; they must be accompanied by an adult if they are under 16.
Can I book a one-to-one workshop with you?
Yes, please contact us at email@example.com and we can speak more in depth about your aims and arrange a time slot for you.
Can I make a group booking or book you for a party?
Yes, you can contact us to book here. As the studio space is small, there is a maximum of 6 people per session.
Are your timeslots flexible?
Yes, we can cater our session times to you, please send us an email and we can arrange a date.
How are your products made?
All of our products are made by hand in our studio in Hackney. We ensure that they are made to the highest standard, crafted with skill and attention to detail.
We use only vegetable tanned leather, a traditional process practiced only by highly skilled tanneries and leather artisans.
Considerable time, effort and care are taken to ensure that you have a quality finished product.
How is your leather coloured?
All our leather goods are tanned with classic barebones; this is the most natural and traditional way to tan leather, this is also the oldest plant base method, dating back thousands of years, (approximately 6000BC) that is still in practice today.
Vegetable tanning is a process of primarily using the yellowish and brownish organic substance present in oak and spruce bark and plant tissues, to conserve collagen, (the skins main structural protein), this process of preservation prevents the breakdown and decomposition of the collagen.
In addition to this preservation, vegetable tanning gives the leather a great plasticity and strength, with time, the leather develops its own unique patina, ageing beautifully when cared for.
Chrome Tanning, although a significantly faster process, involves the use of heavy metal minerals, which are considerably more damaging to the environment. All materials involved in the vegetable tanning process are biodegradable.
How can I care for my leather?
Over time, the sun will change the colour and appearance of your leather, the skin’s hue will deepen developing its own beautiful unique patina; each piece of leather is distinct with its own story to tell.
In the first month of use, avoid exposing your leather piece to wet environments; this will give the leather time to soften, absorb oils and become less reactant to water.
After the first month, if you get any spots of water on your product, don’t allow them to sit on the surface, simply rub them into the leather. This will add to the leather’s gorgeous and unique patina.
Do not store in hot places as this will dry out the leather.
We recommend that you use a leather conditioner to keep the leather soft. Just like our skin, leather needs to be looked after and moisturised. This can be done every three months.
A product I want is out of stock, will it be restocked?
We occasionally restock our products. Send us an email with the item you’re interested at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will see what we can do.
Can you make products to order?
Yes, we offer a variety of bespoke options, for example embossing, edge colouring, alterations. You can also change to a different type of leather. Please send us an email with your thoughts and we can give you more information.
What is your returns policy?
You can read our returns policy here.
SHIPPING AND RETURNS
What are your delivery Charges?
Standard UK Delivery £10
International Delivery £20
You can see more details on delivery here
Has my order been dispatched yet?
We will notify you once your oder has been despatched. If you don’t hear anything after 5 working days, please email us at email@example.com with your order number and we will get back to you.
Which courier do you use?
We use DHL to send all packages, you will be sent an email with a tracking number which will allow you to track your package after your order has been processed.
My order hasn’t arrived, what do I do?
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help to locate your order.
How can I return my order?
If you are in any way unhappy with your order, please email us and we can arrange a return.
If you would like to stock our products, please send email us at email@example.com