After spending some years in Singapore as Permanent Residents, my wife and I relocated back to the Philippines in 2010 to spend more time with our parents and families.
Back then, I was working from home, and had a lot of free time. Then one day, I saw a leather bag online that I really liked but it was really expensive to buy abroad. I tried looking for it locally, unfortunately, I couldn’t find one that matched the quality I was looking for.
So, I decided to make my own, and that’s how Leather.PH got started. For 5 years, I learned leathercrafting, spending hundreds of thousands of pesos on working on trial and error projects, buying tools and equipment, and improving my craft. I taught my wife my skills so she can also enjoy the craft, which she did. And, because she supported my passion for it.
Over time we started getting orders and we then asked my sister and uncle to help out. In 2015 we put up Leather.PH Handmade Leather Products Co. to formalize our leathercrafting business in the Philippines.
I often joke that some of the biggest companies that currently exist, started in a garage, like Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple, so we decided to follow their footsteps: our first office was on my mom’s porch (we didn’t have a garage). Then, we expanded to her backyard, which meant we became a backyard industry, then when the team and the orders got bigger, we rented some space on a bigger house, also known as the Leather.PH Headquarters.
We initially focused on doing custom made leather products, bespoke for each of our clients, then branched out to some ready-made designs. We’ve been blessed that these were successful.
Our main goal for Leather.PH is to put the Philippines in the leathercrafting world map, and to let people know that we Filipinos can make world class leather products. We’re fortunate enough that our leather products have been well received here in the Philippines, as well as outside the country.
We’ve grown these past couple of years, and now employ family members and family friends. We work like a small business, keeping everyone, our staff, our clients, our suppliers close to us, like family. Our staff are the best — loyal, hardworking, caring, and understanding. When deadlines get too tight, everyone pitches in and work extra hours and even take home their work.
These couple of years have taught us great lessons, some happy, some hard, but, in the end it made us stronger and even more determined to succeed in our work.
We take our name, Leather.PH, very seriously, especially the .PH part because we value our nationality, our heritage, the country we call home, and the great people we call family. We look forward to working harder and better, and improving our craft and sharing our blessing.
We are Leather.PH, and we are family
– Russel Patalinghog, Co-founder and President