At the end of 2017, leather craftsman Graeme Yardley set himself a New Year’s resolution. He was determined to turn his hobby of leather craft into a profession and start an independent luxury leather brand, hand designed and crafted with only the finest leather. We were lucky enough to chat to Graeme about his now year-old business Molleé and the importance of using only the finest leather.
Hi Graeme! Ok, first off: when did you launch Molleé?
Molleé emerged at the beginning of 2019. In December 2018, I took a sabbatical from my job in the Energy Industry to spend time learning about leather craft and the vast array of skills and techniques.
Where are you based and how many people do you employ?
I’m based in South Oxfordshire, near Wallingford. It’s currently just me & my makeshift workplace at home!
As a brand, what does Molleé mean to you?
For me, Molleé is all about luxury handcrafted bags and lifestyle accessories, made from high-quality materials sourced in Britain. Many of my products are classics but with a modern luxury twist, making them bespoke in nature. The Molleé website contains information about leather, how I use it and what I stand for to combat misconceptions about leather materials and quality.
What is the Molleé product range?
Molleé covers two categories: Molleé Bags and Lifestyle Accessories, including men’s and women’s bags, belts and watch straps to name a few. I’ve also just launched the Molleé Sport sub-brand, which is home to a forthcoming range of outdoor sports accessories.
Why do you work in leather?
It’s a couple of reasons that link closely to the types of leather that I use. Most of my leatherwork uses full grain vegetable tanned leather. You really can say something is made to last when using full grain leather due to its robustness. Second, leather is a versatile material. In thick cuts, leather has a firm and structural nature, which is great for belts and box-like projects. At thinner cuts, it’s more supple and flexible.
Why do you insist on only using the finest leather?
For those of us who handcraft our products, time and labour are one of the main cost drivers – why then would we pair this with a cheap material which doesn’t stand out as luxury? I’m also passionate about attention to detail and everything being to the best quality I can achieve.
When it comes to designing, where do you draw your inspiration from?
There are a number of major names in the leather fashion industry that continue to handcraft some of their products; the attention to detail and quality of their workmanship will always be a benchmark for where I strive to be.
And finally, where can we find your products?
Graeme’s brand new site is set to launch July 2020 with a new luxury outdoor lifestyle brand! Check it out here.
Thanks for your time, Graeme!
If you’re interested in your owning a bespoke leather bag or lifestyle accessory? Get in touch with Molleéhere.