Arrow Leather Goods: leading a life of purpose through a love for leather

If Michal Steyn could have a headline, it would read, “Creative accountant – Purposefully handmade leather goods”, because sometimes in life it takes a ‘mistake’ to guide you in the right direction. This happened to be the case for Michal’s brand, Arrow Leather Goods.

Back in 2014, Michal invested in some leather and a few tools, with the idea to make leather ”vellies”. The “vellies” didn’t turn out to be a success, but it was the first step in his new, rather successful career. For Michal, an arrow is symbolic for purpose and mission, which is exactly what he wants his brand to portray, even if the idea for the name did come from his brilliant wife.

Stellenbosch based Michal, left behind a career in finance to try his hand at something creative. He explains that since leather goods are everywhere, it’s just about being alert enough to notice them during the day, in order to gain new ideas and inspiration. The internet and social media are also big sources of inspiration for him, “Trying to perfect the inspiration or ideas normally only comes from testing the products and getting customers’ feedback.”

Michal confesses that he, “can’t really draw”, so most of the initial creation of a product is born from a process of trying to picture an idea in his head. Once he has an idea, it’s a matter of trial and error and the production process begins immediately. He has created his business based on staying true to making products that are in line with his visions for the company, whilst sourcing as much local leather as possible, “It’s important to set clear goals regarding the direction of your business and the type of products you want to make, even if that means sometimes saying no to certain product requests.”

 

The diverse range of thought-through, purposefully handmade products, as well as the ability to satisfy customers’ expectations with custom products of craftsmanship quality, is the aspect of Arrow Leather Goods which brings Michal the most pride.

He firmly believes it’s never too late to start doing something you really love, instead of doing something just because it includes a steady pay cheque, “The reward of job satisfaction and the knowing that you are called for a purpose, makes it totally worth it.”

As one of our exclusive birthday partners Michal has designed a limited edition canvas and leather apron for Yuppiechef.com, perfect for any cook or craftsman who enjoys getting their hands dirty with something a little more substantial.