I recently had the opportunity to take a leather making workshop with prominent Vancouver leather-maker Steven Enns of Hand & Sew. In addition to his long line of bags, wallets and belts you may know him for his label of highly-gifted keychains, Fucking Keychains. You can see me run around Vancouver with a “meh” emoji on my cross-body or “shit” on my keys. It serves as a quirky reminder that I continuously lose my keys and yell out SHIT just before locating them.
The last time I took a hands-on workshop like this one was maybe, in college when I took a ceramics course. I had no idea what I was in for and what I was about to create and not gonna lie, I was a little nervous. I hadn’t really created something for my wardrobe before but if you need a button sewed, I’m you’re gal. Steven welcomed me into his studio in Vancouver’s Railtown district for a one-on-one step-by-step class on making a leather belt. This came at a great time because you see I buy my belts super cheap and wouldn’t you know it, they break on me! Mine broke. I was in the market for a new belt but I didn’t think I would be making the next one!
If Steven’s ability to teach you well enough that you actually think you know what you’re doing doesn’t stun you, his knowledge on leather and the leather industry will. Steven is a wealth of knowledge and we had no shortage of discussion throughout our 3 hour class. I learned some new thoughts on the leather industry that I was happy to share with Alex immediately as I got home. Did you know that suede is the underside of leather? I didn’t. Do you want to feel what Hermes bag leather feels like? Well, Steven has it AND YOU CAN TOUCH IT! It felt like my mortgage payment. *sigh* But he doesn’t charge Hermes pricing so there’s the upside.
Steven walked me through the process of selecting the leather (which starts as tan), cutting the length for your belt, detailing the edges, creating the holes, the process of dying and finishing and applying the metal clasp.
Understanding the process of what it takes to create a belt left me feeling a larger appreciation for locally made items, handmade items and purchasing items of a finer quality. This was such a great experience and I can’t wait to do it again with a group of friends. Steven welcomes one-on-one classes and group sessions for belts, wallets and bags. I highly recommend it for a fun thing to do and word on the street is Steven will give you bonus points if you bring him chocolate almonds. Learned that the easy way!
You can book a class with Steven HERE.
Oak & Fort top / Seven For All Mankind jeans
Brixton Hat / Hand & Sew belt / Sonya Lee bag / Clearly sunglasses
Mejuri bracelet / Mejuri ring / Keltie Leanne ring / Kara Yoo ring