I love beautiful craftsmanship….
The Leather Satchel Co. are a group of British Master Craftsmen that create satchels based on the traditional style of Oxford and Cambridge schools as well as other traditional accessories.
The company was started in 1966 by Stephen Hanshaw and is still a family owned business. Throughout the early-to-mid 1960’s, Stephen operated a small street stall selling leather goods that he would make. One day, whilst exhibiting in London, Stephen was presented with an opportunity by a local headmaster – Mr Collis – to make satchels for an independent school based in Hammersmith. Due to the high demand for these satchels, Stephen was soon joined by his two younger brothers – Barry and Paul – and together they established their first workshop on Smithdown Road in Liverpool.
They worked on a variety of goods, not just satchels. These other products were branded under “LeatherGraft” or were made for other brands. The brothers have experience with a wide variety of leathers but a lot of their products are now made from heavy equestrian leather and because of this they have a very distinctive style.
Shortly after the millenium, the brothers moved on from Smithdown Road and set up a brand new workshop in Huyton, Liverpool. Here they have continued to craft leather goods and accessories. Stephen is still very much a part of the company but now has another workshop in Scotland.
A testament to their hard work and dedication, the company has been a member of the British Guild of Master Craftsman for over 40 years.
The next generation of the Hanshaw family have started to play a more active role in the family business
with Chris, Keith and (young) Ste Hanshaw all having roles and responsibilities.
In 2010, the family started an apprenticeship training program in the hope that it would inspire the local youth to take an interest in working with leather whilst providing employment opportunities within the community. All apprentices that graduate from their specific training programs are offered full-time placements within the company.
Leather Satchel Co. goods are popular in the UK but the company now exports most of it’s products to countries within Europe and further afield as the traditional style of craftsmanship is highly sought after.