The BRAVE Leather workshop is the heart of the operation. To the surprise of many people, it is located in Toronto Canada, and every one of the more than 2 million individual pieces manufactured by BRAVE Leather over the last 24 years have been produced in Toronto. Touched by Canadian hands and born of Canadian creativity.
It began in 1992 in a 500 square foot, 6th floor space on Spadina Avenue. Over the years, the workshop moved three times to support increased production until arriving at its current home at 85 Colville Road in Toronto.
Our factory is a mix of the world's most advanced leather goods manufacturing equipment - such as digital laser cutting machines - with traditional leather craft hand tools. It is this medley of production techniques that gives BRAVE Leather its unmistakable level of detail and quality.
While the high tech machines are the workhorses of the plant, the diverse team of skilled craftspeople from around the world are its soul. In fact, we like to think of our unique team of artisans as the Cirque de Soliel performers of leather craft. We are constantly amazed at what they can create with their hands and a few vintage tools.
If you own a BRAVE Leather product, there are many details you may not notice at first, but are the hallmarks of our work.
If you look closely at the stitching, you will notice you will never see a back tack, which is the way a stitch line is secured. That is because the supervisor of sewing, Ana Mendez, is obsessed with making sure every second stitch always passes through the same needle hole as the first - so for that, we thank Ana.
If you have a BRAVE piece with a leather covered buckle or self-covered ornament you will notice you will never find a seam in the leather covering. That is because our talented hand craft workers like Florea "Nic" Niculae have been doing this type of work for over thirty years. The joke in the plant is that if you told Nic your eyeglass prescription, he could make you a contact lens from leather and a hand knife, and your vision would be perfect. For that incredible attention to detail, we thank Nic.
If you own a BRAVE cuff or bracelet, you will know that the way we combine materials like real gold-plated beads or crystals with raw vegetable tanned leather is unique in the industry. That is because our skilled jewellers, Golbarg Rezaei and Masahiro Tsuchida, have collectively been working with their hands for three decades. For that level of craftsmanship and skill, we thank Golbarg and Masahiro.
Equally as important are key craftspeople like Dharmendra Billimore, who started working in his father's shoe factory in Fiji at age 16, and 29 years later still has a passion for his trade. Or Jenik Khodagohian who began her career making handbags in Iran in 1979. Still today, we sometimes see Jenik at the workshop at 6 a.m. even though her shift starts at 8 a.m. because, she " had a great idea and couldn't sleep.” Or Ahn Bui, who has been in charge of the same edge dying station for 20 years and still thinks she has room to improve her colour matching skills.
There are many incredibly talented people who make our workshop a special place - the place where every BRAVE product found on our website or in any of the 800 retail stores who carry our brand, was made.