Q&A with leather business Tusting
Tell us a bit about Tusting, what inspired you to launch the brand?
Tusting is a family-owned English leather business which dates back to about 1875 when the great-great-grandfather of the current owners opened his first tannery. When the fifth generation of the family began to join the company in the 1980s it was a difficult time for leather tanning in the UK, and some diversification was needed. Manufacturing of shoes and leather goods had started to move en-masse to the Far East, and the demand for leather here was dwindling seriously. Knowing that there would always be demand for the best quality English-made leather goods, however, we rescued a few skilled makers, a couple of sewing machines and some tools from a factory that was shutting down and started making bags out of the wonderful leathers we were selling. Thus, the TUSTING brand was born and our first bags sold just as the 1990s were in sight.
How has the brand changed and adapted over the years whilst retaining its unique heritage and style?
We’ve remained very true to our belief that we should make our own products here and not out-source the job to China (or anywhere else) and we have become a rare breed in the process. Some of our original models are so well loved that we still make them now. We are also designing new styles all the time and are constantly on the look-out for new and lovely leathers, fabrics and colours to use in our products.
Can you tell us about your monogramming service and how provide your customers with a bespoke item?
We can emboss all of our bags with personal initials when they are ordered and this is becoming increasingly popular – perhaps reflecting the increasing trend for personalised gifts. And it’s a lovely way to use your new married initials for the first time, if you choose to change you name. We do also offer a bespoke service where we can customise colours, leathers, linings and fittings on a style and we quote according to the work involved. It is a very popular add-on; it is so nice to know that you have something totally unique!
You have just launched some new colours, what motivated this new range?
We have some lovely new colours of our special strong canvas which makes wonderfully stylish and durable holdalls when trimmed with our premium leathers. New this spring is a gorgeous denim blue which, combined with our tan leather trim makes for a happy, summery and youthful colour-way. We have the beautiful claret waxed canvas too which, trimmed with our dark brown bridle leather is another gorgeous alternative to the more traditional luggage hues of black and brown.
Do you have any tips for our brides and grooms when choosing leather goods and luggage items to put on their list?
Wedding gifts have two main things going for them; they are usually very special things in their own right, given with love and wonderful wishes, and the very fact that they are given on the occasion of your marriage means that they mark that occasion and will forever be remembered for that alone. As such, you want them to last – ideally for all your married life and beyond – and to be something you will really use and get enjoyment out of all the while. Really high quality luggage is a brilliant wedding gift – it delivers all this, and even more, because it will travel with you on all of your great adventures through life (perhaps even beginning with you honeymoon!). Like the stamps in your passport, your luggage will gather little marks of honour with every trip, becoming ever more uniquely yours. So, go for something with class that is robust and flexible; which will not shame you in a smart hotel and yet can rough it on safari and just look better for it. Choose a favourite piece each and add some monogrammed initials to give your adventures together the perfect start!
Do you have a favourite product or best-seller?
Our Explorer holdalls are both our favourite and best sellers – a classic and very often imitated shape, these bags open wide for easy packing, will squash into just about any odd-shaped luggage compartment and are incredibly robust (one even fell out of a helicopter once and came to no harm). Finally, when not out having fun, they will fold flat for easy storage in a way no wheeled suitcase ever could!