Q&A: Our WorkshopKatrina Rose Ellis
The MacKenzie Leather Workshop
As we anticipate the return of high street retail, we reflect on the importance of our in-store Workshop. We speak to the men behind Mackenzie, our skilled craftsmen, about what it means to operate a modern day brand from our rare and distinctive establishment.
Hope is on the horizon for many this month, with plans to re-open coming into play. Customer relations continues to be one of our core values, so to see these many months pass without in-person interactions has been tough. In celebration of the day our doors will open to you once again, we’re dedicating the blog this month to our beloved Workshop.
The Workshop is home to our close-knit team of skilled craftsfolk, who graft day-in and day-out to craft and create every single Mackenzie Leather product. They see the production through from start to finish, something almost unheard of in today’s industry of fast-must-have-it-on-mass fashions. But what’s more, our team share in something even more special. A rare and unique retail experience. Our Workshop allows them to complete, present and sell their Mackenzie products, all under one roof.
And how many brands can say that?
In our 21st century way of life, it takes a lot of determination from strong-minded individuals to sustain such an old-school business model. A clear mind and vision. Patience, precision and passion. These are just some of the qualities the Mackenzie workshop requires and represents.
Who better to tell us more about life behind the bench than two members of our skilled team, Andrew and Simon. We sat down (virtually) for a Workshop Q&A, to share the importance of what we do, and an insight into daily life in the workshop.
Q1: How does it feel to house the workshop and showroom under one roof?
Simon: Absolutely essential. The vision of having the workshop in view or within the shop was paramount. I always wanted transparency as people are very curious about the processes and the fact that the items are actually made right here is very important.
Q2: Tell us what it means for you to produce a product from beginning to end…
Andrew: There’s a magical moment when a collection of pieces come together to form a bag. A complete single object which is both beautiful and practical. In no other work have I participated in a moment like that so regularly.
Simon: There’s a very clear feeling of satisfaction when finishing a product knowing that this product will last for many years and help aid someone’s story and journey along the way. Personally when they go to the shop it’s almost like letting go of one of your babies…
Q3: What’s your favourite thing to do in the workshop?
Andrew: Two things pop out to me. That moment when we are brainstorming to come up with a solution. Whether on a new product or the best order of operations to put something together. And in contrast those meditative moments when you get lost in a task, burnishing the edge of a strap or hand-stitching one of our oak belts.
Q4: How does the workshop benefit the Mackenzie team?
Simon: One of the strong points of having a team or working as a team is problem solving, as multiple minds all working on the same thing can give a wonderful perspective. In terms of producing we are all involved in the process and have our specialised areas when making together so this makes a very efficient and fun process!
Andrew: Because at Mackenzie’s we are both makers and sales people we get direct and constant feedback on our products. The best moment is when someone’s eyes light up from first seeing something you’ve made for them.
Discover a little more about daily life inside our Workshop by following our brand new and dedicated Instagram page! Simon, Ed and Andrew will be sharing authentic behind the scenes snippets, production processes and more, straight from the bench.
In the meantime, we count down the days and patiently wait. Soon our workshop will open up once more and welcome you all to our world of traditional handmade leather craft.
Fingers and tools crossed we’ll see you soon!