Leather crafting Story from Le Raffinement

I'm a Leather Artisan
with Raymond Tan

I've been learning leathercraft for 6 years.

I started my own brand (Crafune) for 2 years and Le Raffinement is actually my new collection of premium leather goods.

Leather Crafting Singapore Le Raffinement

Hello ! Who are you and when did you open your business?

Hi, I'm Raymond Tan from Le Raffinement. I've been learning leathercraft for 6 years.
I started my own brand (Crafune) for 2 years and Le Raffinement is actually my new collection of premium leather goods.
Le Raffinement is only 2 months old.

Leather crafting Singapore Artisan

What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

As I was working on my previous brand which conducts leathercrafting classes, I've come across a wide variety of requests and feedback from the students.
These requests include certain features or design that they are looking for. I've taken note of these requests and incorporate them into my design or how I craft my goods.
Over time, I refined the techniques and design. Hence, Le Raffinement which translates to 'The Refinement' was born.

Tell us what was your first product.

A keychain! I believed everyone started off with leather crafting by making really small items.
For me, it was an unambitious keychain.

Leather crafting Singapore Artisan

Describe the process of launching.

Initially, I've planned to launch it as a retail brand in my brick-and-mortar shop.
However, the Covid-19 impacted the operation and sales of goods as a retail shopfront.
To adapt to the situation, I've switched to social media, WOM and currently, we are planning to start our own youtube channel to introduce our brand.

Since launch, what was the first step to attract customers?

Definitely a proper website.
Learning from my previous experiences, a good website that explains your work process and type of materials are crucial for customers to entrust you with the order.
Once the website is ready, any form of promotion will work better.

What do you love the most about your profession?

Learning new techniques! I believed there is always improvement and new techniques to learn in leather crafting. I'm always excited to learn new techniques and incorporating them into my work. Each new piece of work will always be better than the previous one and my customers will always receive the best piece of work that I could make.

How would you define what you do?

Craftsman first, artisan second.
In my line of work, crafting objects that have aesthetical value is important but making them with the proper techniques to ensure functionality and durability is essential.
I've come across a lot of leather goods that are aesthetically pleasing but it is not able to last more than a few years. My job is to create durable and fine leather goods that my customers could use for a long period of time unlike mass-produced goods made in factories.

Leather Crafting Stories Singapore Artisan

Have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Understanding the usage of leather. Using the right leather for the right job is really helpful.
It saved my a lot of time as the right leather will be the job easier and also making the end product much more aesthetically pleasing.

What platform/tools do you use to sell your products?

My retail space located in Singapore and online retail platform such as Shopify.

What have been the most influential resources?

Social media of other artisans.

What's your advice for leather artisans who want to get started or are just starting out?

Proper tools will help you in picking up the skills and spend more time on refining fundamental techniques such as cutting and stitching will make your work excellent.

Where can we find your business ?

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