After the first set of structured totes, I made another batch in black, with a few edits. These are smaller and narrower than the first two, because even though the larger totes’ size was good for my height, most other people found it to be too large for their petite frames. I also rounded out some edges to prevent accidental scratches on the arms, and did both N/S and E/W with the trial gemini button strap adjustment.
More people liked this size of tote (which is now a tad too small for me haha), but the only other thing that worried me is the gemini adjustment, which needs more time to be really tested and for us to see how it fares after a lot more use.
We’ve also gotten some great feedback with regard to the stamps. I had originally wanted to get a mechanical stamp machine thingy, but the makers of those machines were really only reachable from Florence by car, and they seemed to cater to more corporate clients.
It was just by chance that I remembered having stumbled upon a small family-run shop right in the city center, back when I’d just arrived in Florence. When I was looking to have these brass brand stamps made (a year later), I dropped by to see if they could do it for me, and luckily enough, I caught them right before they were to close up for the summer holiday. In the end, I got a bunch of stuff from them, including all our custom brass brand stamps as well as some alphabet sets, all made by hand, a family business of theirs that dates back to the 1800s.
In a way, I’m glad I didn’t end up going with one of the corporate manufacturers. It actually suits our brand better for everything in our supply chain to have been made by traditional artisans too, and for everything to be authentically Florentine/Italian–from the leather, to the brass, to the finishing materials and even the leather conditioner we use. In fact, I think the only thing that’s not Italian is us–but, well, I really can’t help being Filipino-born Chinese 😐 Does it count if I feel I’m Italian in my heart?
(Below, the new version made a few months after, for people who have ordered this style)