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Tesoro's Tongue — entrepreneurs

Come with us behind the scenes of Tesoro Design! Here, we document our experiences of running a handmade in America leather handbag company. Updated daily.

The Patriarchy and Handbags as Status Symbols

How do you define luxury? For a small business like mine, in an industry where what you buy can often change people's perception of  your  social status a  luxury handbag does a lot more than just hold your stuff. When I started my business at 23, my main experience with the handbag industry had been in Florence, Italy. A place where artisans are deeply appreciated and valued.. I was approaching the development of my product from the Italian, artisan perspective: well made, well designed, functional. Naively, It didn’t immediately occur to me how obsessed we are with brand labels--particularly when it comes to handbags.     And why is that? Why are we so obsessed with a label? Why do women...
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Pricing Transparency - Find out how we price our bags

The Chelsea bag is one of our most popular bags. We love it because you can you can wear it as a crossbody or shoulder bag. Some can even also be worn as a backpack. Switch up the chain color or crossbody strap to make it your own!  Raw Materials-  Leather- About $70. Leather is tough to price because it doesn't come to us like fabric. Certain hides can be shorter, wider, some have more scaring and others have a wide variation of weight which can't always be used for each bag piece.  Short Strap- $17.50. The short strap is made by an equestrian company in the Lancaster area. They are sturdy and sleek! I don't have the machine that...
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DIY -- A Tool Everyone Should Own

A rotary hole punch. A tool as useful as a drill or hammer. I genuinely believe that after years of leather working, and owning a retail store, you need one of these tools. My most requested “repair” or easy fix is adding a hole to a belt or purse strap. The wheel turns so you can pick the size of the hole you need to punch. Then, all you have to do is squeeze the handles and VOILA, you have a new hole that you are able to adjust your belt to. The kicker? A rotary hole punch only cost around $20-$40, depending on the quality. Check out the links below to grab the most useful tool in my studio...
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How are you feeling?

Hey Everyone What a crazy world we are living in. I made the graphic "how are you feeling" because it is how I have been starting all my conversations this week. Instead of "how are you doing?". I think it is pretty clear that day to day, we are doing ok. Many of us have a safe roof over our heads, access to food and medication, and clean drinking water. We are the lucky ones in many ways.   How we are feeling is a much different question. I have a lot of small business owner friends, nurse friends, new parent friends and even friends who have been laid off or have voluntarily stopped working for others safety. Day to...
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Slow Fashion for all sizes in Philly

PLEASE NOTE - THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE DUE TO COVID-19.  We've partnered with Alice Alexander to bring you a weekend long IN PERSON event on Saturday May 16th and Sunday May 17th in Philadelphia celebrating inclusive, sustainable, ethical fashion. A weekend of community  Mingle and network with likeminded folksEat, drink, and enjoy live music Shop our slow fashion marketplace with diverse retailers (in price point and size). All apparel retailers will carry up to a lease a size 22 with the majority of retailers carrying up to a 28/30 and several plus size exclusive retailers. Vendors include slow, sustainable, ethical brands as well as vintage and consignment. A little bit of everything!Dynamic speakers ready to inspire and uplift Interactive panels facilitating...
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On Transparency

How we price Tesoro products Pricing products is a constant battle of balance. There are so many factors that go into the pricing of each product. Not to mention the importance of being competitive with other handbag companies.  The three deciding factors revolve around variable costs, fixed costs, and profit margins.  Our variable prices include things like the cost of our raw materials (leather is measured by the square foot, so I calculate how many square feet of leather per bag to find the cost), hardware costs, the amount of time each bag takes to make times how much I should be paying myself for the time, and other costs like shipping for the raw materials.  The second big factor...
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Made for you, By you!

GUYS!! I cannot contain my excitement. After years of wanting to teach you amazing humans a little about leather work, I have finally found the time, help and location that I needed to make it work. I have always really enjoyed learning, and teaching. From my youngest art classes to soccer camps and a gazillion other things, teaching has become something I really enjoy. Last summer I had the opportunity to have my first leather working intern, and after a summer of teaching her the basics, I was reminded how much inspiration I derive from it, and I am here to tell you that I will now be offering bimonthly classes at the shop. For now, each class will be...
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Permanent Changes

Hey guys!  Happy new year! I can't believe I haven't written on here since November. Lots has happened since then, and the Holidays were our best yet here at Tesoro. There are a couple quick things I would love to update you guys on with timelines and collection, and then I am going to tell you guys about some new product in the works.  So, first, I wanted to take a second to explain the seasonal changes going on with our collection. The bags that came out in November (The Nora, The Chelsea, The Audrey, The Anne, and The Ellie) are now, and forever more, stapes in the Tesoro collection. Since 2015 when Tesoro became my full-time job I have been...
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Grinches Guide to Gifting

The way I see it, we are a country divided. Not to worry, this isn’t an opinion piece on the extreme political polarity of America, as tempting as that is with mid-term elections being last week. I’m talking about the “Christmas Elves” and the “Grinches”. Almost all of us fit into one category or another. Either you are the sprightly little beings who turn-up to the Christmas Classics the day after Halloween (Thanksgiving? What’s that?). The ones who are Mrs. Claus incarnate and do their shopping months in advance, taking their time to artfully wrap gifts - in between cookie baking, putting up a 5th Christmas tree, and hanging mistletoe in the most essential places. And then… There is the...
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