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Tesoro's Tongue — Philadelphia

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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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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Ethical Fashion Holiday Gift Guide

It's that time of the year again, the Holidays are here! And that means we get to tell you about some of our favorite local ethical brands and makers.  This year we're going to sort our brands by the products they make. Starting with the thing you likely do first in the morning, put your clothes on!  Alice Alexander The designer behind Alice Alexander is a beautiful, 6ft tall women who had trouble finding clothes that truly fit her, so she decided to create her own collection. She has since hired multiple female seamstresses that benefit from a flexible schedule and fair pay. She is a direct to consumer brand which means she keeps her prices fair by cutting out the...
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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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Guest stars so talented they should receive an Oscar.

For this week's videos, Brit and I broke out on our own. Well, almost. We had a couple guest stars make a cameo.  On Wednesday, I ventured into Philadelphia for a meeting at M Concept Shop and later met up with Arantxa for a mini photo shoot. We had hoped to get some behind the scenes photos of me that didn't feature a poorly lit room and my desk. Arantxa was able to get some quality shots during my meeting at M Concept and various streets around South Philly. Part of the day even involved a bright yellow abandoned shutter. Can't wait to share the photos with you!     Today marked the first 24 hours of the collage shoot marathon that...
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