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Tesoro's Tongue — small business

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.

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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Why Leather?

Leather often gets a bad wrap, let's talk about why.  Fashion revolution week is here, and we want to take a couple of minutes to talk to you a little about leather, and where it all belongs in the movement for ethical fashion and sustainability. I often tell customers that the last time a burger is eaten in America will be the last day that I use leather in my products. Leather gets a bad wrap for a couple of reasons. The main one being that cows are a contributor to greenhouse gas emissions because of the amount of methane cows produce. We cannot deny that farming has a major impact on global warming. But a large percentage of all cows are...
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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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Finding Sanity

The Summer of change.  Hey, again guys. So as you guys know, so much has changed in the past few months, and I am here to tell you that there is more change to come.  Over the past couple weeks, I have been asking you guys for your advice on updates to the bag designs, and this is because I am hoping to work with this great manufacturer I found in LA. I've been looking for help for a while, but it has been difficult to find manufacturers who don't have huge minimums. These minimums are often around 50 bags minimum per leather color so it can get really expensive really fast. I finally found one that has been super transparent...
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The #TesoroTribe Gift Guide

Hello beautiful! Christmas is only 14 days away, and Hanukkah starts tomorrow! Whatever you might be celebrating this season, we have the perfect gift for you and your loved ones. We just added a "Gifts Under $100" section to the site, and its chock-full of great gifts. Those items can all be embossed with initials or a cute but short quote to tell the ones you love why you love them.  Here at Tesoro, we also believe in supporting other makers. We have some gorgeous jewelry and useful clay pieces, all made in Philly, and all made by ladies. Those items are available in store, but if you like something you see we would be happy to take a phone order...
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Behind The Scenes: The Technical Side

The other week the Tesoro spotlight was on Brit and her bag-making process, which was a perfect lead-up to the launch of our most recent collection. Now, I'd like to shift gears a little and take you over to the other side, my side of Tesoro.  Vastly different from what Brit does, many consider my area of concentration to be the "not so fun side." I've seen it before at the different events we attend. Once I say I am not the one making the bags, eyes tend to glaze over and the disinterest is palpable. As you can imagine, I don't love when this happens.  Part of the problem is that people simply don't understand what I do on a...
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The Photo Shoot

This past Sunday, what could have turned into a bloodbath of cattiness ended as an inspiring and successful eleven hour photo shoot. Switching up our shooting process from previous collections, Brit and I worked with local women photographers and a videographer to capture our S/S 17 line. Typically, we shoot our collections outdoors and either end the day with frostbitten fingers or total dehydration depending on the season. Not wanting to repeat either of those situations, every photo was shot inside the well-heated Brow Bar this time around. Owner of The Brow Bar, Tara Giorgio, graciously opened the doors for us on her day off and even modeled in a few of our pictures. Tara has a very strong personal...
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