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  • An interview with the good people at Graine: leather accessory label with a difference
  • Author avatar
    Ruth Evenhuis
  • Australian madeinterviewsustainable fashion

An interview with the good people at Graine: leather accessory label with a difference

I recently had the joy of interviewing Kerryn from Graine, a family-run, local-industry loving leather accessory label. Graine make beautiful, functional and durable handbags for us here at ecoHaven and it was fun learning some behind-the-scenes info from these hardworking crafters. 
Tell us a little about your background. How did you get into creating leather goods?
Graine began in 2012. We are a family owned and operated leather company which has been operating in Melbourne, Victoria for over 30 years. Just over 5 years ago we felt there was a gap in the market for quality made, unique and locally-made leather goods which is when we decided to create Graine right here in our Brunswick East factory. Our combined years of experience working in the leather industry has helped us design and create beautiful leather accessories that go ‘against the grain'.

We originally designed a collection for online distribution only and 5 years later Graine has grown with new designs, leathers and colours, which has been an amazing and challenging journey. Along the way many retail outlets throughout Australia have made direct contact in order to stock Graine. We have selected the best retailers that have the same visions as us and as such, our products blend in well with their other brands.

How would you describe Graine. What makes your brand so unique?
Each Graine piece we design and craft is unique with a subtle point of difference and with an emphasis on materials, functionality and durability. We spend hours product testing each to piece to ensure they survive life’s many adventures.

Graine items are made carefully one at a time allowing our craftsmen to give the required care and attention to each piece. We also work closely with our leather artisan and together we produce new design ideas and processes for our range. We now develop close to 100% of all our Graine leathers with a Victorian tannery. We work very closely with this tannery and have done so for many years; in fact our parent company was this tannery's first ever customer.

What influences the design of the leather goods you create at Graine?
We are inspired by our current designs and being located in Brunswick East, we are surrounded by a lot of diverse culture which assists with the creative side of things.
We also are influenced by what we feel our customer would like and find practical for every day. Although having something that is aesthetically beautiful is important, it’s imperative that functionality is first in mind.

What is your favourite Graine piece?
Currently my favourite piece would be the East of Brunswick bag as it’s our first bucket bag that we designed. It took a long time trying to get the design just right, from the draw string closure to the adjustable should strap and finding just the right leather for the handles. Even though it was challenging at the time, it was worth it in the end with positive feedback from happy customers.

Can you tell us what a typical day working at Graine looks like?
A typical day at Graine begins with coffee from our espresso machine, followed by checking emails. Product development, meetings, marketing which includes working on our social media pages, discussing product development with our team and craftsmen comes next, followed by more coffee and processing orders. Afterwards we get to working on product design, which I love before finishing up with planning and preparing for the next day ahead.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
Be sure to check out our locally made Graine leather good which are available in ecoHaven.
Thanks for a great interview Kerryn! You can find our collection of Graine bags in our Hobart store or online.
  • Author avatar
    Ruth Evenhuis
  • Australian madeinterviewsustainable fashion

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