My career as a leather craftsman began at The London College of Fashion when studying a Bachelors degree on the Cordwainers Footwear design and making course. On this three-year course I was trained in the traditional craft of cordwaining (shoe making). Upon completing this course with a Bachelor or Arts degree I began working for a start-up accessories brand Nat Boyd. At Nat Boyd we produced luxury accessories stocked in stores such as Harrods and by The British luxury brand group.
I was approached by Dunhill London to join them as a junior craftsman after three years of working for Nat Boyd so began working at their bespoke and briefcase making workshop in Walthamstow London.
My next position that came after Dunhill was a to manage Simpsons London’s medium leather goods department focusing on making travel bags, doctor frame bags and more. I held this job for three and a half years up until they unfortunately went into administration in 2019.
I’ve always worked on personal projects throughout my career and around three years ago in 2018 I registered the company ‘Made by Nichols’ now ‘Nichols London’ specialising in bespoke and custom-made luxury leather goods. My studio is based in Bermondsey at a redeveloped Biscuit Factory ‘The Biscuit Factory’.
My future plans are to take on an apprentice to help with production and to continue the passing on of leather crafting knowledge. I plan to start doing trunk shows to enable clients to physically see my products around the world and also to launch a website offering some of my more off the shelf items.
I’ve been buying leather from A&A Crack & Sons for many years and I’m always super grateful for how broad of a range of hides and tanneries they stock. One of my favourite leathers that they provide me with is their vegetable tanned Tempesti Maine Liscio in a tumbled St Venere version. This is a difficult leather to source and A&A Crack & Sons are the only leather supplier that can provide it to me in the UK.
Another product that A&A Crack & Sons sell that I’d highly recommend is Intercom adhesive. Intercom is a relatively new glue option that I use instead of traditional Neoprene glue because it is water based and therefore non-toxic and safe.
You can learn more about Rory and his wonderful products by visiting:
- Instagram@ _nichols_london
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