The similarities between our leather workshop and our gunmaking factory are striking. In either case, the progress from apprentice to master craftsman (or woman) is a gradual one that requires natural aptitude, application and experience to develop.
Many readers will be surprised to learn that to graduate to work on the manufacture of a Sutherland Safari Bag requires nine to twelve months of training. Our Bishop Crossbody Bags require two years’ experience, while the Bournbrook Travel Collection is even more complex and only our most senior makers are involved with those.
We run a small team of passionate leather workers, varying in tenure from three months to five years. As well as making our leather travel and sporting bag range, they also fabricate the leather accessories for our gun cases and the canvas and leather outer-covers, which protect them.
No other gun-maker in Britain has an in-house leather workshop making each and every product they sell. Like the wider fashion industry, most simply order white label goods from the trade each season and retail them. The products themselves are invariably made overseas and put into stock.
We can comfortably say that Westley Richards is now regarded as one of the premier makers of fine and exotic leather goods in the British Isles, sitting proudly alongside its international brand peers throughout Western Europe.
When a customer orders a Westley Richards bag, it is made in-house, to order, for that individual. A Bournbrook bag takes upwards of 40 hours to construct by a single artisan. This explains why there is a longer than expected delay between the ordering and delivery of each product, just as there is with the guns.
Fortunately, the time frame is relatively small, with current production running at around 4-6 weeks from order to delivery. Christmas orders every year need to be secured by the second week of November to be sure of delivery by Christmas Eve.
We endeavour to keep customers updated with lead times on each product on the sales pages of our website. These do evolve and will vary from month-to-month.
At Westley Richards, we know our leather products have never been as good as they are today. Every piece is hand-made in Birmingham, to order, and is of the highest quality. That unique service is special and the end result is worth waiting for.
We are always looking for talented leather workers and apprentices to join our team creating the finest sporting and travel leather goods available. For interested candidates, please feel free to send a CV and a cover letter for review to firstname.lastname@example.org