The strap journey this month took me to England. I can’t remember how I stumbled upon Strap Tailor, but after seeing his work in Instagram, I knew I just had to try his work. I took this opportunity to ask David, the owner, a few questions while waiting for my strap to arrive. It’s always refreshing to learn more about the company and business from the owners rather than chatbots or canned responses.
Q: What was your inspiration in setting up a strap company?
My love of watches! My grandfather used to repair and build watches. He always got me involved as a kid and then gave me a passion for horology. Over the years, I have collected all sorts of watches and some more serious ones in recent years. It’s a terrible addiction but combining my passion for leathercraft with my passion for watches is a perfect crime. You have to be passionate when you run your own business because it never stops, so when you are replying to emails at 11pm or on Sundays when out with family, you have to love what you do, else it doesn’t work.
Q: Is the manufacturing/production headquarters also situated in London?
I am based in rural England, in Bedfordshire, where I work from my home. I love this! Working from home gives me freedom. I used to work in the city (London) for a global technology company which was amazing at times, but I burnt out. Working for myself gives me a wonderful work-life balance, and I get to spend more time with my wife and my two dogs Hattie & Penny, which I love. I wouldn’t have it any other way now.
Q: What would you say makes your brand better than other strap makers be it on services or product quality?
I never like to compare strap makers or say who is better than another. There are some incredible leather craftsmen worldwide, and they all have specific skills that we can all learn from. What’s important to me is focussing on myself, being the best I can be in working with customers and consulting on the best strap for the watch collection. I like to provide a 1:1 experience; customers only work directly with me, which means I can give them my attention. I put a face to the name as well, i.e. if you follow me on Instagram, I often do short videos etc., so people know who I am and not just a faceless company. How many companies do you order from online these days who will contact every customer directly to confirm their specifications, ask if they need to modify anything etc. I do that, and I take care to ensure a customer feels like they are valued. Every customer to me is as important as the last.
Q: What are some of the challenges you encounter in the strap making business?
Capacity! Any small business making handcrafted products will hit the ceiling when inbound orders volume exceeds your capacity. To expand, you need help and that’s also not easy in a specialised field like this. I am working on bringing new talent into my company to help me grow and ensure that customers continue to enjoy working with me.
Q: What are some future products you plan on releasing?
I am always looking at new leathers and styles, and almost weekly, I add a new strap or straps to the website. It’s constantly evolving. I am also expanding into high-end rubber straps, they can’t be made bespoke, but it gives me off the shelf products that I can stand by in terms of quality, etc., whilst giving my customer other options for their watches.
Q: Do you have any famous personality using your strap? If not, who do you hope will be using one?
Possibly, but not one that I am openly aware of. I would love to think so though. There are a few cool Celebs like Ryan Gosling who love watches. I love film, and I love Ryan’s acting, so if I could make one for someone to say thanks for the film memories, it might be him!
Q: Do you wear any watches? If so, what are they?
For my sins, yes. I love watches and wear one every day. I always wear mechanical unless I am running or cycling. You’ll never see me with an Apple watch on 24/7. I have a few in my collection – Rolex Submariner 16610, JLC Deep Sea Re-issue EU, Heuer 2447d Chrono, Longines 1950’s bullseye dial, Longines Big Eye Chrono, Nomos Tangente, Glycine Airman, Tudor Snowflake….I think that’s most of them. I think when you can’t remember them all, it’s probably time to stop adding to the collection :)
I would like to thank David for his time in responding to my questions. Watch this space for my upcoming review on his strap!
You can visit his website via this link.