Black Owned Leather Goods Business

How a trip to Morocco Inspired This Black Owned Leather Goods Business

Made Leather Company is a growing retail company providing leather bags to an array of high-end customers, including a host of professional athletes in both the NFL and NHL. We spoke to Founder Lenise Williams to find out more about her and her business.

Black Owned Leather Goods Business

Made Leather Co. Founder, Lenise Williams

What inspired the creation on Made Leather Company?

I traveled to Morocco for a speaking engagement and while there I fell in love with the leather products that were available. The quality and the craftmanship was unlike anything I had seen before ,I still remember the leather conditioner they used to clean their products. Being a natural entrepreneur, my wheels started to turn during my travels back home.

I had been considering a product based business that I could build and eventually leave for my children in the form of wealth or as a business they could eventually operate. I realized that the leather bags that I loved could be the basis for a product based business. I got home and immediately got to work. When I was thinking of what I needed to do and who to get in touch with the start this business venture, Clothing Manufacturers were one of the first businesses I looked into, as I knew I would need their services and skills to get my business to where it is today. As much as it is your business that you want to grow, there is nothing wrong in asking for some help from people who can provide you with better results.
Black Owned Leather Goods Business

Why did you decide to manufacture your own product as opposed to reselling a similar product?

I wanted something unique and I wanted the craftmanship and quality of the bags I experienced in Morocco. Therefore I had to get them made in Morocco in order to provide all that I wanted to provide to consumers.

What has been the most inspiring part of your entrepreneurial journey? What has been the most challenging?

The most inspiring part of it all is to have an idea and see other people actually like it. I’ve had my everyday consumers, athletes and actors post pictures of my bag on social media expressing how much they like it. That confirms that I’m on the right track. It keeps me going!
The most challenging is all the unexpected things that happen during the process. Although I plan, many things happen that I never expect. Financial surprises, product/manufacturing surprises, etc. It becomes easier to adjust and go with the flow, but it never gets completely easy.

How do you manage to balance being a mother and entrepreneur?

I balance it all by trying to get as much done during school hours. I handle the majority of my work while my boys are at school. I calendar all of their events and activities and I build my schedule around that instead of vice versa. They are more important than anything I do so I make the rest of my world revolve around them.

Where do you see the business in 5 years?

In 5 years I see Made Leather Co as a successful lifestyle brand with various leather products in many major retailers. In 5 years I hope Made will be a household name.

What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

My advice is to take more risks. Many are not encouraged as children to seek the unknown; it can be scary. Therefore we become adults that are still fearful of the unknown. It is important to do whatever it is you want to do even when you are scared.

There is so much freedom and feelings of accomplishment on the other side of fear. Even if it does not work out the way you had hoped at least you know as opposed to living the rest of your life wondering “I wonder what would have happened if….”

-Tony Oluwatoyin Lawson (IG @thebusyafrican)

1 Comment

  1. Hey Tony, I must say it was a great read! Your list of black-owned leather goods businesses is so helpful for those who want to support black-owned businesses and find quality leather goods. I appreciate the time and effort you put into researching and curating this list, and your detailed descriptions of each business are so informative. Your blog is a great resource for those who want to support black-owned businesses, and I love how you cover a variety of topics related to black culture and entrepreneurship. Keep up the great work, and I look forward to reading more of your posts in the future!

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