One of my favourite lockdown revelations over the past few months has been seeing the instagram posts of beautiful handcrafted leather products from Trumpet Bags. It’s creator, Tomasz Dabrowski talks to me here about getting this great new project off the ground.
Can you talk a little about your background and what ultimately led you on this journey to designing and making beautiful leather products?
For the last decade or so I was into high quality leather shoes and in general things that gain character with time and are made of natural materials. At the same time I like working with my hands, designing things, working around the house where I live. In the beginning of 2020 I decided to make a backpack of of vegetable tanned leather, everything from scratch including pattern, handtsitching and dying the leather. It took a long time because I was learning while doing. To my surprise it turned out great, I have it and use it often, It’s getting nicer and nicer, now it has some beautiful patina.
When did you set up Trumpet Bags? Was this a long process getting it off the ground?
Since I play trumpet myself I was looking at some point for quality accesories for my mouthpiece and I couldn’t find anything proper. I did a prototype for my mouthpiece and after few tryouts I had a pouch. I posted about it on social media and it started, people started making orders and commissions. That was right around the time when the pandemic began – March 2020. I had no experience with this kind of work and e-commerce, but I am stubborn and when I put my mind into something it’s hard to stop me. Trumpet Bags sells mouthpiece pouches for all brass instruments, from single pouches to cases for 4 mouthpieces. I recently was asked to do one for 6 mouthpieces but I turned it down – there is no way case for that many mouthpieces would look any good. Design has always been my main concern, timeless design, so it is beautiful now and it will also be in 10-20 years.
It looks like you already have a pretty wide range of designs. Was it always in your mind to launch these, or has it been more a ‘work in progress’?
As mentioned I started with single pouches for trumpet mouthpiece, than I needed case for trumpet and flugelhorn mouthpiece so I made one. The bigger cases – that was an order from one customer and because it turned out very beautiful, it’s available in the shop now. There is always ideas about getting into accessories for saxophones, straps, gig bags for trumpets. Recently I got many commissions for all sorts of bags, Possibilities are pretty much endless, so as long as I enjoy doing it I will keep on going. There is something relaxing about creating things by hand, taking time. When you work with leather – you’re dealing with very expensive material so every mistake is pricey.
What challenges have you faced along the way?
There is always something to improve, with handmade things it can always be better. You become better and you wanna see that in your final product. Main challenge that I like is that you always have to learn new things. I started having no idea about running a business and making things out of leather. Challange is everything from setting up the webshop, marketing, purchasing the right tools, getting orders delivered on time, finding the right leather. We only use the best leather sourced in Sweden, only vegetable tanned leather which means the leather has to be proccesed for almost a year before you can buy it. I like challenges so Trumpet Bags kept me going when pandemic got serious around the globe.
How has COVID affected things?
It’s hard times for musicians everywhere, with no work its tough to stay motivated for many not to mention paying for things. That being said the Trumpet Bags is booming yet I am aware this is not the best time to start a high quality product business. People have been very supportive and I really appreciate that.
What are your plans for the future?
I want to promote Trumpet Bags so more brass players around the globe hear about us and we can show them that quality doesn’t have to cost a fortune yet If you invest in it – you will get somehting personal that will last you for many years.
Trumpet Bags on Instagram: instagram.com/trumpetbags
Trumpet Bags on Facebook: facebook.com/trumpetbags
Trumpet Bags Website: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TrumpetBags
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