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Traditional Leather Maker in the North Docks

Max McDonogh is a self-taught leather maker operating from MAKE North Dock studio space on Regent Rd. His company, Rawhide Custom, handcrafts custom leather products, with his clients ranging from members of the Royal Family to a Playboy modal from Los Angles.

Max told Scottie Press the company started with a strap of leather that his friend made into sunglasses case, seeing it garnered attention from people, him and his friend decided to pursue it as a business, “I was looking for something a little bit more hands-on and more creative, something I could sink my teeth into.”, Max says.

With Max’s background in web design and marketing, he promptly formed an online presence and decided to start knocking on doors pitching the concept. After only a few tries, they ended up at Hope Street Hotel and asked the receptionist if they were interested in any leather products, “3 minutes later the doors burst open, and the manager runs through and asks if we can make key tags as urgently as possible because all of those are falling apart.” With over 90 rooms, Rawhide landed it’s first big client which Max says give them the credibility to entice more customers.

“I realised early on that the strength of it and the USP is that people can basically build their own products”, The company is now producing a wide range of custom products, with wallets, flask and belts being buyers favourites.

Always having an affinity for leather, Max says he liked the idea of a product passing down through generations, “I remember my uncle had this little tobacco pouch that he carried everywhere, every day, for about 20 years. It was the old age scarred leather,  it’s just got that certain type of charm and charisma to it that you can’t buy off the shelf. You’ve got to carry it, you’ve got to drop it, you’ve got to spill a little bit of coffee on it, and at the end of it you’re left with this piece that is truly unique to you.”

Max takes pride in producing his merchandise from scratch, sourcing material locally, and creating products to last, “All the leather is tanned by a little family down south by hand, the old-fashioned way, no sewing machines – soul stitch needle and thread. I hope that shows in the product at the end, you’re not just paying £300 for a belt because it says Armani on the side.”

With every item coming with a handwritten note, he believes the personal touch brings recurring trade and customer recommendations, “it’s made by someone with a pair of hands drinking a cup of tea.”

Rawhide Custom Website: www.rawhidecustom.co.uk