Designtrepreneur | Jane One Piece Leatherworks
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We strive to be genuine and original. simplicity is our trademark.
Jane One Piece is a leatherwork family business. When customers receive a Jane One Piece accessory, they know it comes from the home and team of a mother, a father and a son. Dean kickstarted the brand when he gifted a leatherwork toolkit to his mother Jane as a Mother’s Day present. And now, the family’s sailing on a business adventure together.
How did Jane One Piece get started?
I got into fashion in college and started reading about apparels and accessories, especially about non-mainstream designs. I learned that cowhide has lasting value because it ages and is durable, so I got more into it and started making my own leather crafts.
My mother is a crafter too. She loves handcrafting, baking and sewing, so one day I thought, we should do leather craft together! On Mother’s Day in 2013, I gave her a leatherworking toolkit and a book as her present. That was how we began doing leatherwork together.
When we create an item, we list it for selling. When customers make requests and give feedbacks, we improve the details and make new designs.
Somewhere along the road, my dad joined the party too. He grew up in a print shop where he was surrounded by screen printing, and learned very good calligraphy. Naturally, he took the responsibility of scripting handwriting requests for the custom orders. This actually became part of what we are known for.
What does the brand stand for?
Our core value is genuinity—genuine leather material and genuine crafts. We use non-dyed genuine cowhide and make each piece by hand. The style is very simple, even a bit raw, and each piece keeps the wear marks that’s unique to every owner and his usage.
We make a point to eliminate excessive design so the leather speaks for itself. Jane One Piece has a humble, understated look and an honest, durable quality.
What motivates you to keep going with Jane One Piece?
I committed to this business after graduate school. At first, customer feedback really motivated me to keep going. As time went on, we grew to have some very supportive repeating customers, and motivation developed into a sense of responsibility.
You know that feeling when your favorite noodle stand has gone out of business? I don’t want my customers to experience that. This thought is what keeps me going now.
What’s the biggest fulfillment of starting your own business?
The biggest fulfilment is turning my ideas into reality. I studied marketing, not design, so making things was not something I knew how to do, but that doesn’t stop ideas from popping up. So being able to turn these ideas into reality gives a great sense of fulfillment.
The other thing would be the reviews and unboxing photos from customers. It gives me great motivation when my values are recognized and supported.
What was the biggest hurdle to overcome?
Finding customers was a big challenge for me. At first I didn’t know how to get customers, so I went around forums and social media and did my shameless self promotion. Gradually, we built more customers and fans. Promoting with Pinkoi campaigns was also very effective and now we’re really heading for a steady customer base.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
A few months after joining Pinkoi, we started getting significantly more orders, as well as significantly more workload.
Our customer service slowed down, complaints went up, and as we created more SKUs, we also made more mistakes because of a more complicated inventory.
It was a lesson to learn. We set up a process that covers things from order management to customer service, and after the system was in place, our processing became much more efficient, and we had less errors.
Why did you choose to sell on Pinkoi?
Because we can reach customers all over the world with Pinkoi.
Also, it’s because we share Pinkoi’s values. Pinkoi is not just a marketplace, but also a platform for designers. Here, we have the type of customers and shopping experience that we are looking for. Our products just looks better listed on Pinkoi—with all the other good designs listed side by side with us!
What was your experience with Pinkoi? How did your brand grow?
Our sales and orders grew significantly after joining Pinkoi, especially since Pinkoi is very powerful when it comes to seasonal sales like Christmas. Many of our customers came from Pinkoi. When they discover our brand through Pinkoi, they get the impression that we’re a design team, not just a regular store.
What’s next for Jane One Piece?
We’re developing the next product line. It will be designs that incorporate vegetable tanned leather and other materials. So many ideas, so little time!
Please give some advice to aspiring Designtrepreneurs!
Sometimes it is our thoughts and knowledge that hold us back. In times like these, just think back to the time you started this journey. If a decision is consistent with your intentions, resolve to go for it!
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