November 04, 2016 3 min read
Capra was born in 2015 from Juan Quiñones’ love of leather and his belief in doing something different. “I was unable to find cool, quality and affordable leather goods for men,” he says “so I began thinking ‘why not just make them myself?’”
Juan began his business by crafting and selling handmade leather MacBook cases. He then expanded his horizon by producing accessories for various Apple products such as charger bags, iPad sleeves and desktop mats – these were an all-around hit on Etsy. “Right now, the idea is to create products that cover the whole spectrum of daily needs”, he says.
And that’s exactly what’s happening.
In the past two weeks, Capra has launched two new collections: The SUBSTANTIAL, a travel must-have that features a leather duffle bag and matching dopp kit, and a line of wallets, cardholders and eyewear sleeves made for the on-the-go man.
Over the last year, the brand has taken a massive step forward. With satisfied customers in over 40 countries around the world, spread across 5 different continents, Capra has started to cement itself as a go-to brand for handmade leather accessories for men.
Nonetheless, growth hasn’t changed Capra’s philosophy: to highlight the beauty of leather while creating minimalist, functional pieces. The workshop, located in Bogotá, is home to a group of five dedicated craftsmen who carefully create every order that’s placed through the website. From the patterns, to the leather stitching, to the packaging before it’s sent off, everything is done by hand and in-studio.
“The minimalist design we have opted for, with very little stitching and sharp angles, allows for even more attention to detail and allows us to hand cut, sew and engrave all our products. It takes longer to produce one piece, but we know our clients appreciate knowing that their product wasn’t mass-produced at some factory. They’re all leather goods with soul” he says, adding that “just like a song, our handmade products have a story and convey a particular message.”
The leather, Capra’s real protagonist, also tells a story of its own. Aside from the fact that it’s locally sourced, Capra makes sure to work with “environmentally-friendly leather”. This means that any residue left after the leather has ben dyed is properly taken care of and disposed.
“We use full grain leather of the finest quality. While most tanneries try to hide the leather’s marks or imperfections, we feel like it brings new life to the products – they tell a story that other people try to erase” says Juan. “If you look closely at any of our products, you’ll notice these little marks. They’re all natural, and cows get them throughout their lives. Instead of polishing them off or covering them with patterns, we showcase them.”
In addition to this, Capra holds other qualities that help it stand out from the rest of its competitors. According to Juan, one of the most important aspects is that Capra doesn’t work with artisans, they areartisans. “Our designs aren’t always born on paper; we hate doing that. Instead, we experiment with making the product until we find something we’re truly happy with.” Another detail that separates them from the rest is their love of all things customized: from personalized engraving to people who send in their own ideas, Juan loves playing around with products he’s already made to see how they can adapt to someone’s personal preferences.
“With Capra you’ll experience a journey that begins with fantastic customer service and ends with a fine piece of craftsmanship in your hands. No two Capra products are the same, you’ll always receive a one of a kind piece.”
Capra doesn’t want to be known solely for creating handmade one specific product, says Juan. “We want to become a household name. A brand with a cult following. Since we’re a design studio, people can expect a lot of innovative designs from us. Plus, we also want to create a whole new shopping experience for our customers.”