I have to admit I was pretty excited to sit down with this month’s maker. A fellow bag maker, I first heard about Matt Saporito’s work at the Missoula Made Fair last December.
I spoke with Matt at his home studio where he showed me his process and talked to me about how it all began. Several years ago, Matt took a trip to Morocco where he witnessed the locals tanning leather. During this trip, he bought a bag that later became the starting point for his business, Brick Bound. Matt tore his ACL in 2010 and says he needed something to fill his time. He took the bag to a local leather shop, Black Sheep Custom Leather. It was there that Matt asked questions and learned the ins and outs of leather making. Since that time, Matt has been making bags for friends and family, and has steadily grown his business both locally and beyond.
When I asked Matt his advice on pricing, he said “don’t sell yourself short.” Matt believes it is important to know when to say “no” and hold out for better opportunities. He also spoke of the importance of explaining to the customer why stuff is so expensive. The time, materials, and details all add up. So it’s important to at least give the consumer the knowledge of what goes into that price tag.
When I asked Matt about promoting Brick Bound, he spoke about the business he gets from traveling and carry his bag with him. When someone sees his bag and asks him about it, it starts a conversation that can lead to a sale. Matt also believes in word of mouth as a tool to promote his business. When someone loves the product that he has made, they tell other people. That is one valuable piece of advertising.
So what's behind his brand? Matt describes his bags as being well built and looking well built. He wants people to be able to see the construction of his bags just by looking at them. Matt also hopes that his bags will someday be found in the antique shops of the world and be passed down throughout the generations.
Thanks for the tips Matt! You can see more of Matt’s work at www.brickbound.com