Micky Sticks, the artisan and creator behind Savoia Leather, is welcoming as he leads the way to his studio-workshop located at the Savoia smallholding in Paradyskloof. Originally from Paarl, Micky learned the basics of his craft while travelling and living in Vietnam and the photographs that adorn the studio’s walls reflect his time there.

One of the drivers for Micky towards his leather craft originated during his time doing environmental education. He began to look at sustainability and an awareness of how we consume (and waste) products and knew that he wanted to live in a way that intentionally moved away from a throw-away lifestyle.

Leather is a durable and long-lasting product and when leather products are meticulously constructed, they have a considerable lifespan. Even items like leather sandals can be reworked and refitted with new soles when they have worn down. Savoia is a lifestyle accessory business that focusses on creating both beautiful and durable hand-crafted items.

Micky saddle stitches his products and says that his aim is to make accessories that are built to last and made for life. Accessories in his range include wallets, pouches, sunglass and glasses cases, journal covers, satchels and laptop sleeves, valet trays, purses and mini-wallets.

Micky is self-taught although in Vietnam, his progress was mentored by a fellow leather artisan who owned a coffee and leather shop. Through observation, Micky learned what to do and how to do it.

For Micky it is important to nurture the pleasure he has in his craft. He does what he can to maintain a balance between his work being a continual creative inspiration and a business journey. The emphasis throughout is on maintaining his creativity and not to be motivated primarily by business.

He first heard of Ranyaka Community Transformation, the NPO associated with the CoCreate Hub, when they became involved in a food gardening project and he subsequently connected with Lindsay from Ekhethiwe Curated, the gallery curator for the CoCreate Hub, to begin showcasing and selling his accessories.

While Micky would like to see his business grow, as a bespoke leather artisan, he considers any growth cautiously and wants to be able to stay true to his ethic of quality goods over quantity and making sure that all his clients are happy with their orders. While each accessory is cut from an eccentric pattern designed himself, tiny differences in the leather and the stitching ensure that each piece is unique. Micky is also available to do workshops, consult and create bespoke pieces to meet a customer’s requirement. Currently the journal covers, valet trays, laptop sleeves, tobacco pouches, and mini-wallets are Savoia’s top sellers.

To find out more about Savoia, check out the website, visit the CoCreate Hub at 7 Victoria Street, Stellenbosch to view (and shop for) their products, visit their website or connect via the CoCreate Hub Entrepreneurs page.

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Images: Lizelle Lötter Photography