How We Came to Be
Our journey into leather craft began when our founder, Rachel, was looking for a unique costume piece, and stumbled across an intricately-carved, leather bunny mask. She found herself constantly thinking about that work of art, and was curious on how something so beautiful could be made by hand.
Our first projects began as gifts to family, friends, and loved ones. As time went on, we received custom requests for a variety of things, from camera straps to passport cases. Thus began our small, home-based business, located in sunny California. What had started out as a need for a creative outlet, has now sparked into a full-fledged passion, where uncompromising quality and refining small details are our focus.
Atelier Emi is driven by creating bespoke (made-to-order) leather goods. We always welcome custom requests, and encourage clients to share their dreams, customization requests, and designs with us. It's truly inspiring to hear the amazing ideas our supporters come up with, and a pleasure to have the opportunity of bringing those dreams to life.
Behind the Scenes
For an inside peak on the work behind our collections, follow us on other social media platforms:
Founder, Designer & Leather Artisan
Growing up, Rachel was always passionate for the arts and anything that sparked her creative drive. She dove into a variety of traditional arts ranging from drawing, painting, sculpture, dance, and other crafts such as sewing, felting, leather craft, wood whitling and various other creative hobbies. In college, she studied fashion design, graphic design, and was also a freelance illustrator. Our brand journey is intertwined with her journey into the leather craft world and back into the arts. She works to balance a life as a leather artisan, business owner, fitness instructor, dog & cat mom, and your everyday 9-5 employee. She's the hands behind it all, and is always ecstatic to dedicate every minute she can into Atelier Emi because she loves sharing this art with others.
Event Assistant & Pun Maker
Details coming soon~
"A Beautiful Blessing" : Behind the Name
Years ago, Rachel used to be a vegetarian, then vegan. So when we first started, we considered working with vegan leathers, as it pained us to think about the sacrifices made to obtain leather. But as we researched further, learned the differences between faux vs natural leather manufacturing, and how to the leather industry could be sourced and manufactured responsibly, we decided to proceed with natural leathers.
For our brand name, we originally brainstormed through multiple variations of “opals”. This was the first idea that came to mind, as this is Rachel's birthstone (October). The thought was that opals could also symbolize the uniqueness of every leather. We even sketched out a few logos, and played around with different variations on the gemstone’s chemical formula. But that name always seemed very superficial and never fully fit into our brand vision/purpose..
As we were finalizing the logo, Rachel noticed her Siberian Husky, Emi, lying next to her. A light bulb went off. All that brainstorming, and the perfect name was staring right back at us: Emi. Her name, which means “a beautiful blessing”, acknowledges the respect and gratitude we have for the materials that are at the foundation of our work. It also encompasses our brand values, speaks from our hearts, and grounds us.