How We Came to Be

Our journey into the leather craft world began when our founder, Rachel, was looking for a unique costume piece, and stumbled across a beautiful, intricately-carved, leather bunny mask. She found herself constantly thinking about that work of art, and felt the urge to “create” grow stronger and stronger.

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.

Learn how Emi brand leather goods are made.

Notes on our packaging materials.

Behind the Scenes

For an inside peak on the work behind our collections, follow us on other social media platforms:


Our Team

Rachel Chen
Founder, Designer & Leather Artisan

Growing up, Rachel was passionate for drawing, sewing, sculpture/ceramics, and various creative hobbies. In college, she studied fashion design, graphic design, and was also a freelance illustrator. But as the years went by, she detoured from her creative calling to work in an office job, and pursue fitness & competitive bodybuilding. Our brand history is intertwined with her journey into the leather craft world. She works to balance a life as an traditional artisan, business owner, fitness instructor, dog & cat mom, and your everyday office worker. She's the hands behind Emi leather goods, and is always ecstatic to dedicate every moment into Atelier Emi because she loves sharing and teaching this art to others.

Minh Tran
Event Assistant & Pun Maker

Details coming soon~

Camille Requiestas
Brand Ambassador

Camille is an educated skincare fanatic, health enthusiast and adventure-seeking traveler. She’s a Southern California native who received a masters degree in journalism where she learned everything there is to know about conveying stories and information through television, radio, print and digital.

She inspires and sends little sparks of joy through her blog and through the letters and videos she’s created. She shares with you her experiences and passions from traveling to faraway places to her journey with eczema and tips on feeling confident inside and out. Camille believes self-love, proper care and a little bit of wanderlust are the key to living a healthy, positive and radiant life.


"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 sustainable, 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.