North East-based luxury leathersmith, Stuart Coupland has continued the exponential growth of Coupland Leather with a further 70 per cent growth in turnover in the last year, thanks in part to the company’s growing popularity in the US, Dubai, Hong Kong, Belgium and Australia.
Formed at the beginning of the first Covid lockdown in 2020, Coupland Leather has repeatedly gone from strength to strength and through savvy investment, strategic marketing and building new partnerships, is set to continue this trend.
In 2021-22, 15 per cent of the company’s sales were attributed to overseas orders, and the business moved from its unit in Hartlepool to picturesque Osmotherley which provided greater square footage for the company’s expanding machinery portfolio as well as facilities for a bespoke photography studio where Stuart’s partner, Megan Geddis who owns MHG Photography, takes high quality photos of the products which have aided in their success.
Stuart said: “With the fear and uncertainty around energy prices and rising rents, Megan and I moved into a space where we can both can live and work. We have also invested in new 3D printing equipment which gives Coupland Leather huge potential when it comes to designing and printing new leather debossing stamps, and now have the ability to print logos, names, phrases etc onto a stamp and brand the products.”
Coupland Leather has focused on charity partnerships, too, donating handcrafted products to support events for Butterwick Hospice and Great North Air Ambulance, and adding a donation service to the checkout of its website for MAIN, a North East autism charity. Stuart also worked with the late John Challis’ wife to create ‘Boycie bookmarks’ which were sold to raise money for three charities close to the actor’s heart.
Stuart continued: “2021 was an exciting year for us, seeing huge growth in brand awareness. We featured in 10 luxury magazines, I was invited as a guest on a number of podcasts and a British Chamber of Commerce webinar, and was interviewed by GoDaddy alongside Beth Tweddle on growing a small business during the lockdown, being featured on BBC Look North on a similar topic.
“This year, our focus will be similar – we’re attending some great events and expos, I’m currently designing some new purses and handbags to add to our range, and we will focus heavily on the wedding and corporate gifting market.”
Coupland Leather already has partnerships with Araminta Campbell, Teesside Airport (Rejoy), House of Zana, Alnwick Gardens, Master Debonair, and the Engravers Guild, as well as selling through its website. The company handcrafts all its leather products in house, from scratch. Clients can speak directly to the person who will be making their item or gift, ensuring that what they’re expecting is what they will get. There is a wide range of dyes, threads and amendments to the designs available, so the finished product not only matches their style but is also perfect for the intended use. There are also several options for personalisation, from stamped initials, dates and names, to laser engraving and the crème de la crème corporate debossing stamps.