When it comes to running a successful artisan business with a young family, Adam and Vicky from Lucas Ruth certainly know a thing or two! We’ve recently caught up with the pair after they attended our Country Living Christmas Fair in Harrogate to find out more about the story behind their brand and the creative process that goes into making such beautiful leather pieces.
We are Adam and Vicky from Lucas Ruth (name will be explained later on…), we are a married couple who have a beautiful daughter, and we love creating leather products! We mainly make leather journals, but we dabble in other leather products too!
How did it all start?
My love of leather began when I worked in one of the most prestigious leather companies in England, where I hand dyed, treated and finished leather. As a creative person, I eventually became eager to make my own products out of this material that I had been using. So I started making leather journals as gifts to friends, and I then eventually turned it into my full time business.
The story behind the name…
My names Adam, and my wife’s name is Vicky…Adam Vicky didn’t have a good ring to it, so we went with our middle names instead ‘Lucas Ruth’. Family is so important to us, and we really wanted to reflect that in our business name.
Where are you based?
We are based in Walsall, which has a rich heritage in leather. Our workshop is above our local coffee shop, come say hi and we’ll give you a tour!
What inspires you?
I honestly want to make a great life for my family, the people I love! I feel so fortunate to be able to be creative and expressive as a job.
What is your creation process?
Unravelling a leather hide, seeing all the natural edges, scarring, stretch marks and even vein marks of the cow, which all add to its character.
Then envisioning the different products I plan to make with it, and how the natural characteristics of the cow hide compliment what I’m about to make!
What makes you, your brand or products unique?
Every one of our products will look different, we use extremely high quality top grain leather, which keeps all the natural characteristics of a the cow hide in.
We also have a passion to help others be creative, which is why we have released Make Your Own Journal Kits, which give you everything that you need to make your own leather journal…and it only takes about 30 minutes!!
What is your next project?
We have been gifted a Singer industrial leather sewing machine from 1940 – we plan to fix it up …what we’ll use it for who knows…up until now, everything that we make, we sew by hand.
What are your plans for the next 12 months?
We plan on brining out some new products, and also some new DIY leather kits!
What is your biggest achievement?
It’s a hard question to answer, as all I can think of are lots of little achievements that have become building blocks over time. Last year, we took our new-born baby to over 4 weeks worth of shows/exhibitions – that’s got to be up there with our biggest achievement!
What is your best-selling product?
Our Evergreen leather journal is our best selling book, having rich dark green tones of leather wrapped round our Italian milled off white pages.
Closely joint is our Make Your Own Journal Kits, which have been a massively popular success.
Your experience of your first Country Living Fair?
It’s just such a pleasurable environment, everything looks amazing! Even as a trader, I find myself sneaking off to do lots of shopping. I love the high standard and quality that it has, clearly a lot of effort is put into the organising of the event.
What do you love about Country Living Fairs?
I love seeing so many high quality products that people have made, it’s really inspiring.
Your three top tips for crafters and makers…
- Think outside the box, there’s always a new material that you can be creative with!
- Ask friends/family for feedback on your work – but also don’t be too hard on yourself!
- Try and express yourself creatively with whatever you are making.
Any advice for fledgling businesses…
Surround yourself with people who are further on than you, take some classes and make time for plenty of practice!