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What does 'maven' mean? 

Maven is an ancient word that originated in the Yiddish language. It can mean something as definitive as an "expert" but we prefer the more fluid definition of "someone who knows how" because it pays respect to the journey. We are all on a path to becoming the wisest versions of ourselves. 'Maven' represents walking that path to confidence, strength and wisdom. 

Who makes the bags?

Most of the designs that you see were crafted by Maven Leather + Design founder, Emma Thieme, in her studio-storefront in Cayucos, California. 


The only exception is The Core Collection, which was crafted by an artisan team of three peers in Southern California in limited collections of 25 pieces or less. These pieces were created using our usual American buffalo hides and often feature leathers that were plant-dyed in the Cayucos studio. While these pieces may have repeated stitching meditations, they remain one of a kind due to the incredible variations of authentic American buffalo leather. 

Where do you get your leather? 

In 2008, Maven founder, Emma, purchased a bag of leather scrap for $5 from a historical, family-owned leather supplier in New England. This same supplier remains our primary resource today. We focus on North American buffalo hides for their strength, natural character, resilience and because they are Native to our local landscape. (Buffalo are also far superior and more sustainable to cattle.) 

We never have leather tanned or created on our behalf and instead opt for "surplus" or "deadstock" hides. These are the hides that remain unused by the corporate labels that created them due to their natural markings, patinas and character. Because Maven Leather + Design is such a small label, we are able to work with these hides effectively and creatively, making sure no piece of such a sacred material goes to waste. Read more about our ethics and sustainability.

Can I order a custom?

That depends... Customs are considered on a case-by-case basis and will only be discussed over email so we both have a record of our discussion. Whether or not I'm willing to take on a custom project is heavily dependent on my current workload, your timeline/budget and the time of year.


Please keep in mind that I'm an Artist and I like to prioritize my own ideas. More often than not, I'm bringing my own original concepts to fruition for my storefront and website.

That being said, I am usually able to recreate my own designs in your preferred color palette. I am also open to working with individuals, galleries, restaurants, etc. on interior design projects. 


To begin the conversation about a potential custom project, please email If accepted, all custom commissions will incur an additional design fee of $100 and above. 


Do you offer workshops?

Yes! You can see what's on schedule for in-person workshops here. You are also welcome to book me for a private workshop at your location or mine. 

Do you have a storefront? 

Yes! It is located in the Central Coast of California at 146 N. Ocean Ave, Suite B, Cayucos, CA 93430. Learn more. 

I keep trying to purchase but my favorites are always sold out. How do I stay on top of your collection drops? 

Most Maven Leather and Design pieces are completely one of a kind, so when they're gone, they're gone. Please make sure you are subscribed to my email newsletter and that you're following @mavenleather on Instagram. Instagram is the easiest platform for me to keep everyone updated on what I'm working on and which designs/colors are coming next. I'll also occasionally hop on there to offer a discount on a specific piece I'd like to see sold. So if you're going to do one thing, do Instagram.


I also send out occasional email newsletters to notify you about collection drops, sales, etc.


And if you want to keep en eye on what we're carrying at our brick and mortar storefront (we'll ship) follow our separate account @maven.cayucos

Do you offer a warranty? 

Yes! All hardware, stitching and seams of Maven Leather designs are warrantied for two years from date of purchase. If within this timeframe, any of these elements fails, we will repair it, within our ability, for free (excluding any shipping costs).

This warranty does not include design alterations, which will be considered on a case-by-case basis and incur additional charges.

What is your return/exchange policy?

Maven is an extremely small label centered around handmade, one-of-a-kind work. Because of this, we do not accept returns.


Exchanges are considered on a case-by-case basis and must be requested within 48 hours of delivery. Exchanges can only be made for an in-stock design of equal or greater value. Customer pays all shipping costs. Additionally, exchanges can be completed at our Cayucos storefront within 7 days of purchase. Exchanged items must be in new, unused condition. Exchanges cannot be applied to custom orders.


If you believe you've encountered a manufacturing flaw, please reach out to us within 48 hours of receipt so we can find a swift solution.


Thank you for your understanding. We greatly appreciate your support.

Still questioning? Read our Info + Policies page.

Explore the Collection

Functional - Intuitive - Unlike Any Other 

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