ethics + sustainability
At Maven Leather + Design, we believe that the functionality of leather has been ancestrally passed down to us for thousands of years. Leather is an energetic, sacred material that quite literally could last forever with the proper care. We work with leather out of respect for the energy that it contains. It is our continual quest to create something beautiful and durable – that will continue to serve a purpose and be loved for generations to come.
Maven Leather + Design was founded on the ancestral lands of the Passamaquoddy people. Today, it resides on the ancestral lands of the Chumash and Salinan tribes. We acknowledge the original stewards of these lands, their Elders, both past and present, as well as their future generations to come.
Maven Leather + Design was founded in rural Maine in Dec. 2015 by artist-designer, Emma Thieme. Emma began the label with a focus on auto upholstery and crafted countless original leather motorcycle seats in a self-built cabin in Maine's 'Downeast' region. Seeking a transformation, Emma began living and working out of her van in Jan. 2020. She traveled around the country selling one of a kind leather bags, crafted from the remnants of her motorcycle seat commissions. Her journey led her to the Central Coast of California, where she operates a working studio and storefront in the small town of Cayucos.
Maven continually raises funds for efforts in need by raffling off one of a kind works. In 2023, we were grateful to support The Kāko‘o Maui Fund through a raffle in which 100% of the proceeds were given and then matched by larger donors.
We pledge to always grow in our giving. Please sign up for our newsletter, so you don't miss the next raffle.
Maven Leather + Design sources minimally-processed, unused surplus leather hides, often referred to as “deadstock”. These hides were intended for the corporate handbag industry, but were rejected for their minor imperfections and natural character. We find this natural character to be beautiful and have made it our mission to use every piece of the hide. Nothing goes to waste.
All hardware and other materials are sourced through small, family-run businesses operating within the United States.
Choice of Material:
95% of our chosen leather is American buffalo. The American buffalo has been native to the North American landscape for thousands of years and their hides have been an invaluable resource for humans for just as long. The buffalo hide is superior to cowhide in its strength and durability, and it contains a natural oil that allows it to protect itself.
The buffalo is too powerful to be contained in a factory farm setting and therefore roams freely. And where the buffalo roam, the land is nourished, as their hooves are designed to knead blades of grass and other vegetation into the topsoil.
Due to the United States ranching community widely favoring non-native cattle over the more sustainable buffalo, our hides originated from herds roaming in Mexico.
Maven Leather + Design incorporates a botanically dyed color palette into every collection. These colors are achieved in small dye baths in the Maven L+D studio using only organic materials like plants, bark, berries and insects. These natural dye concepts are 15,000+ years old and have been built from the centuries-old ancestral wisdom of indigenous communities all over the world.
All one-of-a-kind Maven Leather and Design pieces were crafted by the designer, Emma Thieme, in her private studio, located directly above the Maven Leather + Design brick and mortar storefront in Cayucos, California. Our Core Collection was crafted in Southern California as part of a humble production team of 1 to 2 other artisans.
We package all of your orders as a team of two in our Cayucos, CA storefront. We ship through our local post office, located a short walk away. We print our materials on hemp paper and wrap with recycled paper instead of plastic. Orders over a certain value will be packaged in a durable, canvas tote bag, which we hope you’ll use for years to come.