mavEn originated in a small, barebones workshop on the Bold Coast of Northeastern Maine. Armed with a childhood spent sewing alongside my mother and a recent education in the trade of auto upholstery, I actually began my professional leatherworking career as a custom motorcycle seatmaker in 2015 -- designing, sculpting and upholstering motorcycle seats for clientele across the United States. My interest in purse design began as a reprieve from my motorcycle seat work -- a way to keep my skills fresh and my aesthetic innovative, while allowing myself the opportunity to just do my own thing, no pressure. Located on 12 acres of raw land, my studio at that time was remote and barebones, and for the time that I spent working and living there, I felt partnered with, and at the mercy of, Nature. The solitude that my land offered and the pragmatism that my self-sufficient lifestyle required remain the two driving inspirations behind my artistic work. Soon, my experiments in purse design developed into a body of work, which was accepted into local galleries and stores. In 2018, I transitioned into a larger studio and opened it as a summertime storefront in the river village of Cherryfield, Maine. In the winter, I would hit the road with my inventory and for the years leading up to 2020, I was a full-time traveling artist, living and working out of my van and showing my work at fine craft shows throughout New England, as well as New York, Nashville, Tucson and San Francisco. In March 2020, I was traveling the coast of California and happened upon the small beach town of Cayucos in its off-season. I fell in love with the raw nature of nearby Big Sur and was welcomed and inspired by the local artist community. In November, I opened my second brick and mortar location, one block from the ocean in Cayucos. Similar to my first storefront in Maine -- still in operation and re-opening summer 2021 -- my Cayucos location serves as an open-studio and gallery, where the public can view my work in the same space where I create it. Although I do still take on the occasional motorcycle seat project, my interests lie in the simplicity of a really good, handmade leather bag -- one that remains timeless, individual, and unashamed of its natural beauty and imperfections, all while safely carrying the daily artifacts of our lives. Thank you for considering my designs for your store, your appreciation of handmade and quality craft is a gift that I do not take for granted. With gratitude, Emma Thieme Founder + Chief Designer
the nature of leather + handmade
I choose to work exclusively with minimally-processed, full grain hides, primarily from the free-roaming American bison (aka buffalo). I hand-select these hides for their natural character and beauty. They feature variations in color, interesting markings and scars, and signs of a life led out in the elements. In addition to these unique characteristics, full grain leathers are stronger and more durable than most commercial leathers, which have been heavily manipulated to mask “imperfections.” Please keep this in mind when ordering and expect variations in color and texture, as well as occasional “range marks” -- they only add to the beauty and uniqueness of a mavEn piece and are often its biggest selling point. In addition to the neutrals and earth tones of my hides, I also feature sustainably-dyed leathers in many of my pieces. I have dyed these leathers myself using traditional plant and insect dye methods that date back centuries. Falling in line with the aesthetic of my work, these leathers exhibit beautiful variations in color, proving to the customer that they carefully dyed by hand.
A minimum of $1,000 is required on all opening orders. Re-orders can be made with a $600 minimum, but are based on collection availability.
mavEn is an extremely small business. For this reason, all orders must be paid in full at the time the order is accepted.
We accept cash, check or credit card through Square invoicing. Cash or Check is preferred.
At this time, the full wholesale collection is made and ready to ship as soon as payment is received.
Shipping cost will be calculated and invoiced to you at time of shipment. Please ask for estimate if needed. If you have a UPS account, please provide that information. We work with UPS and USPS for shipping. Alternatively, orders can be picked up by appointment at the mavEn storefront in Cayucos, CA.
RRP + pricing
There is no price increase cap, but please use your best judgement when pricing above RRP. Collections are limited (25 units or less per design/color way) and often never to be replicated again, allowing you the freedom to price above RRP if you feel your customer base can support it. Please refrain from discounting mavEn designs more than 20% below RRP. Prices are subject to change without notice.
cancellations, order changes + exchanges
Please remember that mavEn is an extremely small business, centered around the handmade and the work of independent artists. Once payment has been recieved, all orders are final. Please inspect your shipment carefully. If you are unhappy with your order, please email us within 48 hours of receiving it to discuss next steps. Because mavEn is a very small business and all designs are handmade, we will only accept exchanges, and only on defective merchandise. I reserve the right to determine what is the natural character of leather and what is a production flaw. Please keep in mind that the natural beauty and character of leather has proven to be its biggest selling point. In the case of an exchange, all shipping costs remain the responsibility of the buyer.
tips for display + merchandising
mavEn leather designs look best when they are stuffed, hanging in a lateral line from a garment rack or sitting on a shelf. Designs such as the Convert Bag and Sal Bucket feature a nifty Convert Strap that allows them to be worn at a variety of different lengths. These are easy sells if your retail associates take the time to demonstrate the Convert Strap and how it easily adjusts. A photo slideshow works wonders to highlight the versatility of these designs and we would be happy to provide you with model photos. When I display my work, I primarily use industrial pipe garment racks with S-hooks. Hanging my work in a lateral line has proven to be the best way to show off the interesting shape of each design, while making the design accessible to customers to try on. Many designs also look great hanging alone from a hook on the wall. I would be happy to send you photos of my showroom for inspiration.
Each design in your order will be packed with a mavEn postcard, a thank you note explaining the background of mavEn and a detailed leather care sheet. If you would like extra of any of these materials to incorporate into display, please let us know. We would also be happy to email you photos of Emma working in her Cayucos studio or modeled photos of the designs you have chosen. More information on Emma's story and the mavEn label can be found here.