FAB': the art of working leather, Quebec style

FAB’ : l’art de travailler le cuir, façon Québec

Fabrice Lallemand has always been fond of manual work and craftsmanship, but he never thought that his job as a professional photographer would one day lead him to making all kinds of eco-responsible leather accessories. Read on to find out how he came to create his company, FAB', where elegance and minimalism meet quality and durability.

From photographer to craftsman

FAB’: the art of working leather, Quebec style

Fabrice is a professional photographer. It was while looking for a handmade strap for his camera that he realized that there was a need in the local market for this type of product. “I was looking for a product that I couldn't find in Quebec. Indeed, until recently, these products were only found in the United States or Europe.

So he decided to teach himself how to work leather in order to make a strap. “I am quite self-taught and I am quite manual at the base. It was by getting information on the Internet and doing “trial and error” that he developed his talents in leather goods. After making his own gear, he began supplying it for friends and fellow photographers, which spread the word of his products through word of mouth.

FAB’: the art of working leather, Quebec style

Working in a photo shop, he started the official sale of his products. He then opened his Etsy shop in 2016 and that's when the FAB' business was born. The photo equipment that Fabrice makes has risen in popularity and even achieved international success, with more than 50% of sales of this type of product coming from the United States, particularly California.

When retro comes back in fashion

However, it was in 2019 that Fabrice decided to devote himself to FAB' full-time, following his participation in a photo fair with elite members of the community of photographers in Quebec. “That was the turning point for me. I was able to introduce my products to the general public and it was a great success. »

FAB’: the art of working leather, Quebec style

He believes that his success is partly due to a revival of the trend of owning retro cameras, which are smaller and sometimes make use of hitherto outdated techniques, such as film. "I arrived at the right time, I was pretty much the only one offering these products on the market , and at an affordable price. »

Since then, Fabrice has developed an array of leather products, from equipment for photographers to personal accessories for everyone, such as wallets, key rings, belts and coasters. You can browse the full list of products on the company's website .

A family tradition

FAB’: the art of working leather, Quebec style

Fabrice is not the first in his family to work with leather; indeed, he is following in the footsteps of his mother and grandmother who both worked in this field in the past. “I am following a family tradition. In fact, his mother has been supporting him for the last year by working with him in the workshop three to four days a week. This allows it to continue to operate with good turnover since the increase in the number of products manufactured and sold, especially during busy periods.

FAB’: the art of working leather, Quebec style

However, Fabrice brings a personal and modern touch to his way of preparing leather. “I support the “slow fashion” movement, I manufacture eco-responsible and sustainable products, with a minimalist and timeless design. In addition, he takes care to assess the origin of the materials he uses to assemble his products and carefully chooses the suppliers with whom he does business in order to ensure that his products are subject to the strictest ecological and environmental standards. .

A problematic pandemic

FAB’: the art of working leather, Quebec style

Before COVID entered our lives, several camera equipment orders were placed with the company from Europe. That said, the pandemic has led to freight transportation issues that have hampered the company's sales outside of Canada. On the other hand, Fabrice had just made the leap into full-time entrepreneurship, just before Christmas 2019, and had planned to sell his products in several shops, many of which had to close their doors. “COVID has been quite a challenge. It put a damper on my momentum and led to an unplanned period. »

FAB’: the art of working leather, Quebec style

Despite everything, Fabrice adapted his business strategy to sell more products online and put some projects on hold. For example, he originally planned to release a new harness for wedding photographers that allows for heavier weight support. As the vast majority of weddings have been canceled or postponed during the pandemic, Fabrice has taken on other projects and plans to officially launch this product in early 2022. shook at the start. But it allowed me to shuffle my cards and go about it differently. »

A future full of opportunities

FAB’: the art of working leather, Quebec style

In the last few months, Fabrice seized the opportunity to produce more personalized products for corporate contracts. He recently did business with real estate developers by producing key fobs that are given with the keys to new condo owners, with their names engraved on them. “It's encouraging to see that local businesses support Quebec products. He has also invested in a laser machine that will allow him to engrave his products and intends to develop a section dedicated specifically to corporate contracts.

FAB’: the art of working leather, Quebec style

Fabrice's path has not been without pitfalls. The start of his business took time and several people tried to discourage him from embarking on the work of craftsman and entrepreneur. It is his philosophy since the beginning of his career that has allowed him to experience the success he has today: "When you have an idea in mind and you are ready to do everything to make it work, go ahead and do it. »

In the coming months, Fabrice intends to expand its range of products, by offering different models and colors of accessories. Keep an eye out for FAB's future projects by following his Facebook and Instagram account .

Ariane Blondin

Reviewed by MF Editorial

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