Industrial Lighting Sets Tone for Leather Studio Experience
Charlotte, North Carolina, ranks as the country’s fastest growing metro area and is particularly attractive to millennials. The skyline is jammed with soaring steel and glass, sports arenas, and luxury condos, but if you take the time to explore, you can still find pockets of the city’s long and storied history.
On a visit this past weekend to the Queen City, we dropped in on ColsenKeane, a custom leather goods shop close to the bustle of downtown. Owners Scott and Taryn Hofert purchased the 61-year-old building last year for their growing business.
We took a tour of the space with director of operations Bay Robinson and 7-week-old Elliott, the shop pup.
“Charlotte tends to knock things down and build new,” Bay says. “But we’re passionate about old things, and we wanted to maintain the original building as much as possible.” The open ceiling with exposed duct work was saved as were the old-style windows with wavy glass. The rich scent of leather fills the air.
When choosing lighting for the exterior, Scott and Taryn wanted to pay homage to the history of the building. Taryn chose two Atomic Topless Double Industrial Guard Sconces to provide an old-school look to the entryway. She customized these guard-and-glass sconces with a Textured Black finish, standard cast guard, and clear crackle glass.
“We wanted something dependable yet industrial; something unique that would still fit the vibe of our workshop as we continue to restore it,” Taryn says. “Your lighting fit the bill, and, of course, we love to support fellow American-made businesses.”
The couple started their company in 2010 when Scott bought the brand new Apple iPad only to discover there were no cases available. A self-described leather junkie, Scott crafted one out of leather and soon realized there was a market for high-quality, custom leather goods. Scott and two other craftsmen create messenger bags, belts, wallets, and a wide variety of other goods in the studio.
“We sell very durable, often masculine, rugged leather accessories – all made in our workshop,” Taryn explains. “We really wanted our entrance to reflect that ethos. The caged vintage light gave us the vibe we wanted, and the double sconce gave us the amount of light needed to do our double-door entrance justice. The fixtures really are the eye candy of our entryway!”
The craftsmen use rawhide hammers to work the leather just as it was done 200 years ago. Hides are rolled out on large work tables, patterns are cut by hand, and pieces are stitched together.
“We try to honor our industry by doing things in that way,” Bay notes, “and the Barn Light Electric lights illustrate the same thing — quality, American craftsmanship done the right way.”
“Our customers tell us that walking into our workshop is a visceral experience…and your lighting is part of that!” Taryn adds. “Your vintage-style lights welcome folks as they open a creaky wooden-and-glass door and the scent of leather hides and the sounds of riveting and hammering engulfs their senses. It’s all part of the ColsenKeane Workshop Experience. Thanks for lighting it up!”