Fused Goods is a line of minimalist leather goods and accessories that was founded in 2016. 2016 was when our ABN was approved, our domain was purchased, we set up our website and we sold our first keyring. However, Fused Goods has been an idea and passion for much longer than that.
I have always had a great deal of love and respect for leather. As a child, I was frequently given hand-me-down wallets from my older brothers - mainly Velcro closing with bright designs and zip up coin pockets. I knew something was missing. It was the look, feel and smell of leather. My father and countless other people whom I looked up to all had big, thick leather wallets, and as a result I thought that was what being a man was all about. I dreamed about the day I would own a leather wallet that I could fill with cards and cash, and put in my back pocket.
On my 15th birthday I was gifted a black, JAG leather bifold wallet and I couldn’t have been happier. This wallet would be with me forever. It would gain character with age and each scratch on its glossy black surface would bring back a memory of a good time. Unfortunately, only 4 years into its life, my very own JAG was beginning to give way. Too many bouncers asking to see my ID had taken a toll and the pockets had started to tear free.
At this time, I was 19 and had been working for my oldest brother, Dave through his company Brisbane Outdoor Gear (BOGear) and had been doing so on and off for the past 6 years. I worked in the manufacturing side of the business, so I knew my way around a sewing machine and the rules for designing patterns (tolerances etc). I had also studied Industrial Design for a little under a year, but decided to change my focus to Business and Marketing because I wasn’t able to find my passion in design. Hoping I would be able to make something on one of the machines at work, I Googled “how to make a wallet”. That one Google search is what triggered my memory and passion for design, and threw me down the path I am on today.
From the initial search, I was fronted by many videos and websites dedicated to handcrafted leather wallets. I never realised hand crafted leather goods were a thing. I thought all wallets were made by highly skilled, poorly paid machinists in developing countries. In the next few weeks and months, I knocked up many, many, many prototypes from varying materials, such as reclaimed sofa leather from my grandfather, pvc, cordura, canvas and paper. A lot of these prototypes failed, as they were too ugly or too bulky. I had always wanted to have a slimmer wallet, but even when I had just the bare minimum in the wallets they were still too bulky. I thought the process of having an idea, to making a few prototypes and then a final wallet would be quick and easy. Boy, was I wrong. I was never happy with what I had made, making minor iteration after iteration with a variety of designs. A little under a year from that initial Google search I launched Fused Goods, a line of durable, slim leather wallets and accessories - all because of my requirement of a new wallet.
All our wallets and accessories are lasercut and hand stitched using the saddle stitching method. Whilst I was still working on designs, accuracy was a fundamental requirement. As a result, all patterns were digitized and each prototype was then lasercut. I soon saw the advantage of this, as I was able to quickly cut a wallet much more precisely through this method rather than by hand. Consequently, the name ‘Fused Goods’ came about as I was using a ‘fusion’ of traditional leather crafting techniques and modern technology.
My aim has always been to create timeless products that are quality enough to pass from one generation to the next. For that reason, our products are hand stitched using the saddle stitching method. As saddle stitching uses both ends of one piece of thread independently, the end result is far stronger than even an industrial sewing machine stitch. Because of my time working at BOGear, a company that prides itself in producing only the most premium quality products, that idea has been distilled in my products.
The phrase ‘Australian Made’ has begun to catch on in recent years. Whilst it is great for a company to manufacture in Australia using Australian labour, I personally believe it is best to do this using Australian Made materials as well. For this reason, our goods are lasercut out of Kangaroo leather from a local tannery (Packer Leather), hand stitched and have their edges burnished entirely in house, in Brisbane. Fused Goods take great pride in being able to say we support local businesses in the production of our products. We hope you can do the same.
At Fused Goods, we aim to make modern goods, utilising modern technology but still respecting the past. We believe value, quality and durability are all interrelated, and largely come back to the processes of creation, and materials used. We source our leather from Packer Leather, a local tannery who also provides the leather for Kookaburra cricket balls, Sherrin AFL balls and a number of large international shoe and clothing companies.
Our products only use 1st grade, vegetable tanned kangaroo leather. We choose to use this leather because of its unique qualities that prove it over all other leathers. Vegetable tanned leathers are tanned through the traditional ‘chromium-free’ method. This means the leather does not contain any of the harmful or toxic chemicals found in other leathers. As well, this process leaves the leather with a more natural and organic colour/texture, which has a highly sought after ageing quality. Over time and use, our wallets develop a unique patina for each user, depending on how it is worn. As well, some of our wallets may have scarring or other natural marks from ticks or fences. We believe this just adds to the character of the wallet.