Say hello to Luz, the creative powerhouse driving the artistry of Casupo. Luz designs and makes a captivating collection of handcrafted leather goods, including compact wallets, bags, and belts, all meticulously crafted from recycled and vegetable-tanned leather. Born and raised in Valencia, Venezuela, she packed her bags and headed to the US to study industrial design. During her time working in the footwear industry, Luz visited tanneries and factories all over the world, sourcing and selecting leathers. She collected swatches and samples from her travels, and that’s what inspired her to start crafting her own leather goods. What started as a hobby swiftly evolved into her full-time profession. Through a series of questions, we got to know Luz and a bit more about Casupo.
Briefly tell us about yourself.
I was born and raised in Valencia, Venezuela, near a mountain called Casupo. I moved to the US at 19 years old to study Industrial Design and worked in the footwear industry for 10 years. I traveled to Mexico and China and learned about the design, development, and production process of shoes, and I used my free time to design and make my own leather goods with scraps.
I started Casupo when I realized there was a significant amount of leather left behind at factories. Brands overestimate the material needs and then abandon any excess materials. If nobody claims the scrap, it’s eventually trashed. I decided I could repurpose all these leathers and make leather wallets, bags, and belts. My goal is to run out of all these leathers by sharing my work with my customers and telling the story of these leathers.
How did you get started?
I make compact wallets, practical bags, and classic leather belts with premium excess leather found at factories in Los Angeles.
I started by making them at home with my home sewing machine. As we grew, I added a small team and decided it was better to work with more professional machines so now everything is handmade at our small factory in Los Angeles with professional sewing machines.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I love interacting with customers and finding out what is something they need or are looking for. I also love searching for leathers at factories around Los Angeles, and I let the leathers I find set the course of the collections. Having a color story is my favorite part of creating collections.
What does your creative process look like?
I have a list of ideas that come from my own experience, customers’ feedback or just from my own little inventions, and I work on them slowly until I have a moment where I can put all the pieces of the idea together and make a design tech pack. Then, I make a prototype sample and test it, before making more to list for sale.
Might be obvious, but what is your favorite material to work with?
I love working with leather; each one has a different story and properties, so each time I find one, I have to test it to ensure it does what I need it to do when the leather becomes a wallet or bag.
Why did you choose goimagine?
I was curious about the platform and thought it would be a good way to try and reach new customers.
Where can we find Casupo?
Shop Online: goimagine.com/casupo
Luz gives a portion of all Casupo sales to FUNDANICA, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing medical assistance to a children’s hospital in Venezuela.
Stephanie is naturally creative and is passionate about art, design, and everything handmade. She has always enjoyed exploring new techniques and trends in the handmade industry and has channeled this into her role as the Creative Director and co-founder of goimagine. Through her love for creating, she has successfully sold her unique wares, which range from fine art to simple crafts, in both online and in-person markets.