Lifetime pieces that withstand the test of time
It was one of those things where it was like a spine-tingling sign. Something was telling me to do this. I had always been interested in the creative arts, and traditional techniques.
If you’re a lover of all things beautiful and hand-made and looking to take that step closer to slow fashion, then you need to check out Millie and her leather brand; Tamboon Leather Co.
Founded in 2014, Tamboon Leather Co harmonises slow fashion, simplified living, and the sentimental value of pieces that will last a lifetime. Born and bred in the Port Stephens area, Millie is the human personification of the area. Laid back, bubbly and creative.
In her final years of studying Industrial Design at University, Millie was handed a suitcase by her mother that belonged to her late grandfather. Filled to the brim with all of his leatherwork tools, hand-written notes, and vintage craft books; it was like opening a personal piece of history.
“Mum didn’t realise that I’d already started looking into doing leather craft. It was one of those things where it was like a spine-tingling sign. Something was telling me to do this. I had always been interested in the creative arts, and traditional techniques,” Millie told me.
Whilst studying, Millie was involving leather into her projects as much as possible. Now, Millie combines those modern techniques she learnt with the traditional ones that were passed on through her grandad’s box of treasures.
“I tried to incorporate leather as much as possible throughout my degree. When I had to do the original chair design, that was where I could bring in the leather aspect. Any chance I had to incorporate leather and my own skills; I would do that.
“Industrial Design taught me a lot about mass manufacture and production on large scale projects which is all valuable and relevant. It was really nice to pay homage to something that I was passionate about and being able to apply my skills and what I was learning in the man-made world, but still being able to have that connection to the traditional craft. It just made sense for me.”
So, where does the name, Tamboon Leather Co. come from?
“Tamboon Leather Co. comes from Tamboon, which was the street that my grandparents, Barry & Gloria lived on; Tamboon Avenue. It's quirky enough for people to ask what it means, and then I get to share the sentimental story behind it.”
Millie currently has a beautiful range of Leather goods and essentials to complement your everyday life. Still stocking the all-time favourite rucksack, alongside a range of clutches, phone wallets, satchels, and tote bags, with a new collection of accessories launching in August; Nuances of Nature.
“I prefer to release them at my own pace rather than feeling obliged by the demand of the fast fashion industry. To me, it feels more intentional and meaningful.
“My love for the natural elements found across our Australian landscape is the core inspiration for my brands' aesthetic. With each product embodying the beauty of simplicity, honesty and integrity. My appreciation for Dieter Rams' Good Design Principles (a pioneer of mid-century modern design) and the culture around minimalism Japan have played a huge part in my journey to thinking as a Designer.”
Not just a fashion brand, Millie makes a point of calling herself a lifestyle brand, because her creations are there to contribute to your way of life.
“The leather pieces are lifetime pieces. You know that the piece of work that you've created will stay with this person for years and years. It's not fast fashion, it's slow fashion. I hope that my customers feel a connection to the product because of this.”
“I feel really lucky to be using a material that does last forever. Making these products, you learn that each piece is unique. Not only in the leather, and in the features of the leather, but also in the way that it’s made.
“There's a lot of products in the market that are such cookie cutter style, it's nice to be able to have a product that has a sense of authenticity because of the story behind it and how it's been made.”
To check out Millie’s product in the flesh, you can head to Newcastle locals Maker Store Studio, Newrybar Merchants on the North Coast of NSW, and Find + Form, in Sydney.
Tamboon Leather Co also supply custom leather work for hotels, boutique accommodation, and restaurants such as leather binders, guest room compendiums, leather menus and many other custom leather projects for businesses and products.
We have a good feeling about Millie, and all of her future plans for Tamboon Leather Co. So, keep an eye on her movements. We have a sneaking suspicion there might just be some more stockists, and even some workshops in the near future!
Millie is dedicating this article in honour of her loving Grandmother, Gloria Prior who passed away this month. Gloria is now at peace with Barry 'Ga-Ga' Prior from Tamboon Avenue, Turrumurra, Sydney.