We had the good fortune of connecting with Silvano Barba and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Silvano, how do you think about risk?
I would say I’m a calculated risk taker. To start and run your own business like we do, risk taking is just part of the deal that comes with it. Which in part, the risk taking extends to your life choices as well. If you want a business to be successful, it has to be one with your life. We try to be as calculated as possible with career/life decisions, but if we take risk and they don’t work out, we have to be open to adapt to changes at all time. If we would have never taken the risk of quitting our day job to start our business, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve always been a creative person. I draw, paint and went to film school. That made it easy for me to design and make products. In my high school days, I had an airbrushing business with my uncle. We would go to swap meets and airbrush t-shirts and hats. That taught me how to deal with people and meet customers expectations. Later in my life, I had a band with my sister which further taught me how book and promote myself to the public. Now, my wife and I have our Handcrafted Leather Goods & Accessories business. It was never an easy thing to do, but honestly I feel like I couldn’t do anything else but run and have my own business. Our company was started with the idea that quality and value could be one in the same. We individually source and handcraft everything to provide quality products with unmatched attention to detail. As a brand we work to combat the throw away culture of fashion with a more thoughtful, sustainable approach to our merchandise, never compromising the final product. Leather is a natural material, and the leather we use is a by-product of the meat industry. Knowing this, we take otherwise wasteful material, and turn it into a valuable asset. The smaller quantities in our production means we are being less excessive in wastage and less impactful on the environment.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Being born and raised in Los Angeles, I love the history the city has to offer. There’s a few hidden gems that my wife and I frequent. For morning coffee (we prefer black cold brew), we visit either Cognoscenti Coffee or Copenhagen Pastry both in Culver City for the best cold brew around. For dinner, we visit Metro Cafe in Culver City for amazing casual gourmet food and a great wine list, or the classic italian restaurant La Dolce Vita in Beverly Hills for great service, food and cocktails. If we wanted to take a visitor around L.A., I would take them to historic locations and restaurants that might or might not be well known. For example, we would probably get coffee at one of my favorite coffee shops mentioned above. Then go for a walking tour of the Venice Beach canals. From there we would head to the Hollywood area and show them the history of the Sunset Strip and stop by The Rainbow Grill for lunch and drinks. Then we would head to La Dolce Vita or Musso & Franks for dinner and end the night at the Culver Hotel for cocktails and live jazz music.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I always give a shoutout to my dad. He had his own business for over 30 years (before retiring) which taught me how to navigate my own business venture/life. He taught me that you have to have trust in things working out. Sometimes things seem like they’re going wrong or not working in your favor. Sometimes, your goals are not a straight line. If you learn to accept the obstacles that life/business bring you and adapt to them, your life and career will be successful.
All photos by: Clarke & Barba and Ethan M. Wong