April 11, 2009
You see this beautiful leather? Hermes! Yes, Hermes, THE HERMES! At least that's what the lady at the store told me...
Last week, as I was heading back home from school with the girls, I passed this nice little "cordonnier" again. It's a nice little place - I should take my all time favorite boots there to see if they can still save them from the trash can, but I'm deviating... They do more than regular shoe repairs at that particular cordonnier. They create slippers on demand, sell little coin purses, belts, and have other small leather items as well.
This time, I noticed they had big, colorful leather skins in the store. So, I went inside and asked if maybe they were selling leather scraps too. No luck. The leather wasn't for sale and they didn't sell scraps either. But... the lady of the store knew of a place where they did sell leather, by the weight. She couldn't remember the exact name of the street, so she went through her entire (no kidding) inventory book and wrote down the address, even gave me directions to the store.
You see, that's another great thing about Paris and Parisians (and the French in general). When they notice you're really interested in something, they're happy to help you and to refer you to other places where you might find what you're looking for. This happened to me a couple of times already. I found out about "merceries", a great second hand Japanese bookstore, fabric stores, ... that way. Really nice! Thank you, guys!
A couple of days later, I decided to go over there and have a look. I found the place and it was just amazing, the assortment of leather they had: all sorts imaginable, in every finishing thinkable, in different thicknesses... But, all I could see were huge pieces. When I told the sales person about the cordonnier who had sent me and that I was looking for just small pieces, she took me to a couple of bins in the back of the store. Sold by the weight, with a minimum of one kilogram. Now, I have no idea what I'll be doing with one kilogram, but at the rate she told me, I would have been crazy not to buy any leather. I paid about the same amount for a tiny piece at a department store a while ago. I went through the bins, chose some orange, taupe and chocolate brown leather. Too bad, they didn't have purple...
After I'd paid, I chatted a bit with the sales person - while business men were running in out to make their choice - and she told me that they buy their scraps from... Hermes! Can you believe it!? I might not have a Hermes it-bag, but at least I have the scraps!!! And if Hermes says purple is out, then why bother! Although, I might reconsider that last one, as I really like purple!!
So far, I haven't had the time yet to make something out of it. But I do I have a couple of things in mind.
To be continued, ...