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Personalized Leather Briefcase by RockDove - Official Affiliate Thread

Discussion in 'Former Affiliate Vendor Threads; a Locked Forum.' started by RockDove, Oct 14, 2016.

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  1. RockDove

    RockDove Active Member

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    Hi,

    We are thrilled to be part of the amazing StyleForum community. We have spent the last year in product development and have heavily relied on the community to help us design leather products which help serve the modern individuals needs more effectively.

    I’m Sara, co-founder at RockDove.

    At RockDove we are passionate about creating the finest quality leather products using premium materials, all the while ensuring that we are priced reasonably.

    We introduced RockDove to the world a few months ago on Kickstarter, where our main focus was on making our leather products trackable. However, invaluable feedback from the crowdfunding community led us to rethink our product offering and focus on the core product i.e. our leather products instead of the tracking technology. We have taken this advice seriously are now introducing the RockDove Soft Leather Briefcase which not only uses the highest quality materials but is also personalizable based on your individual needs and taste.

    [​IMG]

    Roast Soft Briefcase

    [​IMG]
    Cerulean Soft Briefcase

    The personalization of the Soft Briefcase happens across two parts: design and construction.

    Design Personalization: We have introduced modularity in the front zipped pocket of our briefcase where two modules (independent mini wallets) can be attached/detached using magnetic buttons which allow for easy removal of the modules along with a reliable hold. You can choose two from a choice of five module designs and customize your front pocket based on your needs. We also integrated an expandable laptop pocket inside the briefcase, which can accommodate laptops ranging from 11” - 15” in screen size.




    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Five Modules Designs

    Construction Personalization: realizing the value of personalization for users, we have integrated a customized system to construct our leather bag where every bag is unique to its user. We are offering choice:

    • Gold or Silver Metal Hardware (including Zips)
    • Inlay Fabric Color
    • Embossing Signature

    [​IMG]
    How To Personalize a RockDove Soft Briefcase



    We are committed to using the very best quality material for our products, following is a snapshot:

    • Full grain vegetable tanned cow leather which develops a beautiful patina over time.
    • Italian made Riri® zips known for their high quality and superior performance worldwide.
    • Gold and Silver plated Hardware: Sourced from a reputable manufacturer who supply hardware to major brands like Prada, Coach and Burberry.
    • Inlay Fabric: American made Cordura® 500 Denier Oxford Nylon with water resistant properties.

    We have put in a lot of effort to ensure we bring the finest product to our users. While we have been fortunate to gain access to the finest materials; our real pride is the workmanship. Each bag is hand-stitched meticulously by a group of craftsmen who have been masters of their trade for decades. To give you a glimpse of the finesse our craftsmen have been able to achieve take a look at the pictures below.


    [​IMG][​IMG]


    We are planning on launching our campaign on Indiegogo in a couple of weeks to help raise funds and bring RockDove to life, following which we hope to launch our own online store. During our Indiegogo campaign our Briefcase will be on a significant discount at GBP 170 (and early birds at GBP 150) compared to retail price at GBP 300. We also plan on offering the briefcase initially in Roast and Cerulean, but plan on offering more colours as stretch goals (you can decide on the colour at the end of the campaign).

    It’s been a meandering journey for us, but we are glad to be here and excited about getting RockDove into people’s homes. We are eager to hear your feedback and welcome all questions about us and our Soft Briefcase.


    Appreciatively,

    Sara Khan

    Learn more about us on www.rockdovedesign.com, and chat with us here or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  2. RockDove

    RockDove Active Member

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    Hi Guys,

    As mentioned above, we will be offering more colours at additional stretch goal of GBP 3000. Our options are as follows:

    [​IMG]
    Charcoal

    [​IMG]
    Nectarine

    [​IMG]
    Ochre

    [​IMG]
    All the colours in one glance.


    We were just debating on the order of offering these colours. What would you guys suggest?
     
  3. dynemacron

    dynemacron Member

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    Hi, I just wanted to reach out to say that your product range seems nice. The design is particularly interesting in that the side compartment seems to actually be able to fold out completely, is that correct? I do have a few questions / concerns:

    When will the crowdfunding launch?

    Where are the products being made?

    I realize that the leather is full grain, but it seems to have a sort of pebbled pattern. Is this a tumbled leather? Do you have some better photos showing the type(s) of leather texture(s)?

    Does the briefcase have feet at the bottom to help it stand? I realize that soft sided briefcases sometimes suffer from a problem where they can't stand on their own, but it seems that yours are all standing fairly easily in the photos. Is the structure reinforced to encourage it to stand? What about if there is a laptop inside?

    Regarding personalization, will you be offering the ability to choose different colors between the interior modules and the exterior leather? I can see this working well for something in a more business oriented color outside, and then a fanciful color like cerulean or apricot inside.

    Do you have any photos of the inside of the main compartment?

    Cheers.
     
  4. RockDove

    RockDove Active Member

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    Hi! Thanks for the compliment :)

    Yes the front pocket does fold out completely, and it has a two-way zipper so you can control how much of it you want to open to access your belongings.

    Quote: We are working closely with the indiegogo team on the campaign launch and should have a confirmed date soon which we will announce on this thread. At the moment we are aiming for the launch next week.

    Quote: The bulk of our products are finished in Pakistan by an artisan team who has had decades worth of experience making bespoke leather goods. Our leather is sourced from one of the best tanneries in Pakistan which also supplies to major luxury brands, and other than leather majority of the materials that go into our bags are sourced from Italy and USA.

    Quote: Our leather is thoroughly milled, which exfoliates its natural pores and accentuates its natural pattern, hence giving it a pebbled look and making it soft. I hope these pictures give you a better idea of the leather we are using:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Quote: You are right about this being a common issue with soft briefcases and was one of our top design concerns as well. We really did not want our bag to be flimsy and hence went through multiple design iterations to ensure the bag can stand up on its own and with a laptop and other belongings inside. And yes it does have feet at the bottom to help prevent scuffing.

    Quote: Honestly that is a fantastic idea and one that we have not considered yet (oddly enough). We will definitely be discussing this proposition with our supply chain partners and figure out what the implications will be and revert. Though I can say for sure that even if we go ahead with the option of choosing a different exterior and module leather colour, the options would be limited to the colours we are offering for the exteriors at the moment (cerulean and roast for starters, charcoal, nectarine and ochre, not in that order, as stretch goals). The reason being that our leather is custom made through an artisanal process and we would not want to pick up just any leather off the shelf for the modules in order to offer more colour options. We are just starting out, but once we are past the MOQ issues we should be able to offer a wider breadth of colour options for both interior and exterior sections.

    Quote: Hope this picture will suffice:

    [​IMG]

    Let me know if you have any other question/comments. Will be glad to answer! :)
     
  5. ino68

    ino68 Well-Known Member

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    Try to use fewer buzzwords in your communication. It only comes across as forced and lacking authenticity.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016
  6. RockDove

    RockDove Active Member

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    Thank you for your feedback and recommendation. I did try to do a quick review to see exactly what you are referring to but I am honestly at a loss. Sometimes you get so used to using certain words at work you forget to switch off when communicating with others. Perhaps you could help me understand your comment better. (Not being defensive, I really do think your feedback could help us improve our messaging :) )
     
  7. globalroamer

    globalroamer Well-Known Member

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    I do not like the design. It looks like a standard "cheap" laptop case you get from ASUS/Acer + leather. There has to be a design that would not resemble it. I want to believe :-|
     
  8. ino68

    ino68 Well-Known Member

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    'Finished', 'artisanal', 'bespoke'

    These words smack of double speak. There is nothing bespoke about your product, and it is doubtful that a workshop setup for true bespoke work can suddenly switch to a production line turning out $300 bags.

    So you've created doubt just based on the way you present your product. Not good for generating sales.

    Honeyed words don't add value.

    Be straightforward and let your product speak.

    Take a look at NMWA and Epaulet. Both vendors are effusive about their product but never hide behind fancy words and sentences.
     
  9. JubeiSpiegel

    JubeiSpiegel Well-Known Member

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    It's getting rough in this affiliate thread :hide:

    Honestly, it's going to be a tough sell on this forum for any new / unknown vendor here. I feel like the ones that succeed are open to constant scrutiny, and adopt a strategy of transparency.

    There is a lot of competition already from existing vendors, but for what it's worth good luck to you RockDove.
     
    2 people like this.
  10. RockDove

    RockDove Active Member

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    Thank you for sharing that. We would absolutely hate to be seen as lacking transparency or misguiding anyone on this forum or otherwise. Our reason for being present here is to benefit from the collective wisdom of people who are familiar with this trade and also regular users of products in our category.

    We used the term bespoke in reference to our suppliers manufacturing ability and not our product. We are aiming to provide our user the option to choose between various options of hardware and inlay colors as well as the modules to be able to personalize their bag according to their unique personality and taste. I see that this may be taken differently from what we meant and so we will surely revisit our use of the term and try to be clearer in our future communication.

    However, we do want you to know that we haven't gone a big factory operation, nor a boutique operator route. Our main supplier has been in this business for several decades. It's current production is split into two parts, 1) mass production for bulk orders 2) small scale operations team for small batch orders, including bespoke items. The latter is not very uncommon in Pakistan, which is known to be the 12th largest manufacturer of leather in the world, and has a unique advantage of very low costs of labour. Our supplier has the ability to entertain orders of as few as fifteen bags, albiet at a much lower absorption rate, so each bag would cost us far more than we would like. This is why we have chosen to start with only two colors, to minimize costs and wastage. This is also why we are able to claim that each bag is hand made by artisans who have the prerequisite skill to ensure impeccable stitching. To be fair, we're not expecting our orders to be in the hundreds and we're ok starting small. What we really want to be concious of is the quality of the leather and hardware as well as the finish.

    Having said this, we see the value in speaking simply and will definitely give heed to your advice.
     
    1 person likes this.
  11. globalroamer

    globalroamer Well-Known Member

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    As people pointed out you are using too many buzzwords. You should know that people are on this forum to find products that are worth the margins (aka $$$/quality ratio). We could care less about your mass produced stuff in some sweatshop in Pakistan (nothing against pakistani people or the country but I do not think that many people here find "unique advantage of very low costs of labour" to be something positive)
    Many people here want to buy "made in Europe/USA".
     
  12. RockDove

    RockDove Active Member

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    Thank you for pointing that out and honestly I think therein lies the problem; the assumption that if we are not charging artificially inflated prices, our products are made in a sweatshop, as you put it. Our advantage instead is a tad bit more strategic. We are a British company however we have chosen to set up our manufacturing in Pakistan due to its strength in leather manufacturing and craftsmanship as well as the dollar-pound/rupee parity which allows us to be able to pay top rupee to our suppliers but still be a fraction of the cost were we producing in the first world.

    Our entire value proposition is based upon creating products that are good looking, intuitive in design, made using some of the best materials available and most of all are priced such that the benefit from our low cost of production is passed onto the end consumer.
     
  13. RockDove

    RockDove Active Member

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    Thank you so much! Your words sound especially kind right now [​IMG] We are happy to be scrutinised as we feel like it gives us a better opportunity to explain what we are doing and to understand how people are perceiving us.

    We are big believers in transparency as well, there is no other way to gain the trust of this forum. Case in point: we shared our experience with our unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign though we do understand it might have some negative connotations.. but we want to be open and honest with everyone here. So if that's the strategy to become a part of SF community, I feel less intimidated.. haha [​IMG]
     
  14. globalroamer

    globalroamer Well-Known Member

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    You know stereotypes. It's like saying every eastern european steals or every afroamerican likes hiphop. I'll be keeping an eye on you but for the moment I do not like the designs. It's just not the style I like.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2016
  15. starro

    starro Well-Known Member

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    Over-reliance on zippers in the design pushes these "briefcases" more into the woman's purse category. A classic man's briefcase does not use zippers (certainly not on the outside!). Furthermore, zippers fail sooner or later (or they fall off the leather), so it might undercut your "long-lasting" pitch (not sure if that's the angle you're going for).

    I personally don't care where they're made; quality is always number one. Another thing, I don't think too many people here are sold on you calling the bags "handmade". Too many have been burned by abuse of that term.
     
  16. jrd617

    jrd617 Well-Known Member

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    The criticism in here is too harsh. I would not have personally used the word "bespoke" but it's not a big deal.

    Without having actually handled the briefcase product, I can see its value proposition. The leather looks decent. It's half the price of a $675 La Portegna briefcase with similar styling.

    My one constructive criticism for RockDove is to change your marketing photos to highlight your masculine color leather offerings. Remember that you are selling to men. Not many men I know here are going to want a hot teal or hot orange leather briefcase with a bright red interior. Stick with black and shades of brown and tan and even burgundy (see Alden's famous "Color #8")
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2016
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  17. Jr Mouse

    Jr Mouse Well-Known Member

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    You may not prefer zip-top briefcases, but that is a matter of your own personal taste and style. Insinuating that the category as a whole doesn't fall in line within classic menswear is utter nonsense.
     
    4 people like this.
  18. RockDove

    RockDove Active Member

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    We appreciate all the feedback. It helps us as a startup to keep improving our product offerings"
     
  19. starro

    starro Well-Known Member

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    Quick questions: When was the zipper invented and popularized? Why did it replace some of the more traditional fastening mechanisms? Was it because it was more durable, or just cheaper? Why do the traditional bespoke trousers have button fly?

    Do you consider the zipper boot to be classic menswear?
     
  20. RockDove

    RockDove Active Member

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    Thank you so much for your kind words.

    That is really interesting feedback. In our previous campaign, we offered 5 colours, 3 of which were more traditional (charcoal, roast and ochre) and 2 were a bit more daring (cerulean and nectarine). Amongst our backers, the most popular choice of colours were roast and cerulean, hence that is what we offering in our upcoming campaign, though we do intend on offering the rest of the colours at GBP3000 incremental goal achievement. But our previous campaign backers are still a smaller (though immensely valuable) sample size that the SF community, so would love to hear the thoughts of everyone here.
     
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