Today we’d like to introduce you to Chris Pak.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Chris. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Whenever someone says, “perhaps it was destined to happen”, I also thought it was an old cliche, but there is no other way to explain my journey with Sandast. Sandast was found back in 2010 and I came in as an investor. My ex-partner was a creative director when it was found. We were naive and I had mismanaged our finance that by summer 2012, my initial investment was all gone. My ex-partner left and I thought I would do the same. I knew nothing of “design” nor “leather craft”. Yet, I simply could not walk away as I was emotionally attached to Sandast.
So I stuck with it & self-learned Leather, Art, & Design as we moved along. Looking back, it seemed like an impossible journey, yet every time the end seemed inevitable, a miracle or help came and urged&guided us to continue our journey…. and here we are still in business 2018.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has been one incredible journey and still is. After my initial investment had dried up and the departure of my ex-partner, I had to sell my house, car, life insurance… anything and everything that had a value to sustain Sandast.
Talking about Struggles… I am not sure where to start as it has been exactly that for past 6 years.
Even my closest friends thought and had advised that I was delusional with my dream to make Sandast the premium leather brand. No bank, no friends in Hollywood, and no accolades as a creative director, I also had to agree that the odds were stacked against Sandast.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Sandast story. Tell us more about the business.
Here at Sandast, we proudly make premium handmade leather goods in our Los Angeles.
As a small business, we understood that we could not possibly compete against the Major Designers in US & Abroad in terms of marketing, advertising, and packaging. So we have been solely focusing on the area that we could control our own destiny and perhaps out-compete the Major Designers…. and that has been the Quality.
Our way of making leather products are quite different than how others make the leather products. Whereas other bag makers simply cut & sew to make their products, every single Sandast products go through our distinctive distressing technique, “SANDASTing” which involves oiling, waxing, polishing, and massaging so that the final product can age better & beautifully.
I am most proud of the fact that Sandast is the only American Leather Brand that is being retailed in Isetan Shinjuku and Hankyu Umeda Osaka alongside the European Designers such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and the others…. and our quality continues to impress the sophisticated consumers.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Although past 6 years has been a constant financial struggle, we’ve also been the recipient of a lucky miracle after miracles.
Back in 2013, we were low in cash reserve and I thought the end was near & inevitable. Only then, I had realized that ever since I had found Sandast, our focus was on maximizing profit or the numbers instead of inspiring consumers with our quality & aesthetics. So I made one last move or change… and upgraded everything from leather, zippers, hardware, and our approach to bag making.
Nothing happened for about 4 months and I felt lost & vulnerable. Then, a miracle happened. I sent a few bags to movie productions, then Blake Lively fell in love with our Christopher Travel (and ended up using it in her film, “Age of Adaline”) and started endorsing our other products. Of course, she brought us a lot of businesses, but more importantly, she gave us the affirmation that we were indeed on a right track… and we never looked back, but to continue to improve our quality.
That incident with Blake Lively is one of many. Finding & partnering with our current Japanese Distributor, Being invited to be a Sponsor of 2018 Rolls Royce Owners Club… and have been able to serve wonderful clients and becoming friends with them……. these are all miracles indeed.
- Address: 1205 South Hill Street Los Angeles, CA 90015
- Website: www.sandast.com
- Email: Contact@sandast.com
- Instagram: Sandast
- Facebook: Sandastinc
Tracy Wright Corve