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Economy CLASS!



TLC wants to break the notion about leather being expensive. — Photo: Sampath Kumar G.P.

SOFT LEATHER has a class about it. Light, comfortable, good to look at (especially if it is black), and easy to carry. It lends class to its owner too. But leather items come with scary price tags. It is people who are rich in taste, but not particularly in their pockets, that TLC (short for The Leather Company) caters to. The outlet gives classy, custom-made leather products at unbelievable rates.

Vani Shankar, partner, TLC, observes: "We want to break the myth that leather is expensive." The idea is to make the products user-friendly and yet economical by eliminating middlemen and operating on lower margins. "Besides, we do not advertise nor do we have a showroom in an upmarket commercial centre, which can push up costs. Our stocks are not high which again keeps our overheads cost low," she says.

Are the products made only against order? "Not exactly. I develop my own designs which are on display," says Vani. Exclusive handbags, soft leather jackets, leather accessories, and jewellery boxes are on display to give a fair idea of the wide range of products available. A handbag typically costs between Rs. 350 and Rs. 700, while the leather jackets are available at an unbelievable price of Rs. 1,500. And if you are an avid fisherman and love to sport a jacket while on the task, you can buy one for Rs. 800. As for wallets, you have offers from as low as Rs. 90 to Rs. 200.

TLC offers all this apart from luggage carriers in different shapes and sizes. They also do hand-crafted, leather wall-hangings against orders. M.S. Prabhu Dev, the other Partner of TLC, is the person behind these fascinating creations.

Set up in 1988 as Trishul Leathers, the company initially confined its sales to corporate houses. Corporate giants such as United Breweries, HAL, Hindustan levers, and software firms formed their regular clientele. Over time, however, the company moved into direct retailing. What about exports? "Though we do supply for the export segment, it is done through an exporter. There is no direct export undertaken by our company."

The workshop is situated right above the store. This enables the customer to get a feel of the leather that is used in customising the product. Given the scope to accommodate individual preferences and the rock bottom rates that such designs come in, the store is certainly worth looking at. TLC can be contacted on 25291987.

NANDHINI SUNDAR

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