Leather goods in the hands of the family | Weekly farm
IN April, Western Australian premium ugg boots company Jassi Leatherworks (Jassi) in Denmark changed hands as it was purchased by the Laing family for the second time from Kevin and Janice Hard.
Brendan Laing’s parents Kevin and Val bought Jassi many years ago from founder Judy Woods and Mr. Laing has fond memories of helping in the business and seeing his father’s hand making the boots. .
And the farm Jassi resides on was part of the original Laing family farm.
About 25 years ago they sold the business and for a long time Mr Laing and his wife Haylie wanted to buy out Jassi and the land and when he finally did it was a sentimental moment.
“It was very special to take over the business and the farm and have them back into our family,” Mr. Laing said.
“It’s been an exciting time to do it, we’ve been planning to do it for a while and it took a little while to get there, but we finally got there and it’s great.”
Mr Laing said the best part of returning the business and farm to the family was that his own children – twin sons Nate and Morgan, 6, and daughter Amelia, 4, could have a childhood. like the one he had had.
“I’ve been here all my life and grew up on the farm where Jassi and the William Bay Cottages (the other family business) are located,” he said.
“At the time, we were growing potatoes.
“I am a carpenter by trade, but since my father died 13 years ago I have decided to come back to the cottages and the farm full time and now my own family is growing up on the same farm where I am. grew up. ”
After hiring Jassi in April, the family are still finding their feet in the business but have gained the upper hand.
Founded in 1978, Jassi is known for its excellent work which Mr. Laing is passionate about continuing.
The company sources all of its Merino Sheepskins from Victoria-based Dynasty Australia, which is a wholesaler and distributor of premium Australian Sheepskins with customers throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Dynasty claims to have the largest inventory of tanned and finished sheepskins in a wide variety of specifications, colors and material types.
“I love the texture of merino skins, they have a soft feel and are nice and fluffy,” Mr. Laing said.
“We find the right skins to be nice and dense, so we get better longevity from the boot and use their higher quality skins.”
Sourcing local sheepskins is important to Mr. Laing and underpins his passion for provenance.
“It is extremely important to us,” he said.
“Coming out of COVID, I think everyone is looking more for products made in Australia, so from a business perspective I think it’s crazy not to value that in your business, and we really do. .
“And supporting other Australian companies is a good thing at the moment.”
All the products, which are not only UGG boots and slippers, but also hats, soft toys, sheepskins, bags, belts and more, are made on site.
This not only helps maintain quality control, but also gives customers the ability to see the products being manufactured.
“We give customers access through our store to see the boots being made and people really love that they can come in and actually see this process,” Mr. Laing said.
“I think people like knowing that their products are made in Australia by a family business and that they can see the process.”
About 90% of customers are Australians, 80% of which are based in WA.
All boots are made to order and are fully customizable, with customers being able to choose their style, length, color and even order online.
Mr. Laing said that from start to finish, it took about an hour to make a pair of boots.
Back when his parents owned and ran the business, he said there was a cafe attached to the business and customers had coffee while they waited for their boots to be made.
Although there is no longer a cafe in the workshop, the family’s William Bay Cottages have one and are located just across the road.
In addition to the two businesses, the Laing also operate around 100 Angus breeders on their farm, which they seek to raise to a herd of 140 to 150 head.
“We’re pretty busy these days with a few different companies, but it’s been good,” he said.