Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Advanced Leather Solutions Update

It’s been a while since I’ve posted to this blog.  As always there is a lot going on at Advanced Leather Solutions, so finding the time to share with you has been difficult.  Here’s a snap shot of what’s been going on for the past few months.

Our new production facility is now fully operational.  Located in Anderson, CA, we have the benefit of much more affordable space than the high rent district we’ve occupied in the San Francisco Bay area.  We reduced the shop size in Hayward to help off-set the cost of expansion.  The Anderson shop is new, airy, with great light for color matching and our ongoing professional leather restoration process.  But most importantly, it’s close to Jason’s (our senior technician) home in Redding.  This has dramatically reduced his commuting time from hours to a few minutes. 

In February we conducted our first training program in our Anderson shop.  Antonio Aleman who runs Dr Vinyl of Puerto Rico attended.  With years of working on automobile grade leather and vinyl, Antonio came to us to learn about the world of furniture grade leather.   He’s now armed and ready for the leather wars in Puerto Rico.

In March we will be launching a new micro web-site singularly focused on leather paint.  We have great products that simply don’t get the exposure they should from our overly crowded original site  The new site is still under development and when launched can be found at  Expect to see us up and running by the end of March.  We welcome your comments.

Our DIY Leather Solutions ( program continues to supply leather repair and restoration solutions with remarkable results.   It’s indeed heartwarming for us to receive the consistent stream of positive feedback from our DIY client base.   We certainly have a proven, mature system. Thousands of people have been able to restore their old, tired looking leather back to like new.
In our market of Northern California, we offer choices.  We can do the work for the client or they can take on the project. Clients truly like that choice.  For the frugal minded, it makes all the difference.   It’s truly a win-win.   

Other leather technicians have seen the merit.  Leather professionals around the US and elsewhere have picked up the system and incorporated it into their solutions arsenal.  We offer our kits to professionals at a considerable discount.  They make the sale, profit a bit from it and we help them through support of the client.   Again, it’s win-win.

People are now connecting the dots in other ways.  They are going to CraigsList,  consignment stores, Goodwill and other such outlets, finding furniture that has good bones but the leather looking a little shabby, faded, etc.  Then with our help and our DIY system, they are turning furniture destined for the land fill into gems.  It certainly demonstrates the “renewable” nature of our work.

We are steadily building an increased presence with our YouTube channel.  Video documentation is a very powerful tool.  We are strong believers in visual references for our clients.  Whether it’s solving severe cat claw damage or simply restoring the color to a favorite old leather belt, with video you have the visual reference showing how to perform a specific function.

In the last week of February, I was invited as a speaker for the clients and guests of the Design Within Reach (DWR) Berkeley, CA showroom.  The topic was Caring for Classics.  I presented some simple tips on how to prolong the life of leather furniture.  As always, when I do this sort of seminar there was an extensive question and answer period as people were asking specifics about their own furniture.  It continues to demonstrate that there is a hunger for useful information and a deep lack of knowledge at the end-user level about proper care strategies for leather. 

We continue to strive to be an unbiased information source for both professional leather technicians and consumers.  We pride ourselves in answering questions in a clear and concise manner.  We don’t believe in holding back.  In fact, we strongly adhere to the principle of “No Secrets” as was the theme of our last Professional Leather Technician’s Symposium. 

As always, we’re here to help.  Call me directly, 510-786-6059 or send me an e-mail and I will respond.

Copyright 2011 Kevin Gillan