How it all started
From one generation to another. Sojourner Leather was founded by Josef Botes, however the story of our brand started many years ago with Josef's grandfather, after whom he was named.
Josef senior (known as Job) was a leather artisan and a very practical man, who believed that one can do anything if one really wants to. As a small boy Josef would sit in his grandfather's workshop and watch him cobble.
Unfortunately Josef only got interested in leather work after his grandfather no longer had the capability to teach him the trade. It was with help from his father and grandmother that Josef made his first leather bag. The bag took him more than one hundred hours and had many mistakes, but it was the start of a journey that led to the founding of Sojourner Leather.
Why are we called Sojourner? According to the Oxford dictionary, Sojourn (noun) means ''A temporary stay.'' A sojourner is therefore someone who stays or resides temporarily. We think that this is quite significant, because in actuality everyone is on a sojourn - this journey called life. It is in this world full of temporary that we offer something lasting to assist you on your sojourn.
We believe that what we are doing is more than just leather. In fact it needs to be. We realize that we are on a sojourn and that what we do has an impact on the people around us and also the people who will be here after us.
Therefore we formed our business model around the concept of taking others into account and putting their needs before our own. How is this done? Firstly, our leather - we only use vegetable tanned leather, which has many benefits, the main one being that the manufacturing of it causes no harm to the environment. Here is a link with more information about vegetable tanned leather: https://vegleatherhub.com/benefits-and-qualities-of-vegetable-tanning/
Secondly, our raw materials - we aim to buy all our raw materials manufactured in South Africa. We believe that the support of local industries will lead to job creation and sustainable economic growth for South Africa.
Thirdly, our employees - we believe that our employees are our first priority, because without them we cannot do what we do.
This is our story and we would love to be part of yours.