Our (longish) story as told by Bas:
How it started
In December of 2009, at the height of the holiday season, Bas and Lokes opened its virtual doors to the world. It happened on a snowy and frigid winter evening from a little apartment in New York City, while listening to Christmas music and sipping "Coquito", a Puerto Rican holiday drink. We were originally a daughter and father team with an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for all things handcrafted.
Weeks before our online launch, I flew home to New York City for a month from Sydney, Australia (where I had been living and working as a photographer) to visit family for the holidays. Before arriving, I called my father to say that during my stay we would learn to handcraft leather watch straps to dress up my growing watch collection. I absolutely love my shoes to match my bag, to match my accessories, to match my watch...you get the picture. I had an insatiable desire to create a sleek and handsome collection of watch straps that would fill this need for myself and others like me. My pops and I always enjoyed working with our hands and were excited about embarking on a new creative venture together.
Bas and Lokes is born
Not long after arriving at my parent’s place, armed with newly acquired tools and materials, my father and I set out to make the best watch straps we could. Every evening after he arrived from work, we’d sit at the kitchen table listening to music and working til the late hours of the night making strap after strap, refining our technique with every attempt. Within a short time, the quality of our straps had became something we were proud of and within a few weeks, we had amassed a small collection of ruggedly handsome, ready-made watch straps that I photographed and added to our new website. Our site attracted much attention and with each day, the demand for our watch straps grew.
Several weeks later, my father continued on with his day job and I was back on a plane home to Sydney with a carry on bag full of freshly made watch straps, a thriving online store and the dream of growing Bas and Lokes into a successful brand.
My father’s role, although brief in our brand’s history, was an integral one. His unique skills, creativity, enthusiasm and love of making something beautiful, helped create and shape Bas and Lokes. He encouraged me to dream big, be creative and be the best I can be. That short time I spent with my father in those first few weeks inventing ourselves were some of my most treasured moments with him. My father passed away in July of 2016 at the age of 55 from cancer.
Where we are today
Did you know?
Every one of our products is entirely handcrafted from start to finish, by us here in our Sydney workshop using the highest quality leathers sourced from decades-old tanneries from parts of Europe such as Italy, England and Germany, and the United States.
Ever wondered how much labor is involved in the making of our products? Our two piece straps, in particular are made bespoke to fit your wrist and your watch. In this way, each one is its own unique intricate little work of art. Some of our watch straps can take several hours to handcraft and more than 50 individual steps to complete. The process involves meticulous precision, patience and a great deal of attention. It's a process that cannot be rushed even if we wanted to. It's hard not to appreciate such tiny and intricately crafted items. We hope you get a great feeling of wonder the next time you look down at your wrist.
You - Our raving fans
We’re proud to own a brand with a growing fan base of some of the most amazing customers worldwide and making friends in all parts of the globe. Our products are sought after by watch collectors and individuals with a passion for exclusive, artisanal quality bespoke leather goods made in limited editions.
Thanks so much to every past and present customer for the love. We wouldn't be where we are without you. And a shout out to all of those incredible blogs, magazines and newspapers who have featured us on their websites and pages.
Bas and Lokes