When we began touring factories and looking for new partners to work with, we were most interested in two things: the quality of the work, and the heart of the owners. When we found John Gomez and his factory, we knew that the way he invested in his people guaranteed the attention to detail and the dedication to quality that we required from a new factory.
We knew instantly that we were partnering with a good man who wanted to build a better life for the people who worked for him.
Prior to when we took over management of Ivy & Fig, bags were produced in China. These kinds of low quality bags are all over the internet, but we didn't want to sell that kind of product anymore.
We chose to stop manufacturing in China at large factories where the most important thing was making products cheaply. Instead, we wanted an independent factory where we could really help to guide design and control he quality of the products.
The family doesn't just own the company, by the way, they take ownership for it. John is the manager, his mother organizing the production schedule, his wife works in the office, his son and daughter both work in product design and marketing, and even John's father still comes in and works right along side the rest of the staff.
As the factory has grown from just John and one other person in a basement to a large permanent staff, they have continued to reinvest in their building and in the amenities of the factory. As Americans, I think we fear that clothes and bags that we purchase are made in factories that operate like sweat shops, but you can feel confident when you purchase from Ivy & Fig that our products are made in a factory where he family that owns it truly cares for and tries to take care of the people who work there.
We've seen this first hand, and we're going to make sure that the trend continues.
When you walk out the front door of our factory you find yourself on a buzzing street. As you take the 5 minute walk from our factory to the shop where we purchase the vegan leather materials that our products are made of, you're not only walking past other factories and shops, you're walking past people's homes. There are houses, apartments, and lofts in this community and the people who live in these homes also work in these shops. As the stores benefit, the lives of he people who work their improve, too.
On your way, you also pass the shop where the craftsmen who make the Ivy & Fig badges are working. We don't press these in China and ship them in like most do, we get them from just down the street. You'll also pass the factory where the hardware on our bags is manufactured. Some of the people who work in this factory are friends or family with the people who work in ours.
By the time you've arrived at the vegan leather shop, you've crossed an entire thriving community of people in the City of Bogota, Columbia. And every bag and wallet sold by Ivy & Fig helps to continue to grow that community and improve the lives of the people who live there.