Below are a selection of questions which may be of help - If you can't find the answer to your own question or require clarification on anything then please do contact me. For information relating to ordering, lead times or shipping please navigate to the relevant pages from the footer menu.
Availability & bespoke products
Q: Do you have all products in stock?
A: Many items are kept in stock with their current status updated on this website however it is impossible to have every product in every size and colour combination in stock. If you are looking to purchase an item that is showing as 'made-to-order' or if you require an order more urgently or for a specific deadline please contact me and I will do my best to accommodate your requirements.
If an order consists of one or more made-to-order items along with one or more 'in stock' items then usually stock will be reserved until they can be sent together upon the completion of the made-to-order product(s).
I am always happy to advise on estimated lead times for made-to-order products so please feel free to enquire.
Q: How do I order bespoke products?
A: Please see the Bespoke goods page for more information.
Q: I am interested in one of your products but would like a design feature changed - can you do this for me?
A: I am happy to quote for making a product with design alterations. If you require a small change then this will not cost too much extra - often though these minor 'design alterations' can turn into full-scale bespoke designs if the number or complexity of changes is greater than anticipated - please understand that there is a big difference between a minor 'tweak' to an existing design and a complete re-design.
All modifications to existing designs will incur additional charges to cover the extra time taken and any extra materials used. Any product with any changes made to design, finish or colour combination (i.e. any change that makes it different to the 'standard' product) will be classed as 'bespoke' and therefore as per the Refund Policy will not be eligible for returns or refunds.
All enquiries about possible design changes should be made prior to placing an order via the website.
Q: I have my own design for a leather product - can you make it for me?
A: In the past I have made bespoke leather products from customers own design sketches working with the customer to produce an appropriate final design drawing and specification.
As a sole trader I have limited capacity for bespoke work due to the large amount of time that bespoke projects demand. I am however always happy to discuss your ideas so please forward the details to me and I will get back to you and let you know if it's something I can help with and the likely costs involved.
Products & Pricing
Q: Where can I go to view your products in person?
A: I do not currently have any of my products in shops or stores and it is not practical or possible to accept visitors to my studio for product viewing. I try to convey the quality and character of my products as best as I can using photographs and detailed descriptions on this website. If you have any specific questions about a particular product or wish to see a photo of a different aspect or feature then please email me and I will do my very best to help.
For what it's worth ... People often tell me that my "products are even better in person" - Take a look at the testimonials page.
Q: Why are your leather products more expensive than some mass-produced leather goods in high-street stores or online?
A: It is impossible to compare mass-produced leather goods with genuinely handcrafted, handsewn ones.
It stands to reason that a quality product that has taken hours (often many, many hours) to design and then to craft by hand from specially sourced high-quality materials will be more expensive than a product that has been mass-produced from a factory where much of the manufacturing processes will be automated or semi-automated. In fact, many mass-produced leather goods carry a significantly higher price just because they are made for a well-known 'designer' brand - this does not necessarily mean that they are of high quality as production is likely to have gone to the lowest bidder and materials are inevitably from cheaper sources.
There are many factors that influence the pricing of leather goods - too numerous to explain in any great detail here but which will impact the cost of any handcrafted item. Quality of both materials and craftsmanship can be implemented to varying standards and with varying degrees of precision and skill. For example, a leather product that has no finishing or treatment to its cut edges whatsoever will take a fraction of the time to produce but will not look or feel as nice and will not be as durable longer-term as edges that have been meticulously smoothed, burnished, polished and treated.
Fenner Benedict products have been individually made with genuine care and attention to detail using high-quality materials from the best suppliers and are quality-assured throughout the handcrafting process.
The concept of ‘value’ is by its nature somewhat subjective but if you like the look of my product(s) and admire the design features and fine craftsmanship then remember that it is these same aspects that have influenced the products pricing. The feedback I receive suggests that my customers feel my products represent good value given the considered design, level of craftsmanship, high-quality materials used and the resulting products longevity and special character.
Q: Why are your products for sale at different prices on different websites?
A: The pricing of Fenner Benedict goods may differ on third-party e-commerce sites due to the increased overheads (including listing fees and commissions) on sales via these marketplace websites. Buying directly via this website ensures you get the best prices.
Q: How long does it take you to handcraft your leather products?
A: It depends on the product; how its made and also how its finished. My products are crafted entirely by hand which is a very time-consuming process; it is also what gives my products real personality and makes each one unique.
All leather components are cut by hand using a knife and all sewing is by hand (not by machine like the vast majority of "hand-made" products actually are). Sewing by hand is a long and demanding process. A small notebook cover may take a few hours in total to craft whereas a more complex product could take several days - Its not quick but it does result in beautiful leather goods!
Q: Can you supply my retail company with your products in bulk for resale?
Quality & Finish
Q: Is it ethical to use products made from leather?
A: Ultimately, this comes down to personal opinion. However, It stands to reason that it is far more appropriate to use leather to make well-designed and well-made products that will last as opposed to using it for poorly constructed cheap goods that will be disposed of after a few months use.
Leather has historically played a very important role in the development of civilisation. The skins of animals have been used by man since prehistoric times for both basic needs and then later as a prized commodity. Leather is a unique, beautiful and practical material which when used properly, and respectfully crafted into well-made goods, will only get better with age. Leather should be accepted for its important role as one of the most useful natural materials we have and for its part in the heritage of traditional craft which is being continued today by Fenner Benedict.
Q: The leather product I've received has some marks on it - is it faulty?
A: Not at all. As a handmade (in every sense of the word) product, it is likely that some tooling marks may still be visible from the crafting process. Additionally, leather is a natural material having come from animals that have lived a life in contact with the natural elements as well as with thorns, tree bark and barbed wire - the leather I use very often contains marks and scars from the animal's life which I do not try to hide. Handcrafted products are subject to inevitable variations in colour and finish as each one is finished individually and no two pieces of leather will ever take dye, oil or any type of finish in exactly the same way - if you are seeking a 'flawless' finish then a traditionally handcrafted product made from natural materials is probably not for you.
Q: Will the dye from your leather products rub-off?
A: Any genuinely hand-finished product cannot possibly be guaranteed to be 100% colourfast ... most leatherworkers just choose not to mention this fact. This is also applicable to many mass produced leather goods including those from very well-known brands.
I do everything I can to ensure that with normal use your leather product will not transfer any dye or oil onto clothing or surfaces - however when brand new it is possible that your leather goods may have some residue dye or oil which might transfer. The leathers finish will continue to dry for several weeks after it has been crafted.
Additionally It is important that leather products are not in wet or damp conditions for too long as this may result in the migration of finish (dye or oil) to other surfaces. This is because water causes the natural leathers pores to open up (just like it does with human skin) and this then exposes the 'trapped' dye or oil - it is a perfectly natural process because it is a natural material!
Oiled products naturally resist water but the very light oil that is used on these products could migrate to any dry absorbent surface or material that it is in direct contact with for any length of time - this is why you may notice a small amount of oil is absorbed onto the first and last pages of your notebook when using a newly crafted oiled leather notebook cover - this residue oil will disperse with time and use.
Q: How do I care for and clean my product?
A: Please see the Leather Care page on this website.
Q: Do you ship to my country?
A: Please see the Shipping Policy page for details on postage.
Q: My order has arrived but its not what I was expecting - can I return it for a refund?
A: The vast majority of my customers are completely happy with their purchases, knowing that they are buying a truly handcrafted product; unique and full of character. Don't just take my word for it though - take a look at the testimonials page of this website to see what customers are saying.
If you are not totally happy with your purchase from me then of course I will accept a return of an unused product provided that it is not a bespoke or personalised item (please see the details on the Refund Policy page for details of my return and refund policy) - Putting customers first is key to my ethos so I will always do everything I can to ensure that you receive an excellent level of service.
Some products cannot be returned because they are made to a specific size when ordered - examples of such products may be made-to-order belts or wristbands. If a product is not eligible for returns then this will be clearly stated within the description.
Unfortunately I am unable to refund original shipping or return postage costs (unless the item is faulty - please note that variation in the leathers grain or natural marks and scars do not constitute faults) and under no circumstances can I refund import taxes, duty or customs fees or issue refunds for any product that has been damaged, altered or personalised in any way.
Q: How can I contact you?
A: You can email me using the message form or the email address provided on the contact page.
As always, if you have a question that you cannot find the answer to on my website then please send me an email and I will reply as soon as I can.