1 Atelier is the first new leathergoods atelier in the Garment District in over two decades, and the only leathergoods factory in the world exclusively practicing on-demand production. This practice results in zero waste in their production process, while offering infinite possibilities for businesses and consumers. The company prides itself on paying local artisans — who as a group have over 100 years of experience — a living wage to meticulously handcraft each bag using the highest quality materials from the world’s top tanneries.
Stephanie Sarka, the founder of 1 Atelier, says that the company was born from her desire to do things differently, and this desire hasn’t gone unnoticed. In 2017, Fast Company named 1 Atelier to their list of “Most Innovative Companies,” writing that they “[turn] shoppers into high-end handbag designers,” all while underpricing equivalent bags from brands like Celine or Louis Vuitton. The company has also been featured in outlets like Insider, Forbes, Crain’s New York, and CNBC.
Being in the Garment District allows 1 Atelier to be close both to its customers and other businesses. Part of the company’s mission is to sustain the craft of fine leather works, as well as making sure they are managing their materials in a way that will allow them to exist for future generations. While high-end leather craft is associated with Europe, most of 1 Atelier’s consumer market is in the United States and their private label clients in New York City.
As Stephanie says, “It is wonderful to be able to cross the street, instead of across the pond.“