Encounter#1 - Rolls Royce Owner's Club 2018
I’ve shared this story with only some of you on how we were invited to Rolls Royce Owner’s Club, and everyone has suggested this story should be shared with the rest of our Ambassadors.
This is a true story and I will do my best to tell it frankly as Mark & Harley will likely be reading the story as well.
I believe it must have been early 2015 when Harley became our Ambassador. Harley is an attorney in Finance and he wanted a briefcase that wasn’t too “corporate” so to speak. We made him the Bond Briefcase and since then, we became friends and he would occasionally send me the photos of his briefcase & its aging.
2017 was a special year for me personally. As some of you may already know, I didn’t have any training in design or leather when I found Sandast back in 2010 as an investor. My ex-partner left in 2012 and from that moment, I just had to learn about the leather & Design as I couldn’t afford to hire one & “quitting” wasn’t an option.
So I started studying & learning from the basic and by the end of 2016, I felt as if I finally had some general understanding in Design, Construction, and most importantly in Leather.
So new collections were created and introduced.
We started the year by making 7 Francis Briefcase Braided for special Ambassadors as a wish for the Blessing, and Harley was one of the recipient. Harley travels quite often and he was sending me the photo of his new briefcase from different cities around the world.
I believe it was sometime early April 2017 when I received an email from Harley. From the tone of his email, I could sense that he was genuinely excited for me. This is what he told me.
“Chris.... Something very strange happened today. I was waiting for a cab in the French Quarter, New Orleans and this Gentleman walked past me for about a block, turned back, and walked all the way back to talk to me. He asked if he could touch my briefcase and started asking me about my briefcase. I told him about you. Chris, I really wish for you that I send this Gentleman to your way.”
We had welcomed many new Ambassadors since then & Mark from CT was one of our new Ambassadors. We’ve made him a few bags and we started communicating via emails. Of course, I didn’t know much about Mark or What he does for a living, but just by reading his emails & writings, I knew Mark was a respectful Gentleman.
It was sometime in late summer when I realized Mark was the Gentleman that Harley met in New Orleans. We were working on a custom Dopp Kitt for Mark and he told me that He just got back home from London. A few days later, we’d received an email from St.James’s House London that Sandast has been invited to be Rolls-Royce Owner’s club sponsor. I thought it was either a joke or scam... but it was a real deal. My obvious question to them was “How and Why?” Turns out someone who wishes to remain “annoymous” has made a strong recommendation on our behalf.
Some names came up. I thought of Harley as he also frequents to The City, London... but he wasn’t traveling & while talking to him, it reminded me of his earlier story and it was all coming together.
Sometime in late Autumn 2017, I told Mark about Harley and I asked Mark if he was the Gentleman who made the recommendation for Sandast.
His answer was, “ No, I didn’t speak to Rolls-Royce nor St.James’s House London. But I was with some old friends in London, and they saw my new bags and started asking me questions about my new bags from you”.
That is when I knew this Gentleman is the Class. How great is he? Someone respects him so much so to send an Invitation….just based on his words.
I was lost for words and later asked him how we can ever re-pay for his support and grace, this is what he told me.
“Chris, one day you will be in the position to help others and when you are, just remember to do the good deeds to the others”.
Dear Mark and Harley,
Thank you very much for your wonderful support & kindness.
We wish you Gentlemen a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!