Bosca 110 is a year-long celebration of our 110th year in the leather business. From the earliest days of Hugo to the often-forgotten nostalgic collections of the 1980s we are doing a deep dive into some of our favorite historical artifacts from our entire history. It should be an entertaining look into what has allowed Bosca to not only survive but to thrive for 110 years.
The trick is to remain open to new ideas while holding on to foundational values with fierce stubborn determination. For us, those values are: treat people well, respect the artist as well as the independence of small business, and stay true to real, honest leather.
Hides being prepared for hand-staining circa 1960
Today to “disrupt” a market or an industry is considered to be a high achievement. We admire innovation, but we see our role in life as one of protecting and nurturing not just a product made from a renewable and, in the case of vegetable tanned leather, an ecologically balanced material, but protecting a way of life. It is the life of the small artisan and small industrialist; the family company, the azienda.
All of this means a commitment to hands-on work. In my case, that work spans a breadth of tasks from sketching products to inspecting each hide before it is approved for production. For others like those working at the original Bosca building in Springfield, Ohio hands-on work means inspecting finished products, pressing monogram stamps, cutting belts, packing and shipping orders, or handling customer service. One way or another, this is truly a hands-on occupation.
There are no shortcuts in this business
Every foot of our leather is inspected by the owner assuring consistently top-quality product.
This is a work of passion. Sketching, reading, seeing, experiencing-absorbing influences from every walk down the street; experimenting with techniques, methods, machines, tools, and especially playing with materials. To get it right this work happens everywhere- every minute of every day. We are immersed in the experience of creating with leather.
Evaluating experimental leathers at one of our production facilities in Tuscany
Our company was founded by a young Italian immigrant named Hugo Bosca with two partners both of whom exited the business in the 1930s. In the early days of the 20th Century, Hugo came to the United States to find a better way. In that time there have been two world wars, two “great depressions” the Korean War, Vietnam War and the cultural revolution, gas wars, the implosion of the department stores in the late ‘80s, The dot-com bubble and Its burst, 9/11, the second great depression, “retail apocalypse” and a series of pandemics bringing us to the present times of Covid-19. Still, through it all, Bosca stands.
An early women's advertisement circa 1935
To thrive in a world of change I find that my most difficult decisions are what to change; how to adapt. This, among many reasons, is why Bosca strives every day to connect, reconnect, and explore our roots both in Italy and in the United State. In this everlasting sea of decisions, two points are clear. First, we are grateful to have a loyal following of new and old fans. We are gratified to know that there are so many of you out there who share our values, who see the warm, organic appeal of our product, and who support us in our endeavors. The second is that the easiest decisions are what not to change. In our DNA we are about leather, and on this, we have never compromised.
Happy 110th Birthday,