CO-FOUNDER AND CEO OF FAIRE LEATHER CO
Don’t let Joseph Lor’s bad boy vibes fool you. Whether in his regular scoop‐necked tee or a spiffy suit that hides his multiple tattoos, this guy stays sharply focused on growing his leather goods businesses. He cites Mark Cuban, Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos as role models as “they all had brilliant visions for how to disrupt their respective industries, and sacrificed a ton and hustled to get to where they are”.
Lor, who claims he’d never been hard‐working, forced himself into overdrive in 2016 when he took the reins of Tocco Toscano, a leather goods company his father founded in 1987. Back then, the company was mired in debt and its processes needed an overhaul. “I gave myself a year to turn things around. I reduced the head count, reduced my own pay to just $1,000 a month, worked on increasing sales by creating and implementing a stock optimisation process, and more. This meant working through the night and sleeping in the office almost every day for six months. Thankfully, things did improve after that. With the improved cash flow, I could work on rebuilding my team and creating more content for our website.”
He then turned his attention to filling a gap in his industry: “There was a lack of products that combined functionality with aesthetics. And as someone who carries a lot of stuff every day, I wanted a hassle-free way of finding exactly what I need in my bag.”
The stylish, well-crafted Faire Leather Co. leather briefcase Lor carries around daily is heavy with his tech devices and tech peripherals, an array of pens and markers, his passport and even a toothbrush for when he works overnight. Each item is neatly tucked into pockets of varying sizes; cables are clipped in neat coils. Even the magnetised zipper pull snaps into position so it doesn’t dangle annoyingly, he says.
Faire Leather Co.’s first two designs were crowdfunded on Kickstarter in 2017, raising US$406,000 – more than 10 times its target. It made over S$1 million in its first year. Lor later extended the concept of creating intelligent compartments in bags to The Essentials collection, a functional line for women under Tocco Toscano. “It is really rewarding when customers write in to tell you how your product has helped them organise their everyday lives,” he says.
Lor is wearing the Panerai Submersible — 42mm (PAM00683)