Arts and crafts entrepreneur Jyri Naskali designs and manufactures Naskali Leather bow ties from recycled leather. What began as a hobby ended up taking over his professional life. In business since 2016, Naskali Leathers’ workshop crafts elegant and durable leather bow ties sustainably from waste leather obtained from, for example, boxing clubs.
With a background in competitive boxing, Naskali Company’s founder Jyri Naskali built his unwavering entrepreneur mentality in the boxing ring. Naskali has been an entrepreneur all his life. Sixteen years into a career as a barber and a hairdresser, Naskali stepped back and took a moment to reflect on his future as a business owner. The idea for a career of arts and crafts came out of his passion for crafting by hand, the usability of recycled leather, and the desire to create something new.
“At the time, I wanted a leather case for my pipe, and I couldn’t find one anywhere. So I thought that, well, I guess I’ll do one myself. And once I got going with leather work, I started striving for more, doing everything I could think of,” Naskali says.
This passion for his new favorite pastime ended up taking up most of his free time. Together with his wife, Naskali got to thinking that the hobby could be turned into a business and the product could be leather bow ties.
In his years as a boxer, Naskali noted that high-quality boxing gear is typically made of leather. But when the seams in boxing gloves or other gear begin to give out, they quickly become useless.
“When I had the idea to craft bow ties out of leather, I remembered that boxing clubs produce a lot of waste leather. One glove easily has enough leather for two to four bow ties. Currently I get three bags of leather a year delivered from 5 or 6 boxing clubs.”
In 2016, Naskali Leathers manufactured their first prototypes. And on the strength of these initial bow ties, Naskali Leather was founded in 2017.
Disrupting the dress code with a bold statement
Men’s dress code has typically been restrained, and there is distinct lack of variety in what’s available for men. More recently though, men have begun to slightly disrupt the dress code in a tasteful way, and Naskali sees this is as a welcome development.
“The traditional Finnish Independence Day Reception at the Presidential Palace, for example, has seen several Naskali Leather bow ties and, consequently, disruptions of etiquette. Strict adherence to dress code would require that the bow tie is white and tied by hand. These bow ties are pre-tied and made of leather. But maybe it’s no longer that big a deal, just an elegant little break from etiquette,” Naskali laughs.
Naskali finds it rewarding to see bow ties used in a variety of situations. Naskali Leathers bow ties will also be finding their place in Hotel Mestari’s staff uniforms.
Naskali’s plans for the future involve recruiting new workers, enabling him to focus more on developing the business. It’s important to Naskali that the company remains predominantly Finnish. All Naskali Company products are designed and manufactured in Finland. With his example, he wants to highlight the importance of professional arts and crafts.
“I enjoy crafting products at the workshop, but I also enjoy designing and selling them. Now we’re entering a stage where we have to outsource some manufacturing to allow for Naskali Company to grow,” Naskali concludes.