Western Sydney is bursting with creative local crafters. One of these is Mt Annan’s Alex Zucchi – who handmakes and sells leather products for his business Lighthouse Leather Co.
WEST came across Lighthouse Leather during one of our many explorations when we noticed some of his beautiful products on display. We first met Alex by chance, over a great coffee at his brew bar in Wetherill Park. We sat down with him to find out more about his story.
In 2019, Alex first began his journey as a leather crafter. As a self-proclaimed collector of hobbies, it was through watching YouTube videos about the art, that Alex first thought leather crafting was something he could pursue.
After buying a kit and converting the spare bedroom into a studio, Alex committed to practicing and learning the art of turning leather into products like wallets, keychains, cases, and coasters.
“It doesn’t get boring, there’s so much variety in what I’m doing. There’s so much you can make out of leather.”
“I started constantly making until it was at the point where I thought I could sell it.”
From this began Lighthouse Leather Co. Named after his love for lighthouses, Alex started an online store selling Kangaroo bookmarks made from leather, which proved to be successful not only because hundreds were purchased, but because it gave Alex the motivation to continue his passion.
Lighthouse Leather Co now stocks online and in stores across Western Sydney, Sydney city and will soon be featured in the WEST Store.
Alex hand makes every product he sells and has expanded the Lighthouse Leather collection to include a large range of wallets, bags, key chains, and custom items like his beanie range. As a local maker, he can customise the colour, range, and style to suit any buyer or brief – setting him apart from larger scale producers.
The colour, form, and composition elevate these functional products into pieces of art – without losing their usability. Sourcing his leather from Australia, Italy, Japan, and the USA, Alex is committed to using quality leather that fits the product he is producing.
“It doesn’t matter where you’re from, people appreciate good craftmanship,” says Alex, “good things can come from anywhere and Western Sydney has a massive population of very creative people who can do anything.”
This community of local makers and producers is something Alex believes is important in deepening the perception of places like Western Sydney. He says that local crafters represent the immediate area they are producing in.
“We need people to be creative and to produce things. It adds to how they perceive the area,” Alex says, “the more crafters you have in the area, the more it adds to the identity of the area.”
Western Sydney is host to many (and an ever-increasing number of) local producer markets and artisan stores where craftspeople like Alex represent their skill in the community. These spots are one of the best places to experience the vibrancy of Western Sydney, and support local businesses and makers.
Alex Zucchi is just one example of a hard-working local producer who is proud of his art, and proud of his community in Western Sydney, and he knows that when it comes to perfecting a craft, the journey is never over.
Alex told us that once you think you’ve made it, or you’ve learnt all you can – you’re no longer a success. There’s always so much more to learn. That kind of ethos drives quality and is why Lighthouse Leather products are being sought out by sellers and retailers in Sydney, bringing the West to them
love finding and celebrating great quality wherever we find it right across Western Sydney. WEST was so excited to meet Alex that we asked him to create a bespoke product to showcase on our own online store. The WEST keyrings are an example of his craftsmanship and the quality of what is being created in our own backyards. Jump online and check them out.