Happy 2019 from Cindy & Eric!

Henri Neck Strap by Max @maximiliankamps

This post is written by Cindy aka Haptic:

Serendipitous Encounters: Saigon 2014

In summer of 2014 Eric and I met a group of talented artists in Saigon. We hung out, drank lots of coffee, and talked about creative projects to work on:

Project 1: Our friend Gin and his gang of skilled film producers put together this beautiful film about shooting street photography in Vietnam along with Fujifilm Vietnam:

Project 2: Gin also introduced us to his childhood friend who are models and musicians, Lan and Uyen. In Vietnam, rarely do people just do one thing. There is a spirit of creativity, entrepreneurism, and scrappiness in Saigon. Lan and Uyen also are talented leather makers and artisans.

Over the course of three years we worked together to design, experiment, and make different products.

Prototype of Eric’s camera bag he used and traveled with since 2011.

Handmade Leather Camera Straps

All of our leather products — the HENRI COLLECTION (neck strap, wrist strap, wrist strap pro, shoulder strap, chroma) and ERIC KIM COLLECTION (wrist strap, neck strap) are 100% leather and handmade and crafted with care from start to finish. Each Henri strap is hand-made by two of our friends, Lan and Uyen who are a leather craftsmen and artists in Saigon. We design and develop the aesthetic concept of each strap and work closely work with the artisans Lan and Uyen. Lan and Uyen source the leather, handmake the straps during the weekdays between music gigs, and ship them to California from Saigon.

Rather than mass produced, these are handmade in small, limited-quantity batches in order to preserve a level of excellent craftsmanship and quality. Each strap is unique.

Once they get to California, Eric and I, (and now with the help of our loving and supportive family–sorry Mom for taking over the dining room table…) work to quality check, finish, and package each strap:

I designed the packaging of each product (I love boxes). The labeling is hand-stamped!

Why buy from HAPTIC aka Cindy & Eric?

Unlike huge, anonymous factories, this is the entire operation: Eric, me, my family, Lan, and Uyen. We are transparent about the labor practices behind the straps because we are proud and love each product we make.

We live in Vietnam currently and are very cognizant of global inequality, especially in labor practices. This is why we price our products the way we do. We want to give a fair and respectful wage to everyone involved. We do not run a wholesale factory, but support honest and beautiful work.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you

We know there are so many other straps and camera accessories to choose from, so we thank you for choosing to support us!

Here are our friends from all around the world, proudly displaying their HAPTIC products:

Josh White @jt_inseoul with ERICKIM strap

HAPTIC Moving Forward

cindy a nguyen making stuff
Cindy hand carving a photography by Eric Kim for “THE CITY OF ANGELS” art portfolio

Moving forward, we are focusing on HAPTICPRESS — to publish more artbooks, and guides to inspire and empower our artists and photographers. We wish to build a platform of mutual empowerment, and to also hopefully feature your work one day.

We are also building up the ERIC KIM FORUM — your new home to improve, grow, and learn as a photographer and artist.

We thank you so much for building this positive community of sharing, growth, and openness. Let’s continue to ride this creative wave together.

Cindy & Eric
Saigon, 2017

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