11th March 2020
Our 2020 Cockpit Effect Impact Report features a series of case studies to illustrate the diversity of makers, their practices and business journeys at Cockpit Arts. Over the coming weeks we’ll share these with you.
Leatherworker Yusuf Osman has transformed his personal passion into a business and a means of empowering those outside of the craft realm
In 2016, Yusuf Osman began to drift away from his career in law, making leather goods part-time in his bedroom and travelling the world to learn from experts in the craft. Today, his leather goods brand YUSSICO produces a bold, colourful line of products and he also teaches leather-working to children and adults.
Osman came to Cockpit via its London Creative Network professional development programme and moved into a space at the Deptford studios in 2019. “As a newcomer to the industry, I really value the professional development workshop programme that is thoughtfully curated to meet the needs of growing craft businesses,” he says. “Working alone, I am constantly making decisions about my business, so I really value the coaching sessions that provide time to discuss these and reflect on my business progress.”
A major part of his business now is the leather-working class he offers through Airbnb Experiences. Teaching, for Osman, is a way of meeting new people (actor John Malcovich and magician Drummond Money-Coutts among them) and sharing his passion for his work, but it’s also part of his drive to open up the craft world to a wider audience.
“In a short space of time I have made the traditional skills of leather-working more accessible to people of all abilities and backgrounds, whether it’s simply to introduce people to new skills or to highlight the potential in the leather industry. I look forward to expanding my teaching business in 2020 and I hope to work with Cockpit Arts to make craft careers more accessible, diverse and inclusive,” he says.
Photos: Dominic Marley and Jamie Trounce