Lady Cuir's Story
Nicole Di Masi
"I love being able to breathe new life into a handbag you may have thought needed to be retired to the top shelf of your closet."
We have a built a successful business on the convenience of our service and the quality of our work.
Nicole Di Masi is the founder of Lady Cuir Restoration.
Her story began with a borrowed white Chanel handbag and an unfortunate accident which caused an unsightly stain on the bottom of one of her mother’s most coveted handbags. Being told by the Chanel repair division that it generally takes several weeks, along with the cleaning costs, she had no choice but to try her local shoe repair shop.
To watch her mother's bag get tossed carelessly into a box filled with other items was horrifying. A few days later she went back to pick up the bag with fingers crossed. He handed the restored leather clutch to her in all its former glory, yet in a plastic supermarket bag with a strong scent of shoe polish. At that moment she realized there must be a more elegant approach.
Nicole then sat down with an old friend, whose family had been in the leather business for a number of years. They found her concept worth pursuing. It started with a pitch given to concierge, valet, and dry cleaner services who all loved her idea. After many positive responses within the service industry, Nicole began training alongside leather craftsmen with over forty years’ experience to learn the art of leather restoration. She was initially intimidated and unsure of whether she could work in what has traditionally been a man’s business, but as she began to master the custom re-coloring and leather restoration work, Nicole’s confidence grew, along with unique ways to run the business from a woman’s point of view.
Nicole initially started her business working alongside of other businesses. Much of the work she receives is sent in from women just like her. She now gets to know her clients one on one. She realized that being a woman was a great asset, as it helps other women feel more comfortable opening their closets to her. When she revives their worn items, giving them a second life, her customers are typically impressed and grateful. The gratitude is often expressed by referrals to other women with large closets full of handbags, in addition to their husbands’ leather accessories and shoes.
Nicole oversees every item, along with her 3 ½ year old daughter who knows more about handbags than most adults, and experiences great satisfaction when working on the more challenging color combinations of restoration work herself. She treats each piece as if she were personally receiving it back. For Nicole, it’s never been about money or quantity of work, it’s about quality. Nicole considers this old-world restoration work the magic of artisans and applies this experience to every customer who comes to her with a worn, yet well-loved item. Working with a team of passionate cobblers and leather workers, she truly enjoys the work of restoration and considers it a relaxing and fulfilling experience, like an artist painting a picture.
Only her canvas is leather.