Where We Started

The APOSTL journey began with a gift! My Wife, Hannah Radcliffe, brought me home a leather carry all  after one of her business trips to Indonesia for her business, Francesca.

 Hannah knew that I needed a mid-sized bag for short business trips and general use. The bag was a beautiful black leather which I fell in love with immediately. It was soft, but obviously durable. It had a high-end finish but was simple in design, and as a result of this pared back presentation, the quality took centre stage. The craftsmanship was excellent!

 Hannah told me she had found the bag in a boutique leather workshop and said that it had been handmade by leather artisans. There was a quality to the bag and a mystique to the story. I had to find out more!

 Later that year, We flew to Bali and visited that same workshop. I was welcomed warmly by David and Eka and I told them again how I had become familiar with their products and that I was really impressed with the workmanship and the quality of the leather.  

 We spent the afternoon together talking and swapping stories, by the end of the day the business was born. I would design a range of products in Tasmania and they would provide the practical know-how to turn my ideas into a reality. My next task was to decide on a name for the business!

Thinking of a name was difficult. Until that point things had unfolded organically and very easily. I knew I needed a name which referenced the ethos I wanted to create in the business and also touched on my past experiences. There were a number of interesting ideas but as soon as it came to mind, I knew that I had found what I was looking for!  

 The business would be called APOSTL! In the modern sense, an apostle is ‘a vigorous or pioneering advocate of a particular policy, idea or cause’. This was it! The name APOSTL speaks to the way that I view the business, how I Intended it to operate, and what I hoped to achieve. APOSTL would produce stylish, reasonably priced, and practical high-end goods. More importantly, it would do so in a way that benefited the community and lifted people up.

Initially, I had decided that APOSTL would produce men’s goods, but it quickly became clear that there was also a demand for similar products for women. I decided to expand our product range! It was a happy development in more ways than one because it meant that I was able to spend some more time with my wife Hannah discussing design and product ideas.

APOSTL now carries a range of male, female and gender-neutral bags, jackets, wallets, computer cases and more. This was a natural evolution that came as a result of engaging with our customers and responding to their feedback. This is just one example of the way community engagement is crucial to our ongoing success.

 We take pride in our local community and actively foster our local relationships. As well as a thriving online presence we operate a small stall at Salamanca market  and have done so for the last three years. As APOSTL grows, local community contact remains vital to our model.

At APOSTL we believe that a rising tide should lift all boats. APOSTL’s success should be felt by all those involved, manufacturers, sales staff and of course the customers. APOSTL is designed for people who value quality, care about where their products come from, and are engaged with the values of the business that provides them. 

 In order to best serve our clientele, we keep our margins low and avoid wholesale to create a sustainable balance between attention to detail and affordability for the consumer. We think we have the balance right! We really enjoy being able to see our manufacturer thrive while providing products of exceptional quality at reasonable prices. It is a wholistic approach which is geared towards mutual success and satisfaction.

As APOSTL grows, I am committed to making sure that our values remain the same. I have been working on this business for 4 years and have had a hands-on role in every function including, shipping, marketing, sales, and design. I know first-hand what each role takes. I have relished every step of the journey. As my role changes and develops, I am excited to expand APOSTL’s reach and to welcome new members to the APOSTL family!

As Told By BJ Radcliffe 

Written By Jefferson St John 



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