Cape Cobra Leathercraft
It was at this time Lothar first met Denise, an Egyptian born teacher of a Franco Italian mother and Lebanese father. Two months later, after numerous picnics along the Nile, Lothar traditionally requested Denise’s hand in marriage. They were married on June 1957, as partners that would go through life together, and so they would for forty-two years. They were later blessed with two sons, Robert and Richard, and twin daughters, Nicole and Christine.
In May 1962, after the revolution motivated many Europeans to leave Egypt. The Schafer family moved to Germany before relocating to the Lebanon. “You don’t know what you can do until it is expected from you” says Denise. The Lebanon offered a kind life and Denise’s Lebanese father offered a perfect partnership. “Cordoba” was born, named after the Spanish city which became known for its quality leather. Many of the Egyptian leather craftsmen followed Lothar to the Lebanon, due to his kind and caring character. Collectively they had incredible skills and knowledge, an appetite for life and a genuine care for people. These attributes formed the corner stones of the business.
The name Cape Cobra Leathercraft was chosen to highlight the origin of the product as proudly South African. “The leather was cut in the dining room, skived in the bedroom and the creations produced in the helper’s room. Number 1402 was the very first bag we made” – Denise. Their vision was to grow their simple home based leather craft operation into a world-market leader. Their dream was built on three core attributes: a pledge to innovative design, a dedication to producing the finest exotic leather accessories, and a caring attitude towards people. These attributes remain the driving force behind Cape Cobra Leathercraft’s strength today.
CCL secured their first premises in Cape Town in 1973. By 1974 all the children were old enough to work at the factory and each one contributed. Robert, the eldest of the children, went to Offenbach in Germany in 1976 to complete his apprenticeship in leather craft. On his return he fully committed to the business. The company grew rapidly mainly due to the quality of craftsmanship and innovative designs with which CCL became synonymous with. Despite the recession in the 80’s, the commitment of the board of directors and dedication of the factory workers catalysed Cape Cobra Leathercraft to go from strength to strength on the local market to this day. In 1993 CCL made its first international break – entering the United States.
Cape Cobra Leathercraft Today
Cape Cobra Leathercraft has a fully integrated design and manufacturing facility located in Cape Town. The factory can offer a private tour which features the process involved in the creation of a single piece, from the design phase through to end product. It includes a visit to the design room, stores, engineering department, and production. The showroom offers a complete range of classic and new collections available. Each piece is intricately designed, intimately handcrafted and timelessly elegant.
Robert Schafer is the managing director of Cape Cobra Leathercraft after succeeding the late Lothar Schafer in 2000. Robert has three children, of which eldest daughter Justine is the creative manager and heads up business development. Richard, the second eldest son, is also a director of the organization. Denise continues to work at the factory and is primarily responsible for ensuring that the quality of the goods produced are maintained at an exceptionally high standard.
Today, a whole new market recognizes CCL as a major name in the design and manufacture of premium leather goods. The organization continues to be family orientated with a heart for South Africa, despite its growth as a vibrant and internationally renowned business. A shared vision is alive in the very fabric of the CCL culture: to establish the organization as the exotic leather manufacturer of choice, and to position South Africa at the forefront of the international exotic leather craft industry as a uniquely creative country that exceeds expectations through timeless age-old leather hand-craft traditions and excellence in quality.
Vision, Mission & Values
To position South Africa at the fore of the international exotic leather craft industry with its unique capacity for design and innovation. To establish Cape Cobra Leathercraft as an exotic leather hand-crafted product of choice on a global level.
To excite the world with state of the art exotic leather goods.
Inspire world-class leaders with a tireless commitment to quality.
Commit to sustainable business practices internal and external to the organization.
Catalyze an international appreciation for South African potential through innovation, design and delivery across all business functions.
Develop meaningful relationships that extend beyond far distant borders.
Make a difference in the lives of South Africans through continued job creation, provision of development opportunities and empowerment of shared and individual ambitions.
Family, Honesty, Quality, Innovation, Sustainability, Tradition, Empowerment of People.