Allison Nicole Hoeltzel founded Officina del Poggio in Bologna in 2014 to create a collection of timeless and essential leather bags.
Originally from Texas, Allison has lived in Italy for the past 15 years, working in handbag design and development for many international brands. Passing her days in the factories and tanneries, she was fascinated with the materials and methods used, but was disappointed to discover that most modern handbags use split leather and synthetic reinforcements, which don't last over time.
After meeting her husband Marco and sharing with him this passion for good leather, quality crafstmanship, and a minimalist aesthetic, she built a collection inspired by traditional satchels, equestrian gear and Marco's vintage motorcycle bags.
Officina del Poggio was born, taking the name from the magical place they call home in the hills of Bologna ("Officina" means workshop and "Poggio" means small hill), which they share with their two dogs.
The collection is designed, developed, and manufactured in Italy. The artisans, both young and old, are passionate about their craft and are an integral part of the team.
The choice of leathers is the core of the whole collection - supple and hard-wearing and pleasing to the touch, illuminated by a color palette of sophisticated and whispered tones. The skins are carefully cut and and each bag is sewn individually, using thick-gauge thread and adding hand-stitches in stress-points for reinforcement, then the edges are buffed and hand painted using specific sealing paints, adding subtle detail and a pop of color.
The main collection is crafted from full-grain tumbled bullhide and natural vacchetta, leathers chosen for their durability and beauty as they age over time. Each season new colors and materials are introduced, in limited production runs, adding to the uniqueness of each piece.