About BatĂ­

MISSION:

After graduating college, future Bati founder Taylor Ross traveled to rural Paraguay to teach English to disadvantaged youth.

Bati and Team Tobati, Taylor and Joel at graduation

While there, he met Joel, a wide-eyed 16 year old whose dream was to go to college in the United States. They became peanut butter and jelly.

Ross helped Joel apply to schools, and he was ultimately accepted to attend the University of Pennsylvania on a full scholarship. He attended, and even before graduating (a double-major) had already received juicy offers from various Fortune 500 companies. He currently works as a software engineer at Google.

Mission: Bati uses proceeds to provide college scholarships to disadvantaged Paraguayan youth, many of whom will be the first to graduate in their family. 

THE SPARKNOTES:

Bati Leather Goods, derived from the name of the village in Paraguay where the goods are made (Tobati), was conceived as a vehicle to create more opportunities for local youth who lack educational resources.

Bati Leather Goods Leather Bar Collection

The culture, people, music, traditions, climate, landscape, the good and the bad of Tobati, Paraguay are all central elements to the brand. The soft, natural leather bares the scars and natural imperfections from the cow; no two goods are the same - just like us, each one has its own story to tell.

Bati is about embracing our scars instead of hiding from them, and realizing that that courage is what ultimately makes us stronger. We believe the sun doesn't feel as warm on your skin unless you haven't had to wait for a bus in the rain for a while. We believe in giving a jump to the person on the side of the road, talking to the shy person at the party, tipping well, taking a salsa class just because, planting stuff and watching it grow, eating something new that looks gross, drinking tereré (yerba mate), calling your friends, remembering your roots, and most importantly, taking time to smell the leather. 

BATI BOOK:

Elevate the Ordinary. That’s our ethos. We take ordinary items that people use every day and elevate the aesthetic by wrapping them in leather.

We're known for our hand-stitch finish, which you'll see on all of our goods.

The stitch technique has been held under lock and key by our family of leather artisans in small village in the Paraguay for decades, and it holds the secret to how to stitch leather within the tight, cramped spaces of an item that a machine can't get to (as seen below, the area under the handle on our Sangria carafe - now those are some calloused fingers!).
Bati Goods Leather Carafe, Pitcher
Our goods are made with soft, vegetable-tanned cow leather and bare the natural imperfections of the hide. They develop a beautiful patina over time depending on use, care, and sun exposure. Each one is truly unique and reminds us to embrace our scars instead of hiding from them.

In Paraguay, the country’s overwhelming natural beauty is overshadowed by its crippling poverty rate, which hovers above 40%. Its people are resourceful, humble, and make the most out of what they have. In creating Bati, we hope to use our leather goods as a vehicle to show the world the beauty Paraguay has to offer and to tell the inspiring story behind the students of The Macchi School, who we support with proceeds by subsidizing college tuition costs.

Our use of exclusively organic ingredients allows us to preserve, strengthen, and add color to the hide. It leaves bare the scars and imperfections of the hide, which we believe adds the real character to each piece. We pride ourselves on our sustainable process and value the land that has provided us the resources to create our leather goods.
 
CHAPTER THREE: ARTESANOS (ARTISANS)

The artists behind each Bati Good come from the renowned artisanal community of Tobati, Paraguay. We work with local leather and wood workers and credit them for the distinct beauty that each product radiates. Sure, we design the stuff, but it's their decades of experience and dedication to their craft that allow us to wrap such intricate pieces in leather. Nothing we do would be possible without them. 

La Familia Fernandez - The leather wrap masters have been in business for over 100 years. It's a family run shop, and each special crafting technique is passed down from generation to generation. It stays in the family, which brings everyone closer together and makes it harder for copycats to steal their ideas. The combined knowledge learned from the descendants of the Fernandez family has allowed them to wrap some of the craziest things in leather. Whether a bicycle, a car, or a statue, they take on each challenge with a smile. 

We're privileged to consider the Fernandez family some of our closest friends. Over the years we've grown close by working together on new designs and hanging out at their weekly Asado Sabado (Saturday BBQ). They've let us into the circle, and even taught us some of their special stitching techniques. We are most humbled by this.  

La Familia Portillo - The Portillos are the wood-workers behind Bati's Cedar / Leather Collection of trays and housewares, and have some of the strongest handshakes you've ever seen.

They're a family run shop too, and craft each piece with such precision that you would never believe it was done by hand. Everyone helps each other out, and when someone's in need of a tool, all they have to do is give a holler!

They source their wood from the remote Paraguayan jungle, which just happens to be in their backyard. The resources are rich, and their hands have grown calloused over the years from working with various types of wood. 

Although there are other, cheaper alternatives for products we could wrap in leather, we value the handmade process and think that the small details are what make the product great. Like the smell that's created when the cedar wood is wrapped in leather - it fills up a room!