#Asia Handcrafted shoes startup incubated at YC is getting into the Macbook sleeve business


Photo credit: Markhor.

Artisanal-shoe startup Markhor, which was part of Y Combinator’s Fall 2015 batch, announced today that it’s returning to its Kickstarter roots.

The fledgling company, headed by a husband-wife duo from Pakistan, is branching out into handcrafted Macbook sleeves and pads. The campaign has a modest goal of US$5,000, with early bird prices of its leather Macbook sleeves set at US$65.

Markhor started after founders Waqas Ali and Sidra Qasim met with local craftsmen in their hometown and were blown away by their prowess. They found out that many of them were working with large Western fashion brands but didn’t get the necessary recognition.

The ambitious entrepreneurs saw an opportunity to sell craftsmanship honed over centuries via the internet and decided to dive in. This was in 2014.

Since then, the company has had a couple of successful Kickstarter campaigns, been accepted into Y Combinator, and moved its HQ to California. It’s also spawned a number of other fashion startups from Pakistan, all looking to tap the abundant tradition of handcrafting fashion products.

“We closely looked at the lifestyle of our existing customers – men, under the age of 35, who appreciate quality and modern design. We learned one brand they loved most was Apple, so we set out to make something that will enhance their experience with Apple products,” explains Waqas, when asked about the shift in focus from shoes to laptop accessories.

He adds that the overall vision for Markhor has always been to build an “experience brand,” and that there will be more products in the coming months.

“Craftsmanship is our bread and butter. It’s our way of doing things. Our belief in it gets stronger each day as we continue to meet new craftsmen and work with them,” says Waqas.

The startup hasn’t locked in a large funding round yet. Its newest leather Apple accessories are expected to ship by the end of May.

This post Handcrafted shoes startup incubated at YC is getting into the Macbook sleeve business appeared first on Tech in Asia.

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