First of all, I am very much aware that dark brown isn’t in the Foxton range, or the Charnwood one (essentially those are the same bags, but Foxton and Charnwood each come in 4 very distinctive colours that aren’t found in other Zatchels ranges). Let’s just ignore that fact for a moment, I’ll get to it later in this review.
The Kilworth model is a classic design, just slightly different from other classic smaller bags. It looks sufficiently different from all the well known types of classic and vintage style satchel/handbag to make it really pop, whilst all the same it is a bag you can literally use anywhere. Whether it is for the office, a night out, your ‘punk outfit: Kilworth has you covered.
It comes with a handle and removable straps, so if you wanted to use it as a handbag, just take the straps off. It also has a handy small inside pocket with zipper closure, that is ideal for things like a train ticket or travel card. The sizing photo and information on the website is true to form, and it is actually quite surprising just how much this bag holds. I can fit all my essentials in there easily, as well as some extras, with a little room to spare. Unlike many of their other models, this bag does not come with a strap slider option. I actually checked with Zatchels customer service if it’s possible to order one separately with one of the Foxton or Charnwood bags; and they told me that yes, you can, simply contact customer service (firstname.lastname@example.org). So if you really want one, it’s definitely an option.
Now Zatchels, as a brand, can be on the pricier side. Which is normal considering the quality of materials and the fact every bag is handmade. Even at regular price they aren’t overpriced for the product you get. But, they very often do discounts, and my husband bought this one during a 50% off everything flash sale back in May as an early birthday present for me. So if you are patient, you can really do a good deal on their site. The bags are guaranteed to last for ages, quite possibly the lifetime they give you warranty for. At this point, the brand hasn’t been around long enough to really put that to the test, so it’s kind of an ongoing experiment in accessories. This is the 3rd Zatchels bag I’ve come to own (I also own a barrel bag and classic satchel, both have been reviewed on The Gatehouse) and it’s likely not the last either.
Each bag comes with its own protective dust bag and a certificate of authenticity and if you have any trouble at all, their customer service is available and does its job extremely well. So that is definitely an added bonus should any issue or question arise.
Now for those curious as to how I ended up with a custom colour. No, I didn’t just email customer service and explained that I’m a steampunk cliché and wanted dark brown. In fact, when my husband placed the order end of May, I chose a red bag. Now the thing is, there was a delay on that particular leather, and customer service asked if I wanted another colour. I said I didn’t and that the only other colour I’d consider was dark brown, which was a bit of a moot point as it didn’t come in that. They knew it was a birthday present so their customer service did what awesome customers services do: they changed my order from Kilworth Marsala Red to my all time fave colour for any bag: dark brown (much obliged!). That is the story behind the custom shade of my bag.
When it came, because I had to wait longer than the regular 28 days turn-around time, they also threw in a nice classic Zatchels keychain and a super adorable birthday card. Because Zatchels cares about their customers.
Their customer service is, aside from the undisputable quality of their products, what makes this brand great. No matter how many times I asked for an update, they were friendly and professional and did their utmost to answer my questions and help me out. They really went above and beyond for me, where most brands simply would have told me there was a delay and offered a refund or a discount on a next order. Zatchels, however, made a bag happen I love even more than I would have the original red clour order. And that’s why I can’t recommend them enough!
If you need a quality leather bag and you see one on their site you like, just do yourself the favour and don’t look further, just go with Zatchels.