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Affordable Leather Products
New Video Short!
Graham Marsden, with his Affordable Leather Products stand has been a totally permanent, reliable fixture on the fetish scene for more than 15 years. His clever range of popularly- priced bondage accessories and alternative leather restraint equipment keep costs low for the busy Dominatrix and Kinksters Playspace.
Heather @ London Fetish Fair finds out about the appeal of AFL.
H: Graham, I think you have been to almost every fetish fair (give or take) I have ran since 1996 or thereabouts? What is the attraction of a fetish market?
G: For me it's the chance to meet customers face to face in a friendly and understanding enviroment. Everybody's there for the same thing, so nobody's going to laugh at you and you're not going to get embarrassed. If you want something a little "out of the ordinary". Also, of course, people get the chance to actually see and examine the goods I sell, something which isn't so easy just looking through catalogues or websites. (You'd never know how great the Opera Length Gloves feel just by looking at a picture.)
H: Tell me a bit about how you got into the Leather Gear business.
G: I actually graduated in Computing, but never really found a job in that field and I fell into the Leather Business almost by accident. Back at the start of the 90's I started going out with a new girlfriend and we found we both had interests in playing BDSM games, but when I looked at the cost of some of the bondage gear of the time the prices were ludicrous (£30 for a plain collar!) So I got some leather and buckles and rivets and made a few bits such as a collar, a pair cuffs etc for us to play with. Then I found a local shop that was interested in stocking this sort of thing and one day whilst dropping off an order, someone else in the shop saw this and she said "Do you go to the Whiplash Market?"
G: Now I'd never heard of this, but went to have a look and realised that there was a whole new customer base there. That was back in about 1993 and the business has just grown from there to a very successful company with an established reputation for good prices and quality.
H: Who road tests your equipment? Do you have Mistress / Master friends that help to give you feedback?
G: Well pretty much all designs have been tested and approved by the management (it's a hard job, but someone has to do it!). I've had various play partners over the years who have helped with "product testing and research" and, of course, people can now put feedback comments on items they've bought on my website (see our stands page).
H: I remember buying several pairs of leather opera gloves from you.I love them and they fit great! Do you get a lot of people coming to you for them?
G: The Opera Length Gloves are one of our most popular items, they feel and look wonderful and often someone sees another customer trying on a pair and says "Ooh! Can I try a pair too?"
H: Do you think people realise what a greats service you have? Who are your best customers?
G: Well I get a lot of repeat customers, people who have bought from me in the past frequently come back as they've seen something else in my catalogue that they just have to have :-)
H: Having been on the scene for such a long time is a great asset to us on a sort of mini historical level! Tell me, is there a kind of bondage fashion from one season to the next..do you get arun on certain kinky items seasonally? Do people's tastes change from year to year?
G: Personally I don't have much interest in "fashions", the stuff I sell on my stall is generally more of the "entry level" gear eg wrist and ankle cuffs, gags, nipple clamps, pinwheels, floggers etc, the sort of thing that people who are fairly new to the scene tend to buy. Of course once they've bought from me I give them a copy of the catalogue, so they can look at the more "advanced" items, body harnesses, chastity devices, electrical play boxes, queening stools and so on.
H: Apart from being a staunch supporter of the fetish scene, what are your other passions?
G: I spend a fair amount of time in discussion forums on the Net, and visit the gym two or three times a week. I go surfing in Devon for my holidays and I'm thinking about taking up skiing and snowboarding. Also, of course, I am a member of the Backlash campaign against the proposed laws to outlaw so-called "extreme pornography" and over 1,800 people signed up to my petition on the Number 10 Downing Street website calling on the Prime Minister to abandon these plans (unfortunately his reply was not particularly impressive, being seemingly mostly cut and pasted from the Home Office's biased consultation document).
H: What I notice most about you Graham is your friendly aura and approachability coupled with a great knowledge of what you supply. Do you find a lot of people coming back to you?
G: Absolutely, not only because I do great gear at affordable prices (shameless plug!) but also because they know I'm going to be at the market, so if they want something, they know where to come.
Graham, thanks for being a part of London Fetish Fair every month. It is a pleasure to have your Affordable Leather Products at the event!
© London Fetish Fair
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