Sharard Mulchand, founder of Fleur Leather, is a creative whose life and career has thrived on making. Recently he’s made a huge impact on the TXRX community as an upcoming return to California inspired a generous donation which includes; a giant laser cutter, printer, saws and woodworking equipment, leather working equipment, chairs, and office furniture. This community spotlight feature takes a quick look at a man whose generosity is a positive force in our community, and one with an enduring story and approach to making.
Word has it that you have an interesting story. Can you tell me a bit more about your background?
I was diagnosed with CML leukemia in 1992. I actually was on one of the first trial drugs for it at MD Anderson.
They said I had 6-12 months live, and it was true at that time that the drugs and treatments barely kept you alive for that long. I’m still here.
Did that experience put your work in a different light? What was the inspiration behind Fleur Leather?
I was born into a family of creators, carpenters, irons workers, etc. My dad, grandfather uncle, everyone was. We built things at home. You grew up around that, and instead of buying something you had to make it. I was building stuff just by looking at pictures.
You know it (Fleur Leather) kind of just happened. Leatherwork came in college when my best friend in America said one day that we were going to make a leather briefcase. I got hooked on it; that and woodworking.
Anything I see, I want to make it rather than buy. Most people can’t understand that. It was never about the cost, it was about doing it yourself. Actually, it probably cost more with buying the equipment. (laughs) However, when you make it, it’s something special.
How did your connection with TXRX come about?
I’ve known about it for a while, and I wanted to join. In the Los Angeles area, there is a college called Sernos College and they had told me about TXRX. I was looking for something like that here.
I just couldn’t get as involved as I wanted, and I wanted to get back to my kids in California. I wondered what I am going to do with all this equipment. I just decided that I would give it to the lab because I think TXRX is a wonderful organization.
You need facilities like these, and also people who will teach you. When I joined the college, I thought I knew a lot. There is so much to learn, and you only learn through working with people who’ve done it a long time.
After all your years in making what is something that you’d like people to know? Any wisdom you’d like to share?
I would say get started. Ha! You’ll make mistakes. Then you’ll learn, and then you improve and improve.
Even in my commercial leather work, I can tell the difference from my design when I started and where I ended. If you keep at it you get better.
This is what I tell people. You keep learning and one day you become the master. You’ll know when you’ve arrived at that point, but you keep learning. Teach others and learn from others.
TXRX would like to thank Sharad for his generous donation and sharing his inspiring story. If you have a community spotlight story you'd like to share, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org