Brothers Omar and Zane Sabre launched Queensland-based Maison de Sabré in 2017 to help fund Zane’s dentistry tuition. Omar was already working as a dentist when their father fell ill towards the end of Zane’s degree, and, needing money to help Zane graduate, the New Zealanders – who both now live in the Gold Coast – set their sights on ecommerce.

“Zane was studying in Australia at the time and wasn’t eligible to receive any financial assistance from the government,” says Omar. “We’d both always had an affinity towards leather goods so we did some research on the market in Australia, realised we didn’t love anything that was available, and decided to start by selling leather phone cases.”

The Maison de Sabré range now includes phone cases, wallets, clutches and other leather goods. The newest accessory is a customisable, handmade leather case for Apple’s Airpods (the technology giant’s wireless bluetooth earbuds).

There are a number of Airpod cases on the market, but Sabre’s is the first to avoid clunky adjoining plastics or other materials, they say.

The case (designed and produced on the Gold Coast) is made with four individual pieces of top grain leather, which the brothers source from the US. Two pieces are used for the base and two for the lid – they’re stitched together using an invisible, inverted stitch to create seamless edges.

The case provides full-coverage protection and shock absorption for the Airpods, and preserves the signature “snap” when you close the lid. There’s an opening for the charging port, but the case also allows for wireless charging.

Omar says designing leather to have the same functionality (and make the same noise) as the plastic case was the most interesting part of the design process.

“We try to make sure all the native functions of a product are maintained when we make a leather version of it, because those elements are what people love about a product,” he says. “To achieve that Airpod click, we just ensured that the base and the lid component of the case were fractions of a millimetre apart, so you get that familiar snap when you close it.”

The Maison de Sabré case has also been meticulously designed to ensure the Apple case fits easily and snugly into the leather canister.

Cases support both Airpods and Airpods Pro and are available in eight colours, including blue, black, green and pink. They start at $79, and can be personalised with the owner’s initials.

As for Zane’s dentistry degree, Maison de Sabré’s success meant he was able to graduate, though things didn’t turn out as planned.

“We started this company to fund his studies so he could finish this six-year dentistry degree,” Omar says. “Now we’ve both stopped working as dentists and we’re working on Maison de Sabré full-time.”

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