When I first tell people that I own Hide & Valor - a leather crafting brand I started in 2014, a lot of the times I get asked this first initial question
Who do you outsource your labor to?
It's always a pleasant surprise when I tell them that I manufacture/produce everything myself and that I do it all by hand.
The question is understandable though. We live in an age where drop shipping sites on Shopify are plenty. What wouldreally make my store look any different?It'sjust a bunch of products listed on the front page withmaybe a small blurb here or there about the handmade-ness of the products.
Some of the follow-up questions I often get are:
What got you into leather crafting?
How did you learn the skillset?
This takes me back to an era of pretty rash decisions. The following is how I met my wife which leads into to starting Hide & Valor.
Met this girl at a bar in San Diego one December night
Book surprise ticket to Denver a week into dating
Surprise! Not a creeper at all trying to rush things
Tells me she's moving to Los Angeles
Hm. Subtle panic.
In 48 hours, I set a hard date to also move to Los Angeles
The company has an office there - awesome...
She moves to Los Angeles
Wrapped up my San Diego shit in 2 months
Move said shit to South Central / Crenshaw Blvd
La di da this city is huge
Her birthday rolls up (June)
We love to travel. She'llbe impressed if Imakesomething for her
Find materials & hardware for leather luggage tags
Hide - leather, Valor - cause I took a chance on something
A loving story. A lot happened injust a few short months thatseriously changed everything.In a way, you can say that a simple bar conversation started Hide & Valor and its purpose at the beginning was to impress
I'd found a few videos and Pinterest tutorials that fit what I knew I could handle at the time. The steps pretty much boiled down to
Cut out a rectangle 2''x4''
Cut out the corners
Punch a hole
Painstakingly punch each letter using my best ability to keep each letter straight and aligned on each line for all lines
Hope to hell that the person receiving it didn't mind the amateur look/feel
There are a lot more steps nowadays, but the above list is pretty much what I started with. Not much to work from right?
Moral of the story is that some small decisions can lead into bigger ones andultimately change/alter the route you wereoriginally on.
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