In 2015 I wanted a leather watch band and the DIY'er in me decided to make my own instead of buying one. I researched a little and then jumped in, buying a couple essential tools like a 50 pack of blades for my box cutter, a cut mat and a ruler. I ordered a couple different types of leather and began to teach myself. Failed watchbands, keychains, and wallets began to fill my small work area. I was learning by doing.
Working with leather reminded me that I enjoyed working with my hands. I was working in manufacturing at the time and in a comfortable place, having established myself in a 15+ year career. Even with my career "success" I struggled with imposter syndrome and felt largely unfulfilled. I had been a wantrapreneur for a long time. I was always looking for a way to make money that didn't require doing work I didn't have a passion for. I started a few businesses half heartedly and time after time, they would fizzle out due to my lack of commitment to doing the work. I chalk this up to my underlying lack of passion for the work required.
Leather work was different. The natural textures and intricacies of leather appealed to me in a way I had not expected. The number of things that I could create was enticing. I had found my medium.
I continued to pursue leather craft in the evenings and opened an Etsy shop to offer a few of my creations for sale. After some sales and positive feedback I leaned into the idea that maybe starting a leather company was something I could pursue full time.
So, in December of 2019, I quit my job to grow Caliber Leather Company full-time. Thank you to everyone who supported me along the way with inspiration, kind words, likes, follows, shares, reviews, stopping by at my events, and buying my goods. Sincerely, Thank you!
Update: I've gone back to work full-time, but I'm continuing Caliber Leather Company.