HOW DID WE GET HERE?
After investing five-plus years in academia and being recruited and hired by an Engineering and Design firm here in Charlotte, North Carolina, I was pretty sure I was on track to designing and creating great places, places that mattered. Or, so I thought!
Ten months later, at a firm with which Gary thought was the beginning of his passion and improved lifestyle, Gary lost his job. Having no idea which direction to turn, with a daughter in middle school and a girlfriend planning on moving to Charlotte to build their relationship and taking it to the next level, all future plans were put on hold.
Multiple conversations and planning sessions were held with then girlfriend - now wife and partner - about a temporary business that would sustain us until otherwise. We looked at several options, such as making small jewelry (bracelets and necklaces). That big idea didn’t last very long. We then realized that our profit margin would be so small we would definitely need to make and sell hundreds to be able to pay our bills.
A few months went by, going to bed night after night, confused and frustrated about the why. Why am I in this situation? Why did this have to happen to us? One big thought was about making leather goods and selling online, things like wallets or watch bands. At the time it sounded ridiculous because we wanted to import leather from Jamaica, all because Gary had a supplier there. Leather has always been a staple in his fashion, primarily because his parents had always purchased some of the best and expensive goods when he and his brothers were growing up. That morning we googled leather artisans near my current location and found a small local leather manufacturer nearby.
Gary called and arranged a meeting, and the conversation went extremely well. They offered him an unpaid volunteer position where he would be required to work a minimum of three months, ten hours per week. At this point, he only wanted to learn the trade and gain some experience. Two months in and Gary was instead offered a part-time paid position.
After about 5 or 6 months into his part-time position, Gary was promoted to a full-time position with a heavy focus on managing and creating the custom order projects. Gary worked in such capacity creating new products and custom jobs for a while until he again lost his job. By this time he had begun creating a few products for his own brand and had decided to branch out on his own. The next steps then became apparent. Despite not feeling ready to start this new chapter, Gary went full speed at it.
Today, we had no idea we would be creating leather goods, ranging from small accessories, such as cases for Apple AirPods to watch bands, wallets, purses, CrossBody bags, satchels/messenger bags, tote bags, backpacks, and duffle bags. We also offer custom and corporate gifting services all over the world.
We are very excited and passionate about what we do, we value the products we create and more importantly we value our customers because we know there is a lot of love that goes into creating any piece of our product we place our logo on to, no matter the size.