Part 1: An idea is sparked
Sometime in 2017 we (Cesar + Gina) drove by a house in Highland Park, CA, that sparked an idea.
The house was bright and cheerful with Sarapes (colorful Mexican woven blanket - also known as Serapes) serving as curtains. The term, Sarape, not ringing a bell? Think the blanket draped over the back seat of a lowrider, or the blankets that are often rolled up on the handlebars of motorcycles - the colorful quintessential Mexican fabric.
Around the same time, we’d been on the hunt for a leather couch - visiting several shops, touching, smelling, nuzzling and getting a deeper appreciation for various types of leather. Leather on the brain.
As we drove past that house that day, an idea was sparked -- a pillow made of Sarape on one side, and leather on the other. Simple, pure, fun. We felt inspired.
Over the next year or so we researched a bunch about leather, sourced Sarape textiles from Mexico, and purchased our very ownPfaff 145 industrial sewing machine. We learned quite a bit in that time, but turns out we knew (and know) very little.
Part 2: Diving deeper
I came across @odinleather (Odin Leather Goods) while doing some research in my role as Art Director at a Culver City, CA design studio. The studio was looking to potentially gift leather coasters to our clients and I stumbled over Odin Leather Goods. Wow. Truly beautiful, handcrafted leather products. So motivating. We kicked it into gear and started iterating on the pillow concept.
Turns out it’s not that easy ;) The amount of leather we ruined in the process of making a simple pillow was … ridiculous and frustrating. But, every step we took during the process was a learning experience, especially when we failed and had to start over.
By the time our initial pillow concept was complete, I found myself consumed by the #leathercraft hashtag. So many leather crafters and amazing craftsmanship out there doing their thing.
Part 3: All in
Discovering amazing leather crafters.
Aside from @odinleather, one of the first inspiring makers that we came across was @anchorgoods. The simplistic, attractive leather wallet design, together with the logo, made us immediate fans. Because of @anchorgoods, my interest in saddle stitching rose swiftly and I found myself watching every video I could find on the subject.
Discovering the craft of @benjaminbott was mind-blowing. His burnishing and attention to detail -- what a game changer! I didn’t know you could sand leather and to give leather such a shine - exciting and I was eager to give it a try.
Finally, I became obsessed with @lesbianEDC Instagram account. Her astonishing collection and love of craft opened a world of greater craftsmanship possibilities.
It took us a minute, but here we are in 2021 -- ALL IN. Inspired by the people mentioned here to expand beyond our initial pillow concept and delve into the world of leather-craft. These folks are directly responsible for us buying our first hide of leather, waxed thread, sandpaper, tokonole, a stitching pony, and sooooooo much more. We thank you.
We are all in and hope to keep working, attaining more knowledge and creating a mark with our skill and creativity in craftsmanship.