Wednesday, November 5, 2014

5 Great Christmas Gifts Ideas Under $50! Start your shopping early!

We know it is not yet Thanksgiving and we are not trying to rush the holidays, but taking some steps for a bit of advance planning will allow you to relax more and really enjoy the Christmas season once it officially starts. We have come up with just a little selection from the many custom and unique options of our creations for bags, electronics, housewares, wearables and more.

  1. We guarantee you have not seen belt buckles as unique and personal as ours. We have a variety of patterns and shapes available, all in our high quality hand dyed and tooled leather and metal finishes.
  2. We have a great selection of watches and straps that vary with round silver or square brushed pewter watch faces, and options of narrow or wide cuffs, wrap, or skinny strap bands.
  3. You will make a lot of people happy with our great selection of small wallets. We have coin wallets, bi-fold and tri-fold, passport wallets, and checkbook cases and more to choose from. Again, all are created with our unique tooling and dye process, with high quality stitching and closure options for those on your Christmas list.
  4. For the musician on your list, our cool guitar hangers are sure to please. We have some great patterns from wood grain to poppy and bee patterns for a unique and safe way to hang and store a guitar when not in use.
  5. Those on your list with iPads will love our wide variety of custom iPad cases. We have some great patterns and colors all from flexible, lightweight leather with silicone inserts to protect your tablet.  No worries if you have other tablets such as Samsung or Dell. Contact us with your specifications and we can create a unique tablet case exactly to your specifications.

Bee Patterns iPad Case.

Check out our leather craft kits for the creative one on your list.  Please let us know about any custom ideas you have and we will come up with a final product exactly to your needs. All the beautiful and tooling, dyes and protective finishes on our products are of the highest quality to insure years of use and beauty.  

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

100 Reasons to Shop Early


The day after Halloween, my husband had Christmas music playing by 9am.  Fair enough, since the stores already have Christmas d├ęcor lining the shelves.  Why not extend the holiday spirit, I say, and relieve a little bit of the stress of shopping by getting it out of the way in November!  That way you can enjoy family, friends, good food, booze, and warm fires.

And, of course, you can get some decorating done, too. Each year we make 100 limited edition stocking ornaments and give them away starting November 1.  The ornaments are free with every purchase of $100 or more (before tax and shipping) through and we’ll give ‘em away until they are gone – that’s what they are for!


Our bee patterns have been so well loved that this year we decided on the “One Bee” pattern. Each stocking has a bee and a little line of honeycomb.  They’re all the same pattern, but since they are all made by hand they are all a little different.  Each actually opens like a stocking so you can put a small candy cane or gift (engagement ring!? How awesome would that be???) inside.

I’ll post an update here when they’re gone.  As of 11/3/2014 at 4:17 PST they’re still available!



Monday, November 3, 2014

Back on the Market


Yesterday morning I woke up to an email from the employee I hired not even a month ago – she is putting in her two weeks’ notice.  Not for anything I did, or didn’t do, but because she was offered a full-time job elsewhere.  Regardless, though, I have to find another employee in the busiest time of year.

It’s not like I’m totally up a creek here. I have two employees that have been with me or over two years – one is leaving to go back to school in 2015, and the other may just be with me forever.  But looking for a new employee is definitely not my favorite thing to do and this is a horrible time to do it.  Leatherwork just doesn’t come naturally to most people, and no matter what kind of craft and art experience someone has, it certainly doesn’t guarantee that they will do well with leather.

So I re-posted my craigslist ad, and have already sifted through probably 25 applications.  I have to review every application to look for someone who is compatible not only with the job, but with me as well.  It’s a small studio, so having an employee who I get along well with is incredibly important.  I look for things like – commitment, drive, personality, and intelligence.  It is like being single again, looking at profiles of a potential partner.

When I was working at law firms I used to say that jobs were like relationships – in each one, you learn what you need, and what you don’t want, in any subsequent ones.  You shouldn’t expect the first one to be the one that lasts a lifetime, since it will take time to figure out what you need in order to be happy with a job, or a person, for the rest of your life.  Now, as an employer, I feel much the same way – jobs are like relationships, and it should have been a red flag when the employee that just left said when she was single she went on as many dates as possible since it was “a numbers game.” I feel like this job was a number.

When people tell me their dating stories, I always say that the best part of being married is that I don’t have to date anymore.  It is a time consuming emotional rollercoaster, and honestly I’d rather live my life than wonder if someone is going to call me back.  Or, for that matter, wonder if they are going to up and leave. 

Over the years I have only had three employees, and depending on how much jobs are like relationships, maybe only two count based on duration. Each time, I’ve learned a lot about what is really important to me in an employee, and what matters less (or not at all). I have good leads this time, and am confident I’ll find someone who I will enjoy working with, and who will appreciate working for me.