I love the his story when he start his art work, trave and making leather design, how beautiful is that, we include a short video of his, you will love it! He just perfectly explain how people fall in love with leather work!JJLeathersmith

Q: Would you share with us how you started to create your art work?

I am really pulled towards products that seem to have soul. You know the type of item that is going to last for years and is functional and beautiful. Some of us have lost this importance of the balance of these concepts. We think about this idea, that we are able to surround ourselves with the items that we choose. Why not choose items that you can have confidence that they will not break on you after a few months. Why not chooses items that suit a purpose or function perfectly without added gimmicks and bells and whistles. Why not keep things that we enjoy to hold and look at. I think quality is built up by many characteristics such as longevity, beauty, functionality, and responsibility of production. We started what we do to try make products that are truly of quality. That is what dives us to do what we do.

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Q: Do you want to share your work place?

We are super happy with our space. It had been sitting empty for the better part of a year before we moved in. We live and work in our studio. It is big enough for us to host other artists and makers. For us this is really important that our space is comfortable and beautiful. It helps us stay creative. It’s the small things that make it so great, like how the light shifts and changes from morning to noon to night.

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Q: What is your working schedule like?  

I must say we have a pretty scattered work schedule. Since it is I and my lovely lady Shirl doing most of what there is to do with our brand, we are constantly running in and out of the studio and even our town to neighboring cities to pick up supplies. Saturday and Sunday we have a worker that comes in and works a normal 9-6 day but for the rest of the week we start in the morning and float in and out until we go to bed. When you are a small brand the work never really stops.

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Q: Which type of material do you like to use the most and why? 

Leather, but real vegetable tanned leather is the one for us. We love the way it is so resilient and dynamic in how it ages with your adventures. I wrote something about leather a while back that holds true for me. ¨ To see the crisp bright new leather get its first water stain or see how the straps become darker from the oils of your hands opening and closing it every day. Leather has longevity, but not longevity like a plastic water bottle, never changing in a ditch somewhere. Leather has a longevity that is dynamic and interactive to you and your adventures. It needs you to take the time every few months and sit down to condition it and re waterproof it. It absorbs what it encounters and how it changes with time acts as a reminder of your experiences, showing you that not everything needs to be disposable.¨

I love that about leather.

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Q: Which piece is your favorite or sells the best?

The Sawyer is surely one of my favorite designs. I first designed it for Shirl when we were just getting to know each other. It is a super simple design that is comfortable and fits just enough things for the day. It can be used to carry a text book and a few notebooks for school or a camera, some sunscreen and your items for the beach. The roll top allows it to get bigger or smaller depending on how much stuff you want to take with you that day and you can roll up a sweater or water bottle in the top roll. I am really happy with that design. I guess that’s what happens when you make something with love!

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Q: What kind of books do you like to read, and what kind of music do you like? 

I seem to like to read fiction loosely based on facts. When I read I want to learn something. I really enjoy Henry Miller, W. Somerset Maugham and Hemmingway. I find myself listening to a lot of blues- and swing-house. I guess all of the ties in to my love of the early 1900th century and the quality of products they made back then.

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Q:If people want to follow the same path as you, what would you suggest?

If someone wanted to follow the same path as me I would say, don’t bother with someone else path, you will end up stumbling the whole way. Listen to you intuitions and take the opportunities that life presents to you. The more you do this it seems the more clear your own path will become. Trust me.

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Author: Ruby