I think providing information about why and how I decided to turn a hobby into a business would make a perfect first post.
I toyed around with leather in the mid 1990’s due to my involvement in Renaissance Fairs in California. As with most things, I moved on and life happened. One of the moves the military “provided” us brought me to El Paso. There is a Tandy Leather store here that provides Saturday classes. (If you are interested, find one near you.) I got the bug again and started attending every week. The biggest draw for me is the craft aspect and the physical results. Today’s world does not take much stock in either, and these things are beginning to disappear.
I began making items for my family and self, slowly improving my skill. I listen to several podcasts, especially while working on projects. I have found it difficult to support any of them financially, and one day had the thought of giving them items created by me. The Critical Hit crew at Major Spoilers LLC was the first step in this. I decided on custom leather bound flasks with their logos on them. This then turned into a strange obsession to make flasks for all the shows I enjoy, which I did (mostly).
Nerdtacular is a yearly event brought about by Scott Johnson of Frogpants Studios in Salt Lake City. I attended my first one in 2012 with my family and had a great time. This years event, in 2014, I sprung my creations on the producers/hosts of the shows I listen to while making them. The response I received was incredible. Everyone loved them, including those who did not receive one.
The reaction has been so overwhelming, as well as the interest in my work, that I have decided to take a chance and turn it into a business. The producers have been incredibly supportive of me in this. The Frogpants Studios, Major Spoilers and other communities have been unbelievably supportive as well. This has made it easier to take these frightening steps into self employment.
I have to say, Thank You!, to everyone who is supporting me in this.