Hi, my name is Joe. The first thing I will say is that my ability to express myself to others well is not the best. I started working with leather early in the 1990’s. A group of friends and I attended Renaissance Faires in California, and I began making items for costumes. Mostly pouches and weapon sheaths, with some belts and boots at one time or another. We all moved on from there and my meager collection of tools sat in a tacklebox for many years.
One of the changes in my life was enlisting in the U.S. Army. I did this fairly late in life and it provided me many experiences. Upon being stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, I learned there was a Tandy Leather store here. They provide basic classes on Saturday’s, and I began attending them. I got back into it as a hobby; to make specialized items like motorcycle accessories, bags and cases, for family and friends. It was only ever going to be a hobby, since it is very difficult to make a living working with leather.
I decided to make some leather bound flasks for a lot of the producers of podcasts that I enjoy listening to. These were presented at an event called Nerdtacular, held near Salt Lake City in July of 2014. The reaction from the recipients and attendees was incredible, so I have decided to provide these and other items to the public.
I have also started engaging in Cosplay. I have a few costumes for myself and also make items for costumes other than my own. It has been a very welcoming and positive community so far, and I enjoy it quite a bit. If there is something you are looking for to add to your own creation, let me know and I will see what I can do.
I am aware of the danger of turning a hobby into your work, so I will keep doing this until it isn’t fun anymore. I enjoy the challenge of making these items and every project adds to my skill level. Sometimes it still amazes me that people are interested in my creations, so as long as there is interest, I will keep creating.