February 20, 2018
Millennial Makers

KJ Pottery – Kelsey Jo

This post is a larger photography project called Millennial Makers – a 52-week visual project featuring intrepid young professionals passionate about running their own businesses and inspiring others to do the same. If you are interested in being a part of this photography project email us at [email protected]

Week 6

KJ Pottery

Kelsey Jo, 25, Potter

What are you making today?

I was working on a mug order and glazing.

How did you start your business?

I’ve always been pretty creative as a kid. Going to school I always gravitated to the arts. So I took a pottery class in college and fell in love with it.

There is something special when you have that connection with the clay. You are in it physically, emotionally, and mentally. I love pottery because it’s such a physical craft. You get covered in clay and I love getting dirty and having clay up to my elbows. I also love the functioning aspect of it. It’s what has drawn me and kept the passion alive. I can make things which is the creative outlet but I can use it as well means so much more.

 

KJ Pottery works in Spokane Washington.

Support local and shop at KJ Pottery in Spokane, Washington.

You are providing a service but also create art. How does that feel?

It feels great. If it wasn’t for the utilitarian aspect I’d likely be doing something else.

Do you feel more of an artist or an entrepreneur?

That’s a great question. It always has been a balance for me. People have told me over and over that, I have always been an artist. But when I look back at my art I never feel like an artist. I feel like I have a trade, like a craft trade that I use to serve the community with and serve people who want handmade wear. As time wears I’ve leaned more into the artistry of it but the entrepreneur aspect has always been super fascinating to me as well. I love small business and the economics of it. It’s certainly the marriage of the two.

Meet Jill the shop dog at KJ Pottery. Mugs are so personal.

How did you start your business?

Pottery can be an expensive hobby and so I just started selling my pottery to family and friends to fund my hobby until it grew and grew. I originally started with an Etsy shop. It was my initiation to online selling. I also did farmers markets for a few seasons as well as craft fairs, but now most of my sales are on my website.

How did you find such a beautiful space for your business?

I used to be part of an artist cooperative with other potters which was fun. But as my business was growing I needed my own space. The goal from the beginning has always been to have my own space, having a shop dog, playing my music and my podcasts as loud as I want. I just wanted a space that was mine. A sacred space for Kelsey but also for my work. That’s always been the goal.

So I was walking down Garland one day, trying to envision myself here and get the feel, dream and imagine if you will. And I walked down Lincoln street and I saw a little rent sign in this building that looked rough around the edges. I instantly fell in love with the space and immediately called the number on the sign. This older gentleman picks up and I tell him that I want his building on Lincoln and he replies that he just sold it to another guy named Jim who I knew! And just when I was about to call Jim he pulls right up the driveway and I tell him right there that I wanted this place. We negotiated for a bit but at the end of it, we struck a deal. After months of remodeling, I opened the doors to KJ Pottery. I’ve has this space since June 2017.

Clay is from this bucket. Kelsey Jo works in her pottery studio in Spokane. KJ Pottery studio in Garland.

Where do you find your customers?

The majority of people find me online. I’m mostly an e-commerce company. My website and my Etsy is what pays the bills. I do quite a bit of wholesale which has been my side project that I’ve been trying to grow, like restaurant wears and wears for coffee shops, and cafes. And now I have a studio space that I can open to the community and have more of a local involvement.

How do you approach wholesale?

All my projects have come to me which has been awesome. Word of mouth is big. But the marriage behind handcrafted meals, intentional and creative, and that farm to table aspect pairs perfectly with locally sourced handmade wares. It makes no sense to me when someone buys industry wear from Sri Lanka after putting so much effort and time into locally sourcing their food. Because of this, I’ve been passionate about wholesale.

Kelsey Jo works in her pottery shop in Spokane. Kelsey spins pottery.

Do you know anyone in Spokane doing what you are doing?

There are a few potters in Spokane who are doing what I’m doing but not too many people who are selling pottery for a living in Spokane. There are a handful of exceptional artists but it’s a small community for sure.

You have been living off your art for how long? and how does that make you feel?

I’ve been living off my art for 3 years now and it feels really good. I’m proud of myself. It’s taken some time to get there. Obviously, a small business is always a work in progress, but it’s also a labor of love. You don’t make a ton of money with small creative businesses and you work a ton. But I love it. I’m hooked.

The space of Kelsey Jo is naturally lit by the sun. Kelsey Jo glazes a bowl.

Is there a certain pottery piece that you love to make?

For the longest time, I would have told you making mugs is where it’s at for me, which is still true today in some ways. There’s something very personal about mugs. A lot of people have that favorite mug that they will reach for every morning.

My most beloved pieces are dinnerware. It’s part of the story. I love the idea of wares being in homes, set on tables with families coming together. I’m passionate about the use of my wears, community and the choice involved with purchasing handmade goods. Dinner wares sort of bring all that together for me.

Stylistically, how are you different from other potters?

I have tried to create my own style. I’m always refining it but my style gravitates to a more minimal look, through clean lines, neutral tones and an emphasis on simplicity.

How are you growing your business?

My next step is to hire someone . . .

KJ Pottery stamp of approval. She glazes each piece by hand.

You ever get lonely working by yourself?

Sometimes. But I came from working in a communal space, knowing that I always wanted my own space. I’m an introvert at heart. All I need are my podcasts and a whole day can go by like that.

What kind of podcasts do you like to listen to?

Podcast about small businesses, psychology and spirituality. Also quite a bit of NPR.

Handmade wear is so under valued. Finished pottery piece of Kelsey Jo.

When did you get Jill your dog?

I got her in October. I recently bought a house and it felt like a wright of passage so I got a dog. It’s nice to have a companion. I’ve always wanted a shop dog. She goes everywhere with me.

A work in progress. The door frame of Kelsey Jo Pottery Studio. What a beautiful pottery studio called KJ Pottery in the Garland District in Spokane, Washington.

Any promos?

I’m gearing up for open hours at the studio on Saturday’s. I’m doing an event in the spring with a few other makers.

February 14, 2018
Millennial Makers

Unicorn Coding Academy – Thomas Ruble

This post is a larger photography project called Millennial Makers – a 52-week visual project featuring intrepid young professionals passionate about running their own businesses and inspiring others to do the same. If you are interested in being a part of this photography project email us at [email protected]

Week 5

Unicorn Coding Academy

Thomas Ruble, 31, Coder and Educator

Did you grow up in Spokane? and why did you choose to return?

Originally, yes. I grew up in Hillyar. I graduated from Whitworth University, left Spokane to travel the world and found out it was a big place so I decided to come back. I live in West Central, currently.

Things are happening here. Not only externally, but Spokane is going through this puberty stage as a city. It’s hard on itself at times with nervous energy and anticipation for new things to happen.

With other cities, I’ve visited I always felt like I was late for the party. With Spokane it’s different. It’s nice to be in a town where things are happening now and where people are doing things that make an impact in our community. I also love that I can walk downtown and accidentally bump into someone I already know.

Why the name Unicorn? 

A few reasons. It has strong syllable sounds. It’s an idiom for to good to be true and they can do it all. I want the graduates themselves to be unicorns, meaning they can do it all.

Spokane first coding school- Unicorn Coding Academy

You were a coding teacher and now you are starting your own school! Tell me more!

I was talking with a friend who used to be a math instructor. We have both been out of the teaching game for the last few years but were still reminiscing the high we used to get when teaching. There’s this magical moment when a student gets it. It’s that “aha moment,” when things click into place. It’s an amazing feeling to have as a teacher and I miss it.

Creating this coding school has a lot of reasons behind it, but the big reason is I want to teach again. I want to educate and spread what I know around to the Spokane community. What do we have in Spokane? Some colleges and universities that are hard to get into and that are very expensive to attend. So I decided that I wanted to do it my way and my students can do it their way and we will all get what we want in the end.

Have you found it difficult to find your students?

Nope. Not sure if you heard but software is blowing up right now. The appeal of working from home on your own terms is alluring to many people. People are excited to learn a skill that they don’t have to go to a university to acquire it. My school will be an alternative to an academic pursuit of computer science.

Coding is made to be easy.

So let me get this right, you are giving away computer science classes for free? Why?

I want to look back 5 years from now and see what I did to contribute to a thriving free education community in the Inland Northwest. There’s something about making things at 0 cost or at a very low cost that feels right to me. In the world of software freedom is one of the most important virtues there is. They give it away. A respect for human individuality and free speech. Why not give it away? People will take it and do great things with it. We have this community where we are sharing ideas. And because we make everything free, great progress happens, in the software world. For these workshops, it doesn’t cost me anything to do them, only a couple hours of my evening. The participants don’t feel pressured to get their money’s worth. That’s the environment I want. First and foremost, this is about spreading education in Spokane. No bureaucracy here. It’s just me.

The power of coding is the basic element that moves civilization today. What you can do in software depends only on your know-how, your skill level, and your education. You don’t need to buy any equipment or material. At these workshops, I want to give people a nudge in the direction of them teaching themselves down the road. If we get over a learning curve together and show it’s simple and not scary.

These workshops mean a lot to me and my hope is it will mean a lot to others.

Unicorn Academy is in full swing at Startup Spokane.

What kind of students are you attracting?

About 60/40 women to men, and all ages.

Coding made easy with Thomas at his new coding school in Spokane called Unicorn Coding Academy.

What are your goals to grow Unicorn?

I’d love to partner with Spokane City to create a nice working relationship where we put on hackathon events to benefit the city. A hackathon lasts 24 to 72 hours where a bunch of programmers get together with a bunch of pizza and try to come up with creative solutions to a problem that the city has not yet solved. I want to see that happen every year.

My second goal is to bring about a nexus or a unifying umbrella under which tech happens in the region where people come to connect with a community and host events and meetups. In order to do this, I need a brick and mortar location to have this sense of unity with a big sign to establish our existence.

Where would this brick and mortar be located? Is downtown a possibility?

I’m eyeballing East Sprague and West Central rather than downtown because of parking. But I’d like it to be downtown.

Near downtown with free parking, ideally.

Thomas teaching his first Unicorn Coding Academy class in Spokane, Washington.

How are you promoting Unicorn Coding Academy?

All of February I’m offering free coding workshops at Startup Spokane at 6 p.m., Thursday evenings. All are welcome to join in on the fun.

In March I’m offering an 8-course session, 2 1/2 hours for each session, which will be more structured and offer a full course on how to make a functioning website. After the 8 courses, one will be able to make their own website from the ground up. I’m offering these 8 courses for $350, which is a very good deal.

Where can people find you? 

I have a website and a social media presence.

February 8, 2018
Millennial Makers

Sweets Geeky Cakes – Christine Leaming

This post is a larger photography project called Millennial Makers – a 52-week visual project featuring intrepid young professionals passionate about running their own businesses and inspiring others to do the same. If you are interested in being a part of this photography project email us at [email protected]

Week 4

Sweets Geeky Cakes

Christine, 31, Owner of Sweets Geeky Cakes, Cake Artist

Tagline- Willingness to be different.

How long have you been in the cake business? 

I’ve been decorating cakes for almost 11 years but have been running my own business for 3 years.

What are you working on today? 

I am painting/making Watto from Star Wars. It’s a collaborative cake for May 4th. How it works is someone comes up with a theme and we all collaborate. I picked Watto because he’s different. He’s mostly made up of rice crispy cakes with a pole in the middle to keep him together.

Her philosophy in life. Looking down as this different cake decorator.

How long did it take you to make it?

So far I’ve spent 70 to 80 hours. I have to mold it then let it set. This side is more painted. (Shows me side)

How did you become a cake decorator?

Well, I started with an art degree but I found out I had nothing marketable so I started making cakes while swinging coffee at Thomas Hammer. From learning online and watching youtube videos I perfected my caking decorating skills. You can learn anything online these days.

What has made you want to stick with cake decorating?

I love pushing the bar. I see how some people are developing new techniques and I want to be that person. I want to be the person that you google if you want to learn that technique. All my designs are different and it keeps that spark alive for me. I hope I can continue doing this.

Cake decorating books is what she lives for. The amount of work and time she puts into as Spokane's cake decorator.

How are you growing your business?

Currently, I work out of my own home but I’m looking for a commercial kitchen. In Spokane, that’s pretty tough. My goal is to secure a kitchen by the end of the year.

Did you grow up here?

Yah. I grew up on the west side. I lived on a ranch with my family. It’s probably why I still have a duck and chickens.

Her messy kitchen in Spokane, Washington. Spokane cake decorator working on her cake.

Tell me more about how you are different from other cake decorators?

I know I’m different. People tell me all the time. The videos I watch are not cake decorating videos but how people fashion clay and sculpt. That’s where I get my information. I can sculpt anything edible.

I’m willing to push the boundaries even if people question it. I am not afraid to be different and spread my wings. A lot of people are not willing to try different things. I know most of the other cake decorators in town and they are doing what’s safe, which is totally fine. However, if they were willing to put themselves out there they could do it, too. It’s just the willingness to be different.”

Spokane Cake Decorator in the works. Spokane cake decorator painting Watto from Star Wars.

Have you had any negative experience with a client?

When I first started cake decorating I worked at Safeway. We had a very quick turnaround, like the day of. It was very stressful. Well, a lady came in early to pick up her cake and her cake was not ready. As you can imagine she was not happy. People need to know that cakes take time to make. With my own business, I need at least a week notice just to make sure I have all the ingredients needed and the time to do it. It’s not cake magic.

Still paining Watto- a collab cake.

What is the most unusual cake you had to make?

I’ve done divorce cakes and that’s a little awkward. I’m pretty sure it’s the friends of the ex that encourages it.

Can you describe one?

It was blue and black with edible images with a photograph of the ex that was ripped in half. They were happy and that’s all that matters.
Half eaten cake in her Spokane kitchen.

How can people can ahold of you?

I have a facebook page. 

January 25, 2018
Millennial Makers

Simplholistic – Ashlee Rowland

Simplholistic – Ashlee Rowland

This post is a larger photography project called Millennial Makers – a 52-week visual project featuring intrepid young professionals passionate about running their own businesses and inspiring others to do the same. If you are interested in being a part of this photography project email us at [email protected]

Week 3

Simplholistic 

Ashlee Rowland, 22, Owner of Simplholistic, Nutrition Consultant, Blogger, and Recipe Developer

Tagline – Holistic Clean Eatin

What are you making for us today? 

No-bake brownie bites. The recipe can be found at the bottom of this blog post!
Spokane best nutrition for Simplohistic Holistic Clean Eating by Ashley. Simplholistic making Spokane living healthy.

What makes you different?

I am very unconventional when it comes to food, making everything by hand. People say I cook like the Amish do. In school, I focused on nutrition with a holistic living approach. They taught foods that are nourishing and therapeutic for your body. I treat every one of my clients as an individual. In most cases, not always, but if they are coming to me that means they have gone to other nutritionists and doctors, and no one is giving them the answers they want. So when they come to me I give them a new approach on how to eat and have a healthy lifestyle. After only a few months they start seeing results not physically but mentally. They feel better about themselves and have more love for themselves. They come to me because they want a new outlook on life when it comes to what they eat, and that’s what I push.

Simplholistic scoops remaining dough. Simplholistic close up on hands as she rolls the dough.

How did you fall into nutrition? 

Well I was going to school for nutrition and I had a friend begging me to start a food blog, and so I finally did early last year! I named my blog Simplholistic which means simply clean holistic eating for the soul. Now I make money running a food blog, helping people stay on track with their nutrition, and inventing new recipes.

Simplholistic rolling dough for no bake brownie bites.

How do they find you? 

Mostly word of mouth and social media, especially Pinterest. I had a weird pin that went viral so I get a lot of traffic from Pinterest.

How long have you been in business? 

Just a little over a year. Yes, I’m new!

Simplholistic making Spokane living healthy by making brownie bites.

What did you do before this? 

I was a commercial fisherman working in Alaska with my family. Before this, I traveled a lot. I was basically a nomad for the last few years working at travel fishing lodges, nannying, and odd jobs that I was passionate about and that I could help people in some way. I used to also work at Method Juice Bar downtown.

Simplholistic works with local brands in Spokane like Brands: Ground Up

What made you choose Spokane? and how do you like it? 

My husband wanted to go to Moody Bible Institute in Spokane so we moved here! We like it a lot here. I love leaves and all the trees, the lakes, and the people here. We have a good community here.

How did you find your community? 

I started by stalking a bunch of people on social media and going to entrepreneur groups and luncheons. Getting out and connecting with people in the community face-to-face and putting myself out there has been huge for my business.

Simplholistic focuses on health brands like honey mamas chocolate. No bake brownie bites from Simplholistic are amazing.

What are your long-term goals? 

My end goal is to be a naturopathic doctor, but my husband and I want to be missionaries, too. Last year we did a trip to Africa where I did medical outreach. I would love to go back to do more outreach and start teaching on sustainability and healthy living. Another goal of mine is to start speaking at conferences. I love speaking to large crowds, rallying them up makes me feel like I’m making a difference in their lives. Traveling and speaking are my big objectives!

Simplholistic carefully places the bites on the wooden board.

I love that you are not afraid to speak up. What is your secret sauce?  

All bloggers blog and write. With my writing, I do put personality in it but in person, people can see my personality shine and people see how passionate I am about what I do. It’s a cool way to empower myself and empower ourselves.

How did you overcome the fear of public speaking? 

I was a dancer when I was little but I was always more confident dancing in front of a mass audience than speaking. When I found my love for nutrition and holistic living it lit my fire and I saw the need. I know it helps people and it’s almost selfish if I don’t share what I know to others.

Something that used to scare me is what if people ask me something I don’t know? I’ve learned the power of “I don’t know” and I notice people are more forgiving when you are honest rather than coming up with an answer that doesn’t ask their question. It also shows people that I am vulnerable and I don’t know all the answers and that’s okay.

What do you want to do this year in Spokane? 

I want to host 2 community events per month at local gyms, restaurants, small businesses, to encourage people to make a healthy change in their lives. I love bringing out the community and connecting local brands with people who want change in their lives. I want to continue to partner with brands that resonate with my mission like . . .

Vital Proteins
Honey Mamas Chocolate 
Mountain Rose Herbs
Ground Up

Also, I’m working on a secret business that I can’t tell anyone about.

This is down the road but I’d also Iove to create my own conference and invite speakers that resonate with my mission.

Vital protein is a product Ashlee has partnered with.

What promotions are you offering for the New Year? 

I’d love to offer a free initial consultation with anyone wanting nutritional advice or planning. After I’d love to offer 20% off 1 on 1 consults

And if you sign up for my newsletter on my website here, I have budget-friendly holistic food guide where you only spend $200 a month for two people!

+ 1 can @traderjoes Organic Black Beans, rinsed and dried
+ 1 ½ tablespoons Organic Unrefined Virgin Coconut Oil
+ 1 tablespoon Organic Creamy Almond Butter
+ 3 tablespoons Organic Maple Syrup
+ 5 tablespoons @sunpotion Raw Cacao Powder
+ 1 teaspoon Vanilla
+ 1 tablespoon Collagen Peptides
+ 1 teaspoon
+ 1 teaspoon Ashwagandha
+ 1 teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
+ Organic Unsweetened Dried Coconut flakes, for coating
+ Bee Pollen, for sprinkling on top

-mix all ingredient in a food processor & refrigerate for 1 hour
-roll into balls & sprinkle with bee pollen

January 17, 2018
Millennial Makers

Praxis Coworking – Robbie Anthony and Erica Norris

Praxis Coworking – Robbie and Erica

This post is a larger photography project called Millennial Makers – a 52-week visual project featuring intrepid young professionals passionate about running their own businesses and inspiring others to do the same. If you are interested in be a part of this photography project email us at [email protected] or complete our contact form below.

Week 2

Praxis Coworking

Erica Norris, 27, Owner of Talk Fast Social and COO/Co-Owner at Praxis Coworking.

Robbi Anthony, 25, Owner of FireDove, a small technology firm, and CEO/Co-Owner of Praxis Co-Working

Tagline – Be Yourself at Work

What is a co-working?

Robbi- I’ve heard co-working called the Uber of Commercial Leasing where you take a large space and let people work out of for a subsidized rate. So instead of buying your own office, you can rent part of a space which includes all the amenities for one small fee month to month. 

“I like to call it a larger office with all the perks and none of the risks.”

Praxis Coworking - Robbie and Erica -- praxis spokane coworking space has plenty of desks for young minds of tomorrow. praxis spokane coworking space has many desks. Located in downtown spokane Praxis praxis spokane coworking space is here to stay.

Why do this?

 Robbi- As millennials, our natural instinct is to seek out co-working spaces. Before the move here, Erica and I used to work in a smaller office together, and I treated it like a micro co-working experiment. As time went on I noticed we worked really well together, seeing an increase in both our businesses and productivity. The next question was with our skill sets could we scale this experiment.

praxis spokane coworking space has a beautiful kitchen.

How did you get started?

Erica- Robbi actually had this vision a year ago. While working together she told me about this co-working concept. She wanted to know if I believed in this idea of co-running a co-working space with her. As soon as she told me I was sold. I could not wait to share this with the world! I knew it was going to sell itself.

Praxis coworking space has people at work.

What was the exact process you went through to make this a reality? We know something this amazing doesn’t happen overnight.

Robbi- Initially I thought I’d self-fund it but as I started looking more into the process it became self-evident that I would be too short on cash. So I looked into investors. I put together a business plan, and with a concrete pitch in place, we started approaching investors with confidence and clarity to negotiate a good deal. After two failed attempts a third investor surprised us with the dollar amount we requested and decided to pull the trigger.

Robbi-We started looking at spaces and this was one of the first spaces we found. I contacted the property managers. They sent in an offer. After googling “how to counter offer,” I countered their offer, waited a couple days and received an email back stating that they accepted our terms. We got the space!

Erica-It was such a good day when we received that email! After everything, you have been through. You get to that point when you work so hard, gone to all these places, thinking you would never be in a space like this and look You made it. You are in.

Robbi- So we originally thought was 2,000 square feet the max but this space was 3,500 square feet, almost double than what we were expecting.

Robbie works over her computer at Praxis Coworking in Spokane, Washington. Welcome to Praxis the newest coworking space located in downtown Spokane.

How many people can Praxis Co working take on?

Robbi- We can fit up to 70 members but that’s a long-term goal. At the 3 year mark, we are expecting to hit 70 members. Definitely planning for the future with that one. We know people will come and go. We don’t expect 70 people to be in the space at all times. After reaching out to other co-working spaces on how they did it, we used their same data to map out our goals for the future so I’m confident we will get there.

What’s the vision you see for young entrepreneurs who come to Praxis?

Robbi- Our dream is to make individuals who come here so successful that they can move out of here.

Erica- The best version that they can be.

Do you see Millennials as the majority interested in your coworking space?

Erica- We seem to be getting a good mix. Many older people in their 30’s and 40’s. A lot of people work from home and working from home can be very lonely.

praxis spokane coworking space has a conference room.

What future goals do you have for Praxis coworking?

Robbi- I’d like to focus more on Praxis and less on my tech firm. Continue to grow and scale it. Secure enough membership so space pays itself.

Erica- I’d love to use the coworking space as a way to collaborate with other entrepreneurs and outsource work to. I know the only way grow is to lift others. That’s what we are all about at Praxis.

Robbi-We want Praxis Coworking to be a place where people can have intentional interactions. We want these inadvertent collisions to be the result of the unexpected perks when they come in here. You have that common factor.
We both work here. Let’s get to know each other.

 

“You come for the cheap office, you stay for the community.”

 

Praxis Coworking - Robbie and Erica love praxis spokane coworking space is now open! Go and take a tour!

Anything else you would like to add?

Erica- Equality is a huge thing for us here as well as being yourself at work. Being around Robbie has helped me be myself. I always worried about being myself in public and what everyone expected me to be. I feel like myself because I’m here working with Robbie.

Robbi- Investors asked me if being a transgender woman would affect our success? I looked him straight in the eye and told him it’s going to be an asset. Working with Erica has really helped my confidence. We know everyone has felt inadequate one time or another. But we want to fill a space that embraces being different is okay. A beautiful commercial I saw the other day stated: “Humanity is Plural.” This is the heart of what we are doing here. Businesses come and go but being who you are, unfettered, in a space like this, will be liberating.

Robbi- Praxis is open at $275 a month with great incentives. Get a free month when you bring a friend. If you sign up for a longer commitment, like 3 months you get 10% off. For more info on the incentives, you can go to the Praxis website here.

January 11, 2018
Millennial Makers

Colladay Leather – Erin and Jeremiah Colladay

Colladay Leather – Erin and Jeremiah

This post is a larger photo project called Millennial Makers – a 52-week visual project featuring intrepid young professionals passionate about running their own businesses and inspiring others to do the same.

Week 1

Colladay Leather

Erin Colladay, 32, owner, designer, photographer and content writer

Jeremiah Colladay, 30, owner, artist, designer and craftsman

Tag Line – Crafted to Inspire

What is Colladay Leather?

Erin- Colladay Leather is an artisan leather studio located in Spokane, Washington, that handcrafts and handtools leather made goods to inspire others to do their own work.

colladay-leather-artisans-spokane is a husband and wife team. colladay-leather-artisans-spokane leather camera straps

Why do you do what you do?

Jeremiah- I always made stuff when I was a kid. What I do doesn’t feel like work to me because I love it so much. I love creating new designs and experimenting and working with my hands. We want to be a platform to encourage people to do what they love, to speak into people’s lives and give hope.

Erin- When we moved to Spokane over 4 years ago, Jeremiah was working with my cousin who is a custom saddle maker. My cousin trained Jeremiah in the traditional leather arts, teaching him how to tool leather. That’s how we began Colladay Leather without even knowing it. I don’t know what Colladay Leather will turn into years from now but I sense that it will be more than selling leather products. 

colladay-leather-artisans-spokane guitar leather straps handmade. colladay-leather-artisans-spokane playing together.

How did your business come about?

Jeremiah- I was making leather goods for friends and family on the side of the saddle job until we realized we could do this on our own. From there Colladay Leather was born.

colladay-leather-artisans-spokane camera straps with Erin. colladay-leather-artisans-spokane playing guitar in a field. colladay-leather-artisans-spokane playing guitar in a field as the sun goes down.

What is the most important piece to keep you sustainable?

Jeremiah- Continuing to do Colladay Leather full-time. Making the bread and butter product that will keep us going. We want to make sales and make ends meet with this business. After that, it’s what products are we passionate about. The future would be to reach into people’s lives and make an eternal impact. 

Erin- What has helped us through the most difficult times is through the grace of God. We both feel called and have seen miracles in so many ways, that it’s hard to turn back. When it made more sense to stop we didn’t. We are still here. 

colladay-leather-artisans-spokane camera straps are the way of the future. colladay-leather-artisans-spokane leather notebooks.

What results do you help your clients achieve?

Erin- The inspiration piece. Our desire is to inspire others to do their own work. Creativity is built into everyone and it is worth pursuing. I want people to be reminded that the products we make are more than products. They could be a family heirloom. An alternative from the throwaway culture. 

Jeremiah- The experience of buying something that is beautiful and timeless that will last forever. It’s not like buying something at Walmart. It could be your family heirloom and you can perpetuate that experience to others. 
colladay-leather-artisans-spokane make leather ear rings as well. colladay-leather-artisans-spokane leather made products like ear rings. colladay-leather-artisans-spokane make leather bracelets too.

Do you have a specific story of client success? 

Erin- We were at a festival and an older gentleman came to our booth wanting to touch our guitar straps. We found out he was a guitar player but later we also found that he was blind. As he was touching our guitar straps he came across a specific design, a topographic design of mountains, and it resonated with him. We are reminded not only are we providing a visual experience but also a sensory and tactile one. 

colladay-leather-artisans-spokane leather bracelets are so cool. Notebooks for artists made by artists. These leather handmade notebooks are gorgeous.

What goals do you have set for 2018?

Jeremiah- Looking into partnering with businesses in Spokane, possibly in wholesale. To streamline our processes and to keep doing what we love.  

colladay-leather-artisans-spokane make awesome hand made leather notebooks. colladay-leather-artisans make leather notebooks in Spokane. colladay-leather-artisans have guitar straps as well. colladay Leather make leather belts as well. Colladay leather interacting. colladay leather walking together in the field during sunset. Where can people go to buy your magical hand-crafted and hand-tooled leather goods? 

Erin- Go to our website, Colladay Leather

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