Seattle, Washington, United States
Buy it once - buy it for life. Not your usual motto for leather goods, but it's mine. Durable and unique handmade leather.
Leather. I love me some leather!
Skills and Techniques
Most of my work is branded, painted, dyed, and hand stitched. I have exactly one machine in my shop that uses electricity and it is a branding iron. Everything else is manual or it is done by hand. I like to keep it simple, and frankly I'm a terrible seamstress if I have to use a machine!
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Get to Know
Hiya. My name is Caitlin (pronounced KAT-lynne, because my parents like to challenge me) McNamara, and I'm a fourth generation entrepreneur, and at least a second generation artist. I live in Seattle, Washington, my hometown, with my husband, beautiful daughter, two dopey but sweet and hilarious dogs, and to brand new kittens. I work from home, so it is a very, very, busy house full of lots of excitement, noise, and fur.
As a wee little kid my family used to go on vacations (for family reunions) to the Rocky Mountains. We'd stay at the YMCA and they had a little cabin or something where you could pay to do crafts. I remember as a kid begging my parents for enough money to make a leather stamped belt, but I never got it. All I could talk them into was enough to make a key chain or a barrette. Fast forward 15 or so years, and I'm working at a law firm, in need of an interesting leather belt (trying to bend the dress code without breaking it) and I thought to myself - why not just make one? So off I trotted to the local leather store, and bought myself some supplies.
What I found when I started working with vegetable tanned leather is that this stuff is sturdy. If they're well cared for, used, and loved, my work could outlast me (no joke - I've seen 40 year old guitar straps and 50 year old wallets that are still in use!). After buying countless vinyl, canvass, and other non-leather bags every six months for several years, I decided to make myself one. I've now had the same messenger bag for seven years, and haven't worn a single hole in it. No ripped lining (because it has no lining), no broken straps, not coming apart anywhere. A bag, a belt, a wallet, etc., out of tooling leather will last you a lifetime.
Today I'm proud to be ever expanding my line, and making pieces that truly are investment pieces. They're not something you buy on the fly and throw away after six months, these are pieces you buy because you love, and you use them every day, and love them more each day. These are pieces you can be proud to purchase because you can pass them down to your kids.
So that about sums me up. Of course if you have any questions, I am always happy to answer!