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Daes

Beginner in leather and selling

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Hello everyone!

So I've started working with leather a couple of months ago, due to my job schedule things are fairly sporadic on when I can go out and sell. My mother and I have had an interest in selling/making things for a few years now and this year things have finally started to shift to allow us to both be to do it with more dedication. Looking around online I've found a few flea markets in my area that we'll be able to go to on my days off. My biggest thing right now though is that I set aside money from my paycheck every week to cover the cost of my leather goods. Eventually, we're wanting to turn my leatherwork and her necklace made into a full-time business. Starting off though, I'm struggling to find good things to practice on/sell locally to help build up money. My goal right now isn't to make money from my leather work, but to get it to where I no longer need to keep putting money into it from my paychecks. Effectively to make it self-sustaining and able to cover the cost of materials/resources until a later time when we're able to make it full time.

 

The things that I really enjoy making relate to pouches and bags, I've been focusing on drawstring bags right now, but I plan to move up to larger items once I can afford larger hides and material, but I'm wondering if there's anything else anyone can think of that is fairly simple to start off with and could become a staple item until I'm able to make niche items.

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Good question.  Leather isn't my main thing so about I can do is give some general ideas. When my wife and I had our little antique business small, easy to carry items that could be given as gifts tended to sell best.  We closed it several years ago because when we adopted our daughter she required all of our attention. I know, nothing to do with leather but the same general idea of smaller gift type items might work out.  Key holders, cell phone cases, cup cozies, that sort of thing maybe? What kind of sports, tourism, recreation, etc.  is there in your area?  Maybe some items to fit those niches?  Maybe something like canvas and leather tote bags too.  Canvas looks good, goes well with leather, and helps keep costs down.

The only problem I'm aware of with flea market type settings is a lot of people are looking for bargains.  If you can get into craft fairs or even GOOD farmer's markets you might get better prices.  Go for venues where people are looking to buy unique hand crafted items, not just what's cheapest.

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A easy thing where you have freedom to experiment is leather Sandals and even have small amounts of tooling to make them stand out, economy just two layers of veg tan and a rubber sole

If there are any leather furniture or car seat makers around you then they are a good source of off-cuts that vary in size, all chrome leather ideal for tote bags etc,. The top quality ones tend to throw away a lot of leather with just tine blemishes, get some in the UK up to 4 or 6 square foot with just a couple of scratch marks the average person would never find

All new start-ups need to invest in equipment and leather but look around for bargain leather rather than Tandy who are expensive

Good luck

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