Moxie and Oliver
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Caitlin and I am the proud mother of two kiddos (a six month old boy and a three-year-old girl), two dogs, and two cats. My husband, kiddos and I live in Kenmore, Washington, and when my kids are otherwise occupied, I make leather goods. I’ve been working in leather for the last nine years, and have developed a unique arsenal of techniques for turning full-grain hides into bags, belts, flasks, Christmas Stockings, stuffed animal collars, and pretty much anything else you can imagine.
What’s the latest thing you’ve been working on?
Yesterday we actually got to start breaking in a new die – a mini Christmas Stocking! Every year I do a huge gift exchange with my family and handmade stocking stuffers are required in order to participate, so this year I decided to make mini stockings for everyone. After making
one I decided I had to make some for our customers, too. So this year I have some for my family, some for sale, and 100 to give away. Starting November 1, each purchase over $150 will get a little owl stocking for free. They’re a limited edition of 100 and none are for sale, so they’re a very special piece.
Any new exciting news you’d like to share with our readers?
YES, but I am sworn to secrecy. I promise to share on my Facebook page as soon as I am allowed!
Are you debuting anything new at the winter show?
I am indeed! I have some pressed leather pieces that I’m very excited about. We managed to get a couple of hides of leather that has been embossed, so using it with some of our original patterns makes pieces that have a western pattern but a more modern look. The pattern kind
of fades into the background since they’re a solid color, and the shape of the piece shines. I feel like they’re a great combination of old west and modern – we’d be happy to give one away to the readers!
Is this a full-time business for you?
For the last three years it has been. Before that I was working as a paralegal, but when my daughter was born I took a layoff and haven’t gone back. Truthfully, now I can’t imagine what it would be like to go back to working for someone else. Last year I hired two part time assistants, and they’ve been wonderful. I still do all the artwork and answer my own emails but they do pretty much everything else.
What’s your favorite item that you sell?
That changes all the time, which is why I have so many products I think! Right now it is the “Mighty Wallet” which is a minimalist wallet with a coin pocket. It is not necessarily the most complex piece that we have, but it’s super functional. I use it instead of my big wallet most days since it fits in my pocket, and when I get change I actually have somewhere to put it! Plus, when you have a baby in your arms it’s really helpful to have a small wallet that is easy to pull out of your pocket.
What do your customers love most about your products?
My customers love the durability, and how much they can personalize the products. A lot of the items I sell have a custom inscription or a monogram, or some sort of personal touch to them. In the ages of mass manufacture where everything starts to look the same, how cool is it to give someone a gift that has a personal message, like your wedding vows or the location you first met? And to know that it’s something that you can break in and will last for years to come is priceless.