As we've grown as a business and as artists we have gone through growing pains. Like most businesses do, we are forced to set things aside to fulfill orders and attend to other responsibilities. One of the hardest parts about being an entrepreneur is the fact that we are "doing it all" to make it work. At Beargrass, Ben and I do it all. We create/maintain our website/social media/etsy store as well as take all the photographs and create content for each of these platforms. Which at times seems like a whole other job entirely. Which can be why many businesses have prefabricated models. So, while we love our creative freedom we also feel pressured to leave behind the stuff that isn't exactly at the forefront, i.e. scraps!
What are scraps? Anything left from a hide of leather that is trimmed off of the handbags we make. This can be bigger pieces of leather which are turned into more bags/clutches/wallets or even thinner strips that become bracelets/key fobs/cord collectors.
As you can imagine, scraps are born with every cut. I can be daunting to cut into a hide so we always go in with a plan. With experience we are able to size up a hide pretty quick to determine how much product we are going to get out of it as well as the best way to cut into it (making the most out of each cut). Scraps however usually don't get the attention until they are sitting in a heap on my work desk. As small and unusable as these pieces seem to be it would make you sick to think of throwing them out! We truly hate wasteful practices and believe in sustainability. Past native Americans as well as farmers knew all too well how to respect the gifts of each animal. So, we've adapted a philosophy 'Use the whole hide'.
Sure, it's slow. It's sustainable. It's.....well check out my upcoming blog on slow fashion. Using the whole hide is a timeless concept that not only enables us to appreciate the amazing gift that is a cow or bison hide but, challenges us to find new and useful leather goods. And getting to be creative and use our artistic talents is one of the main reasons we are doing this at all! So rest assured, at Beargrass Leather we've vowed to be responsible/sustainable makers or quality leather goods. We push ourselves. We try new things. We use the whole hide.