It all started for Madeira when she received her $600 stimulus check in 2008. She had always wanted to figure out a way to use her creative talents to start a business, and rather than spending her check on a new flat screen TV, she decided to use this opportunity to fulfill her dreams. Loving the smell and look of leather, she took some leather working classes and purchased materials to create her first line of hand crafted leather jewelry and accessories, such as wallets, belts and flasks.
Though people liked her work, Madeira was still hesitant about leaving her stable, but low paying job, to commit to her craft full-time. Finally, one day, her father just told her, “Why be broke working for other people, doing things that don’t feed your soul? Why not be broke while doing what feeds your soul?” That was all the encouragement she needed. Godspeed Leatherwerks was born.
Dreaming of building the “next great American brand”, Madeira is passionate about creating unique, high-quality leather pieces. Starting out of just a workshop in her backyard, she launched an online store and reached out to a few local boutiques to carry her products. She has quickly become a local hit and now Madeira is ready to take her business to the next level.
She recently acquired the lease for a warehouse that she hopes to convert into her own workshop, manufacturing space and retail store. With the extra space available, she wants to create a “work-share” space where local artisans can have a place to work and sell their creations. She hopes this new endeavor will not only promote Godspeed Leatherwerks, but also build up the local artisan community.
Madeira will use her $8,000 Kiva loan to put down her lease deposit, finish the build out of her space and purchase a new laptop.
Ultimately, Madeira hopes to become an integral player in the “hand-made renaissance” started by such online shops like Etsy, while also providing better opportunities for her two children.