A loan of $10,000 helped purchase new leather crafting tools, expand our tiny cramped-for-space-workshop and will enable us to speed up our handmade process for the ever-growing orders.

Steven's story

My story really starts with my grandfather and his brother who apprenticed at a saddlery shop in Santa Barbara, California after returning from WWII. Before long they set up their own saddlery and leather-repair shop. My Great Uncle Fred was the artisan and was renowned for hand-tooling Western saddles while my Grandfather Bernard was more of the businessman. I like to think I combine their two talents.

My father inherited the shop and he and my mother, Alinda, ran it together pretty much right out of high school. My sisters and I grew up in the shop. My parents were 70's arts n' crafts hippies so, from a young age, I was always participating in some kind of “making” activity. As a youth I was very interested in mechanics and spent most of my high school years in auto-shop restoring a 1969 Chevy pickup. We all figured I'd end up a mechanic, but when my grandfather offered to co-pay my tuition if I wanted to try college, I decided to give it a shot.

I tried art classes at Santa Barbara City College and suddenly I found my thing. It became incredibly clear what I wanted to do, so I devoted myself to art school and received a degree in Sculpture. After college I returned to Santa Barbara working a variety of day jobs while focusing on my art, showing work in Los Angeles, and also helping out my parents' luggage store.

Modernizing my parents leather repair shop really solidified my interest in business. Art-making is, among other things, a constant search for answers to questions. This interest in problem-solving dovetails nicely with my interest in business. So here I am, in my hometown of Santa Barbara, respecting my heritage, pursuing my passion, asking questions and finding answers through design.

This loan is special because:

It will help an entrepreneur expand his handmade leather company.

Loan details

About Make Smith Leather Co.

Industry: Arts
Years in operation: More than 5 years
Website: makesmith.com


Lenders and lending teams

Loan details