RJ Leatherworks LLC from the start:

This is a post about our experiences so far. Below each question you will see an answer from RJ and an answer from Hallie. We hope you enjoy reading about our journey and keeping up with our progress!

The business was officially started as an LLC in September of 2019 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Prior to that, we were producing and selling our leather goods in Tempe, Arizona.

This blog is being started in May 2020. At this time, the world is in the middle of a pandemic due to COVID-19. Social distancing is the new buzz-word while the world tries to limit the spread of this virus. In Indiana, we are under a “Stay-At-Home” order limiting all residents to essential travel only.

Tell us a little about yourself

From RJ:

I am a nerd who likes working with his hands to create things. I enjoy photography and challenging myself to be better than I was yesterday. I grew up in Washington state and moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 2004.

From Hallie:

I love to travel and experience new places and people. I am an animal lover and can finish a good book in a day.

You moved across the country recently, how do you feel about that?

From RJ:

I’ll admit that it was my idea. It was time for a change and it has been a change in both weather and people. Nothing specifically good or bad, just different.

From Hallie:

I am happy we moved it was a good change. But it was hard to leave my clients because of the close connections I have with them.

What prior experience do you have running a business?

From RJ:

I have had a photography business before. It still exists and is very small. We actually use it for product photography now.

From Hallie:

I have no experience running a business, it has been a huge learning experience.

If you had to give RJ Leatherworks LLC a mission statement, what would it be?

From RJ:

To provide hand crafted quality leather goods that will outlast customer expectations.

From Hallie:

To provide hand crafted quality leather goods that will outlast customer expectations.

What have you learned so far in your journey of running this business?

From RJ:

In person sales are hard, but they are our main source of sales. People are different and trying to appeal to each individual is proving to be impossible. Some people love my humor and others don’t.

From Hallie:

Figuring out and justifying price points for all of our products has be tough. Everyone had their own ideas and opinions about how they would change or improve our products.

Looking back on the last few months, what would you do differently?

From RJ:

I would spend more time producing, giving us more product that is available for sale.

From Hallie:

I wouldn’t do anything different. Each event we go to has its own learning curve when interacting with customers.

What has been your most eye opening experience so far?

From RJ:

The number of ideas that come from customers. Those ideas stem from problems they are experiencing.

From Hallie:

The amount of information and suggestions exchanged between vendors is amazing. Everyone is always willing to supporting one another’s businesses.

What has been your biggest accomplishment in the business so far?

From RJ:

Product development has come a very long way, allowing us to expand our abilities.

From Hallie:

Making a profit our first year I think is a big accomplishment.

Where do you want to see the business go in the next 6 months?

From RJ:

Continue expanding our product line and expanding our sales online.

From Hallie:

Expanding our product line and getting into bigger festivals.

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