Guarded Goods was born out of a desire to learn and master a craft that would allow me to use my hands and creativity instead of spending my free time on the computer. My friends often talked about their hobbies (rock climbing, woodworking) and attempting to talk about how cool gaming or graphic design were paled in comparison. I wanted a tangible skill that I could learn and share the final product with other people.
Making handmade goods is a significant time investment. Each item is hand stitched (or machine stitched in some cases) and finished with precise detail. My hands are my sewing machine. Each hole meticulously punched with a sharp awl and stitched with two needles and waxed thread. All edges are sanded and burnished by hand with natural beeswax. All patterns are designed in house on the computer and transferred to acrylic, cardboard or made into steel cutting dies. My aim is to create a product that will last for generations. Handmade products last a long time for a reason. There is an art to it. I pride myself in sourcing some of the best materials available and offering them at affordable prices to customers. I love to interact with my customers and get their feedback and ideas for future products. Custom projects are also a fun part of my job. It is fun to have someone come to you with a rough sketch on a piece of paper and be able to deliver an end product that they're truly happy with.
There is more to "American Made" than just producing something in America (though that is significant and not to be taken lightly). To me, American Made is not only producing but sourcing as well. What good is a product if you're sourcing the leather from China? Why not FULLY support your local businesses? In an era of buying cheap and buying often, I am a proponent of spending a little bit more and buying local or American made. All too often people become consumers of coupons and deals. What they don't realize is they're buying something that won't last. Invest in something that will last generations. I don't care if it isn't purchased from me, but support any business that is local or American made.
Photo by Lauren Kirkbride Photography