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$639 pledged of $5,000 goal
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By Caitlin McNamara
$639 pledged of $5,000 goal
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About this project

If I had to boil over a decade of experience working with leather into one simple take-away, it would be this: to create an heirloom quality leather good, you need to start with the best materials you can find. I have spent the last eleven years finding the most incredible materials to use in my artwork as well as developing the original items you find for sale at Moxie & Oliver.   Now, I'm excited to share with you the same materials and components I use in my work, in an easy to complete DIY Leathercraft Kit form!

Caitlin from Moxie & Oliver
Caitlin from Moxie & Oliver

Why DIY Leathercraft?  Why Now? 

In late 2013 I was contacted by a publisher from Fons & Porter and asked to write a book.  Initially I thought it was a bizarre spam email, but it happened, indeed, to be true.  This email that I never expected turned into an experience I never could have dreamed.  The process of turning my self-taught, original, leathercraft style into a DIY leathercraft book, Leathercrafted, ignited a passion for teaching and sharing my craft with others. I opened my studio to classes and private workshops, and I started adding kits to my product line.

The response has been overwhelming.  Leathercraft is mystifying to many potential leather-DIYers and with a background in teaching, years of leatherworking experience, and a book under my belt, simplifying these projects and getting people started in the field is second nature to me. Students are always surprised at how easy it is to make a piece they are proud of! 

Making a Leather Valet Tray
Making a Leather Valet Tray

What sets Moxie & Oliver Leathercraft kits apart? 

As an artist and a small business owner, I take an immense amount of pride in my work, and a large component of that is the quality. When I started Moxie & Oliver my goal was to create leather goods that were as durable as they are beautiful - I wanted heirloom quality in every piece. I have a restless sense of constant improvement, so I'm always looking for ways to strengthen my pieces, and hand-make or locally source component parts for my own work.

In my DIY Leathercraft kits, my commitment to quality is no different than in my own work, but it is worlds away from the commercially available leathercraft kits currently on the market.  Each of our kits is handmade in our Seattle studio - cut by the same hands, and of the same materials, that we use to create finished Moxie & Oliver products.  Component parts, like the bronze buckles that we use for our Inlay Belt Buckles, well, those are designed by Moxie & Oliver and handmade, exclusively for us, in Seattle as well. 

As is true with anything you make - the better quality ingredients you put in, the better quality result you get out.   I bet you will agree when you're cooking dinner tonight - fresh, quality ingredients, elevate your meals. An artist quality Moxie & Oliver DIY Kit will allow you to create an heirloom quality leather project with your own artwork on it.

DIY Clutch Purse Kit
DIY Clutch Purse Kit

How will you use the funds?

All of the money that we raise on Kickstarter will be used in the development and production of new leathercraft kits.  In order to economically produce any of our kits, we use a die cutting machine (think of it like an enormous hand to smash giant cookie cutters through the leather, and you've pretty much got the idea).  The problem is that these dies are incredibly expensive.  The die set for our clutch wallet kit alone was over $1,000.  We would like to add bifold and trifold wallets to our line of offerings - both made in Seattle, full-grain vegetable tanned leather outside, hand-sewn kidskin leather insides.  The prototypes for these wallets are done, and they're amazing.

Bifold Wallet Kit Prototype
Bifold Wallet Kit Prototype

What if you make more than your goal?

The short answer is that more funding = more kits being made.  We'll ask for your input, too.  Maybe it's a kit for our Travel Bag, or our Valet Trays. If the funding exceeds the goal, I will set up a poll and anyone who contributes gets a say in what kits those funds are used to create.  Awesome, right?

But then there is this dream, and it's a big reach, but if you're as passionate about leathercraft as I am, it's do-able.  I would love to open a DIY Leathercraft Studio in Seattle.  We'd run awesome business hours so you could come in on your lunchbreak, after work, or on the weekend, make a little leather project, have some coffee or cider, and then triumphantly return to your daily life (only to return again the next week because, let's face it, this is addicting).  We could also host school events, parties for kids and adults, Holiday parties for your office? Humm?

Right now, that's just a dream, but you could help me make it a reality.

Completed Clutch Purse Kit
Completed Clutch Purse Kit

Risks and challenges

In the words of Dan Quayle, We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur."

After years of basically producing these kits so that I could use them to create my own finished goods, I've become relatively adept at finding a quick and creative solution to any problems that could arise.

Our biggest problems historically are supply-chain issues: what if our leather supplier is backed up? Out of stock of the hide we use? Well, that's why we have more than one supplier ready to ship us our raw material. And the worst-case scenario, is that it puts us 2-4 weeks behind on our production (but that has not yet happened).

We use only one machine in the production of our kits, and the rest is done by hand. We have a skilled hydrolic mechanic in our Rolodex who can come fix our die cutter at a moment's notice, and in the very worst case scenario, there is a company locally that does die cutting and we could bring our hides and dies to them. So our setbacks here would be a day at most.

Now, if we break our hands, that's a bigger problem, but I do have some emergency back-up assistants on file. We'll call in all the troops and we'll get it done, so you can get to crafting!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    You're our star! Thanks for your support and for wanting nothing in return. But because every penny counts and we appreciate you, we'll write your name on one of our star ornaments and hang it in the studio so we always know who we are thankful to.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Now we're seeing stars - and so are you! We will send you three little DIY Star Ornaments for you to create your own masterpieces.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    A signed copy of my book, Leathercrafted, that will teach you my signature methods of adding permanent pattern and color to your leathercraft projects. A great companion for any kit!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Now that you've seen it in our video, are you ready to try your hand at a DIY Flask Kit? In just a few minutes, hours or days (depending on the detail of your perfectionism) you'll have your own leather and stainless steel flask - that you made! The only thing better than one of these, is two - one for you and one for a friend!

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    An awesome guitar strap kit. Cut of full-grain vegetable tanned leather from Wickett & Craig (in PA), you can add pattern and color or use it just as it is and let the leather develop a patina.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    EARLY ADOPTER! 15 of our Mason Jar Lantern Kits. A great way to organize your office, craft space, or add them to holiday gifts!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Get Started Kit Set! We'll include some of our favorite kits, dyes, paints, brushes and of course a copy of Leathercrafted! Retail value $400+

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Crafting Party in a Box! Choose from flask (15) mighty wallet (10), moleskine (10) or guitar strap kits (10) and we will include the kits plus everything needed to complete them (dyes, paints, brushes, etc.) so you can have your own leathercrafting party!

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Two days of private leathercraft instruction at our Seattle studio, OR a half-day class for up to ten people (at our studio or your Seattle space), OR a full day class for five people. With so many options, how can you choose?

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    You choose the kit! Is there a particular piece you want to see offered as a Moxie & Oliver kit? Or do you want us to DESIGN and MAKE a kit just for you? Well, here's your opportunity! Back this reward and we'll work with you to design and produce the kit of your choice.

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    Pledge $3,500 or more About $3,500

    A week of private or semi-private leathercraft instruction from Caitlin in Moxie & Oliver's Seattle studio. You'll learn everything I know about leathercraft, and we may even invent some new techniques along the way. (Reward is for one person only)

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    Pledge $8,500 or more About $8,500

    A week of leathercraft instruction, where I come to YOU! Anywhere in the US, I'll come and teach you leathercraft for five full days, until you're dressed entirely in leather goods you've made and your house is made of leather. Or we'll just do some awesome projects and you'll learn all about the craft. This reward can be shared by up to four people.

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Funding period

- (30 days)