Hi, I’m Kelsey! Welcome to my one-woman show. I spent a year living in South Carolina, and upon returning home to Utah in 2013, was unable to find a job. Months passed in frustration because I was spending countless hours applying for jobs only to have all of those applications lead to nowhere. One day in February of 2014, I decided I’d better either find something else or make something work for me. That same week my sister and I went to see The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and in that movie Walter Mitty receives a simple tri-fold wallet with text inside. I thought, “That’s really cool! I’ve never seen a wallet with text like that before. Maybe I could make and sell those.”
I knew virtually nothing about leather, but I decided it was worth a try. I told my mom about my idea, and she said suggested going to the leather store to find out what supplies I would need to make a wallet. I didn’t even know leather stores existed! I searched on Google to find where the closest leather store was and headed there to find out what was needed to make a wallet. I purchased the necessary supplies and headed straight home to try it out. I made my very first, extremely simple, wallet that day, and I was so excited!
I began telling people about my idea, some were excited and supportive while others were not. I realized that in telling people about my idea I was searching for outside validation that my idea was good and had potential to be successful. I was scared to try something so new and so different! I realized I was afraid of failing, and I didn’t want to do something if I was just going to fail. I had to decide if I was going to let my fear hold me back from trying something new. Ultimately asked myself, “In 10 years what will I regret more? Trying something new and failing, or not trying at all?” I decided I would rather try something new, even if I did fail, than let my fear hold me back!
I pushed my fears and insecurities aside and, within 2 weeks of making my first wallet, I had my Etsy shop up and running. Slowly, very slowly, my sales increased and in just a little over 6 months, I was able to do it full time! I was so excited to be handcrafting leather products full time and loved making such unique products for people. Each weekend I could hardly wait for Monday to roll around, so I could keep working on orders and think of new product designs.
In the end, I’m so grateful that I wasn’t able to find a job during all those months. If I had found a job, I can almost guarantee you, I would be working for someone else and wouldn’t have found my passion for leather work!