My name is Keegan, and I am the sole proprietor of One Star Leather Goods. I sell durable leather carry goods that I make out of my home in Los Angeles, California. I personally design, cut, hand stitch, finish and ship each and every item that leaves my shop – no sewing machines, no employees, no assembly lines and no cut corners.
My products are carried and get constant use — wallets, notebook covers, watch bands, belts, dog collars, phone cases and the like. Because they get heavy wear, I build them to take a beating, to age beautifully, and to grow in character as time takes its toll. There is nothing quite like a gorgeously worn item made from high quality leather.
Whenever possible, I select premium quality materials made in the USA. I source thread from Maine, and most of my leathers from either the Herman Oak Tannery in St. Louis, Missouri, or the legendary Horween Tannery in Chicago, Illinois. Horween has been turning out some of the best leathers on the planet since 1905.
While “the best things in life aren’t things,” the things that you do need should be functional, simple, elegant, durable, and beautiful. I seek out these qualities when I shop for a product and I strive to deliver these five totems in my craft. I hand stitch my products because not only is it more elegant and beautiful, but traditional hand stitching is far more durable than machine stitching. I’m building products that are designed to last for years to come.
Durability is especially important for a “carry good” because as these items age, they grow in value and develop deep histories of their own. They travel with us and bear witness to the passage of time and to our unique experiences. Consider your childhood stuffed animal, now worn and discolored, or your grandfather’s weathered pocket watch. Time and use have transformed what was once a simple item into an heirloom, steeped in profound memories and tales of adventure. In my eyes, these things are priceless and irreplaceable. A well made product will survive to a storied old age, whereas so much of the disposable goods that populate our lives are soon and easily forgotten.
When designing products I try to listen to my gut, but also love hearing outside opinions. Often one person’s vision of a perfect design also appeals to a larger niche audience. For example, my cousin is a talented singer/songwriter living in Brooklyn. Tired of scribbling strokes of genius on diner napkins, he came to me and requested a compact all-in-one combination wallet / notebook / pen. He named my resulting design “The Park Sloper” after his neighborhood and has told me it is a “minor miracle” for him. I love the design and carry it in my back pocket, too (never without a pen and paper – it’s great!). I am amazed that I have now shipped Park Slopers to like-minded strangers all over the world via Etsy!
In a corner of every town, state, or province, there is an independent artisan creating something awesome. What Etsy does is gather these people up from their side streets and small towns and basement studios and bring them together in one place, creating a rich destination for discovering these talented craftspeople and the amazing things they create. What’s more, as demonstrated by The Park Sloper, Etsy gives specialty artisans with unique products the ability to connect with traditionally unreachable, geographically diffuse customers. Finding ten people excited about an obscure or unique product in one town might be impossible — on Etsy, there are a hundred people already looking for that product. Viva la Interwebs!
It is an incredible experience to talk to and sell to and hear the excitement of people from different cultures and all corners of the globe. It is a peculiar rush I get, picturing something I spent time and care creating adorning pockets in Sweden and Australia and Singapore and Dubai. I am grateful for this opportunity to put a smile on a stranger’s face a world away. Thanks Etsy!