Life is a story. A story that often takes unexpected turns. At the end of 2016, a friend gave us an idea that started a new chapter for our family.
Brian spent over twenty years in corporate sales, and while it more than provided for our family financially, it took too much away from us. Brian was gone from home four to five days a week. The high-pressure demands of managers sucked his soul dry. We were living the “American Dream,” but in reality, it was a nightmare. One afternoon, after a flight away from home, Brian called Kelli and said, “I’m going to quit today. I can’t take any more. What do you think?”
That was one of the scariest and yet one of the best things we have done for our family. Because of that decision, Brian discovered his love of and gift for designing and building beautiful things with his hands. It’s amazing to look back now and see how God used the damage done to Brian during those years of corporate sales as rich soil to grow him as an artist. Little did we know at the time, but this was the first step towards Growley Leather Co.!
We have four daughters. Our younger two girls were adopted from China, and they both have vision impairments. Research shows that many adults with their conditions have difficulty finding careers. As we were considering what was next for our family, it was important to us to start a business in which all four of our girls (and others like them) could learn a trade and make a living. Our older daughters started apprenticing with us this year, and our younger girls already do a few things around the shop as part of the Growley Leather crew.
Starting Growley Leather Co. was one of the hardest and one of the most rewarding things we’ve ever done. Brian had done a bit of leather work. A friend saw a small pouch he made and gave us the idea for starting a leather shop. Another friend gave us many of the tools we needed to get started. We turned our guest bedroom into a workshop, purchased a used table, a sewing machine, and spent countless hours researching how to build a website, how to take product photos, how to use the machine we’d purchased, how to design and make leather goods, and much more. We built every aspect of this company ourselves, from the ground up. After months of researching, learning, designing and developing, Growley Leather Co. went from being an idea to a reality.
Leather captivates us - the feel and smell of it, the movement it has when we work with it, the uniqueness of each piece. We love rolling out a new hide and envisioning what will come out of it. We design and build the best leather goods we can to come alongside you in your daily life, share in your adventures, and reflect your character.
Life is a story. Thanks for letting Growley Leather Co. be a part of yours!
Brian, Kelli and the Growley Leather Crew