Since the beginning we have set out not only to make and curate great goods, but we also wanted to curate a lifestyle forged by meeting new friends.
Today, with it being Small Business Saturday and all, we thought it appropriate to take some time away from self-promotion and feature some of our friends. These are folks we have met along the way over the last few years and these are true “maker” friends. We could literally call at a moments notice if we needed an encouraging word or just wanted to catch up. Somehow, we have intersected at some point in the road and have been shaped by them in some way or another.
These are folks you should be following in one way or another. You will not regret knowing these small business owners and buying something from them or just following their stories. Some are not represented by the photo, but they are listed here nonetheless. Some are also running some great specials during this weekend so check them out.
To everyone listed below, thank you. Your friendship, inspiration and craft have meant more than you know to us as we travel along on this journey. And for anyone I missed, I hope you will forgive. (Insert monkey with hands over eyes emoji.
Billy Schiel | District Roasters | Texas
Billy was one of the first friends we made on Instagram. He is an inspiration in his lifestyle with his family and has built and amazing coffee roasting company. We have spent many hours in our homes or at a coffee shop talking life and small biz.
Anne Briggs Bohnnet | Anne of All Trades | Washington
We known Anne via Instagram for years now. Her excitement for life and learning every day are literally contagious. Not only will you learn a lot from following her about cats, farming and woodwork, but you will catch the fire she has inside.
Micheal Stricklin | Loyal Stricklin | Alabama
We have yet to meet Michael is person, which is just plain stupid. We have known Michael for quite some time and it has been astonishing to see his business and craft grow in the leather goods community. He and his team rock it. We always enjoy catching up with him about small biz and maker stuff.
Brad Rodriguez | Fix This Build That | Tennessee
We are easily becoming one of Brad’s fanboys as his popularity and encouraging presence online continues to soar. We have had the privilege of visiting with Brad in his home and in his shop. We can tell you that he is the real deal. He is making his way in the woodworking and DIY community and its easy to see why.
Daniel Ewing | Ewing Dry Goods | Alaska
Made in Alaska with Love. That’s Daniel’s motto. And it’s true. Just today I received another awesome item from him that came from literally across the country. It stinks that we are 4/5 timezones apart, but maybe one day we will get to visit. Daniel loves his family and his craft. It is obvious. Not only will you enjoy his well made and unique goods, but you will be inspired by his attitude and outlook on life. We think we have bartered with him more than any other maker out there and don’t regret it!
Fred Rodriguez | Aesthetic Supply Co | Texas
Fred was an early friend of FTD. We have been grateful for his attention to detail and his steady presence online and with this craft. We had the pleasure of meeting him and his family in person in Dallas last year at an event and it was awesome. You will love his thoughtfulness in his lettering and design.
Ryan Castor | Rust Belt Mercantile | Pennsylvania
Ryan might be the most giving person we know on Instagram. A teacher by day and a leather worker by night, he loves gifting his craft. We have been able to talk on the phone a few time and it is always encouraging. You can pick up one of his journals on our site or head to his to see if something catches your eye. He’s got a great video about what he does on youtube. Check it out!
Rusty Zylstra | Mercy Supply | Michigan
Rusty was literally one of our first friends in the Maker Movement. We took a leap of faith and flew from Texas all the way to Michigan and stayed at his shop before he even knew us. I am sure he thought we were crazy. His hospitality blew us away. Not only is he one of the most talented makers (specializing in leather and canvas) out there, he is a solid bro. Anything you buy from Rusty is of insane quality. We also think he gets the coolest workshop award.
Dustin Spencer | Vermilyea Pelle | Oregon
Dustin is also a leatherworker, but up in the Pacific Northwest. We met on Instagram a while back and been able to talk on the phone a few times. He recently opened a showroom and was kind enough to include some of our goods in it’s opening. His products are as quality as they are unique.
Josh Nava | Suburban Pallet | Tennessee
Chances are you follow one of Josh’s many hobbies on Instagram. He is a man of many talents and also cares about those around him. When we visited him at his shop we were surprised to find out that it was literally next to a new school he was a part of building with others in the community. The items he makes are a great example of the quality he puts into his products and of the way in which he lives his life.