Stitched Together

There’s something really old world about making a book by hand. It is a meditation. You know, I can do it and just listen to music, and it’s very relaxing. Very relaxing. Every hide feels a little bit
different, and you get to know the leathers and what type of leather it is and the type of paper that you’re using may have a certain smell, and it’s
awesome. I discovered book binding kind of by
accident. I was traveling around Europe after graduating, thinking that I was
going to be inspired by all the old architecture. Five months into the trip
my backpack was stolen. My journal being in that backpack, I was kind of
devastated because that was all of the people that I met on that trip and all
the experiences that I had, and I still had a month left of traveling, so I
thought, I need a new journal. About a week later I was flirting with this very handsome street artist, and he ended up taking me to his friend’s little book binding studio, and I
ended up being just blown away by what he was doing. He was making really simple leather journals that were all stitched together by hand, and we ended up hitting
it off, and he let me hang out with him and watch him make books and taught me his techniques, and next thing you know I’m selling them at a little little street fair in Seattle. I think people are attracted to our books
because it’s a whole new world. They step into our studio, and they’re like
overwhelmed by the smell of leather and the paper and it’s just they’re
reminiscent of something that is missing in our lives for the most part these
days. It’s something real and tangible that you can smell and hold. It just feels right. It’s really inspiring to see the way that people use them. I especially like it when people bring them back and show them to me all filled
up. They’re gorgeous. We have a gentleman that I met. His name is Beno, and he and his wife Gail travel all over the world, and he fills an entire book on every single
trip of his experiences on that trip, drawings and sketches and watercolor
paintings, incredible. You end up having conversations with each person that
walks in the door about something that means something. It’s not going to be a frivolous conversation. It’s what are you going to do with this book? How are you planning on using it? And then they end up telling you something about their life that’s
important that they’re wanting to record, and then you make connections with that
person, and sometimes they just come
back, not even to buy a book but just to say “Hey.” That feels good.