Tag Archives: Leather

Southern Makers: Sturdy Brothers

Ben and Spencer Young, the Sturdy Brothers | Oysters & Pearls

Photo credit: www.sturdybrothers.com

THE BROTHERS

Spencer and Ben Young are the Sturdy Brothers. Both grew up in South Georgia, and Spencer relocated to Thomasville with his wife to open up Grassroots Coffee in the summer of 2009.  After college, Ben worked in a coffee shop in Raleigh, North Carolina.  The brothers both saw and felt the need for a sturdy, heavy-duty apron in their roles as baristas, so they started making their own.  Almost immediately, they sponsored the 2014 Big Eastern Barista Competition by donating their aprons as prizes.  They were a huge hit with the baristas and requests for more aprons began to roll in.

A Sturdy Brothers Waxed Canvas Apron Used to Wax Canvas | Oysters & Pearls

THE KICKSTARTER

In order to get the funds to get their apron business off the ground, Spencer and Ben launched a Kickstarter campaign.  It was successful beyond their wildest dreams, and they hit the ground running with 226 backers from Thomasville and beyond, plus over $14,000 in the pockets.

Sturdy Brothers Leather Stamping Equipment | Oysters & Pearls Singer Sewing Machine at the Sturdy Brothers Workshop | Oysters & Pearls  Sturdy Brothers Leather Stamp | Oysters & Pearls

 THE GOODS

The thick, sturdy (for lack of a better word) canvas Ben and Spencer use for Sturdy Brothers products comes from Filson cuts.  They hand cut the high quality leather for straps and tags, then hand stamp those, too.

Waxing Canvas at the Sturdy Brothers Workshop | Oysters & Pearls Waxing Canvas at the Sturdy Brothers Workshop | Oysters & Pearls

They sew their heavy-duty bags and aprons, then wax them with beeswax, then dry them in a dryer. It’s a lengthy process with sweet-smelling, water-resistant results.

Hand Stamped Leather Tag, Sturdy Brothers | Oysters & Pearls Metal Punches at Sturdy Brothers' Workshop | Oysters & Pearls Ben, one half of the Sturdy Brothers | Oysters & Pearls

Their leather tags and handles and straps are all attached by hand using metal rivets.  Straps are reinforced with more leather on the backside of the canvas.

Adding a Sturdy Brothers Tag to a Waxed Canvas Apron | Oysters & Pearls

Finally, when they ship out a Sturdy Brothers apron, tote, or duffle, they wrap it up into brown paper packages tied up with string and hand-stamped cards and a thank you note!

Brown Paper Package from the Sturdy Brothers | Oysters & Pearls Sturdy Brothers Thank You Note | Oysters & Pearls Snow Tote for Natalie from the Sturdy Brothers | Oysters & Pearls

I was lucky enough to find this Snow Tote in my brown paper package, and sure enough, it’s become one of my favorite things.

Waxed Canvas Tote Bag by the Sturdy Brothers in Thomasville, Georgia | Oysters & Pearls French Ticking Waxed Canvas Tote Bag by the Sturdy Brothers in Thomasville, Georgia | Oysters & Pearls Snow Tote from the Sturdy Bros. | Oysters & Pearls

STURDY BROTHERS SHOP

If you’re itching to get your hands on these awesome goods, you’re in luck.  The Kickstarter campaign is over and the Sturdy Brothers website is open for business!  Check their online shop for purchasing all their sturdy merch.

www.sturdybrothers.com

Or if you’re local, the Sturdy Brothers are participating in Thomasville Center for the Arts’ FLAUNT!  Their popup shop on Jackson Street will be opening TODAY and will continue to be open for an entire month!

The opening party is tonight, September 5th, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, and the popup shops will remain open until September 27th.  Purchase tickets to any of the events online at www.thomasvillearts.org.

Sturdy Brothers FLAUNT Pop Up Shop | Oysters & Pearls

In addition to being Ben’s workshop to create more Sturdy Brothers goods, he will have some additional items for sale for the month as well, including a handful of beautiful knives from O&P favorite Heartwood Forge!

Heartwood Forge Knives at Sturdy Brothers FLAUNT Pop Up Shop | Oysters & Pearls Goods at Sturdy Brothers FLAUNT Pop Up Shop | Oysters & Pearls Old Saw Flask at Sturdy Brothers FLAUNT Pop Up Shop | Oysters & Pearls Sturdy Brothers FLAUNT Pop Up Shop | Oysters & Pearls Sturdy Brothers FLAUNT Pop Up Workshop | Oysters & Pearls

Only a barista would have an espresso machine this awesome in their workshop.Sturdy Brothers FLAUNT Pop Up Shop | Oysters & Pearls    Sturdy Brothers FLAUNT Pop Up Workshop | Oysters & Pearls Sturdy Brothers FLAUNT Pop Up Shop | Oysters & Pearls

Be sure to stop by and visit all the amazing pop up shops in Thomasville this month.  It’s worth the trip for you out-of-towners!

And if you make it by to see Ben, be sure to tell him I sent ya!

For more Sturdy Brothers:

@SturdyBrothers

www.sturdybrothers.com

Until Next Time

Southern Makers: Higher Standards Leather Care

So I have a pair of boots.

Leather Boots That Have Taken a Briar Beating | Oysters & Pearls

They’re my favorite boots.  Maybe my favorite shoes.  They’re comfortable, cute, and have seen me through everything from engagement parties to quail hunts.

But they’re pretty well beat up.Leather Boots in Need of Some Serious TLC | Oysters & Pearls

Worn ragged might be the more appropriate term.  But I love them, and I don’t want a new pair.  I’ve tried mink oil, but that didn’t do the trick.  It just made them kind of sticky and a weird color.

Also, they probably need a little vacation to the cobbler, but that’s neither here nor there.Beat Up Leather Boots | Oysters & Pearls

HIGHER STANDARDS FARM LEATHER CARE

A few months ago, sweet Libby at Higher Standards Farm reached out to me about purchasing a candle from The Refinery.  Just down the road in Greensboro, Florida, Libby is a fellow attorney with a much more fun side gig/professional hobbyist.  As you can imagine, Libby and I became fast friends.  Knowing that I loved all things handmade, she told me about the leather care products she makes in small batches and sells in her free time.

I’m no equestrian, but I have plenty of leather items that could use some TLC – first and foremost my beloved boots – so I gave it a try.

Higher Standards Leather Care  | Oysters & Pearls

LOVE AT FIRST SUDS

Leather Boots: After Using Higher Standards Leather Care | Oysters & Pearls

They’re not looking good as new, but who wants boots without a little character? ;)  I used the saddle soap first with the provided sponge, then rinsed them off, then rubbed in the leather conditioner.  Leather Boots: After Using Higher Standards Leather Care | Oysters & Pearls

It is the only leather conditioner I’ve ever used that didn’t leave a weird-feeling residue on the leather. Plus it smelled great and made the leather so soft and supple! Leather Boots: After Using Higher Standards Leather Care | Oysters & Pearls

MEET LIBBY:

From Libby’s Etsy Shop, because she says it better than I could say it myself:

Back in 2003, while looking for a Christmas gift to give my barn friends, I decided to experiment with making saddle soap. I found a recipe, and began to tinker with it, researching different essential oils, and working on scent combinations. It was fun and challenging, and the soap worked really well! 

The following spring, I developed a terrible crush on Karen O’Connor’s mount, Upstage, or “Woody,” owned by Dick & Vita Thompson. I was entranced by the story of the “little horse that could,” and I just loved his personality.

During Rolex week, I sent a care package to Kentucky for Woody and his “staff.” In that package was a container of my handmade soap. I was stunned a couple months later, when Karen’s excellent longtime groom, Max Corcoran asked for more of my soap, saying it was wonderful stuff. 

For the next nine years, I made the soap for Max as she needed them, and shared it with other friends. So far, my soap has been to the Pan Ams, the World Equestrian Games, the Hong Kong and London Olympics, Rolex, Badminton, Burghley and many other top venues.

And now, the soap used by one of the best upper level grooms in the business is available to the rest of us, from entry level all the way to the top!

Higher Standards Leather Care  | Oysters & Pearls

After many requests, Libby also began making the leather balm/conditioner.  All of her soap scents are named after favorite horses, such as Buzz’s Citrus Ginger, Ben’s Rosemary Mint, and Fox’s Vanilla Lavender.

Higher Standards Leather Care  | Oysters & Pearls

GET THE DIRT ON THE SOAP

I seriously can’t get over how amazing my boots feel after using Higher Standards Leather Care. I can see myself using this for the rest of my boots, leather bags, dog leashes and collars, and all manner of leather goods that aren’t related to horses the least little bit.  I can only imagine how great this would be for those of you who actually use the saddle soap on saddles!Higher Standards Leather Care  | Oysters & Pearls

Many thanks to Libby for being super sweet and a new friend, for introducing me to this great product, and for saving my boots. :)

For more information on Higher Standards Leather Care, visit:

www.higherstandardsleathercare.com

Higher Standards’ Etsy Shop

Higher Standards on Facebook

Higher Standards on Twitter

Until Next Time