What: One-of-a-kind leather bags, satchels, belts, wallet cases and other accessories made in an old tractor factory in Plaza Midwood; prices start at $65.
Who: Scott Hofert’s father, grandfather and great-grandfather were watchmakers and jewelers, running their own family business in a village near Buffalo, N.Y. Hofert didn’t set out to follow in their footsteps, but believes that craftsmanship and entrepreneurialism were both ingrained in him – something that he’d find out while traveling the world with his job after college. “I figured that if I had to live out of my suitcase it might as well be the most incredible, long-lasting suitcase made,” he says.
It was the unveiling of the first iPad that fueled his putting his dream into action. “I happened to have a piece of leather in my attic and decided to make a temporary, hand-stitched leather sheath for my shiny new iPad,” he recalls. “When my wife saw it she suggested that I post it on Etsy and it’s there that I made my first sale.” The business name came shortly after, a combination of their two boys’ names.
On getting started: Hofert remembers throwing out “a ton” of leather in his early days, as he continuously played with designs that called for very durable pieces. “Like anything, you put in your ten thousand hours, so to speak, and your work starts to come together. But most of it was trial and error, and having a very clear vision for not only what I wanted but really what I didn’t want. I didn’t want fancy, flimsy, busy or cheap.” The results are high-quality leather product (no liners, no zippers), guaranteed for life.
How: Each of ColsenKeane’s products are hand-cut and hand-stitched. Most of the hides are tanned in the United States. Each product is unique, Hofert says, and he creates specific products for specific needs, such as a custom cutlery sheath for a chef from a local restaurant. Though leather satchels are the main staple, ColsenKeane also makes journals, wallets, coasters, belts, dopp kits, backpacks, canine gear and more.
Favorite product: “My favorite item that I have used for years is our No. 4313 Standard Satchel. It’s simple with clean lines, yet built to last.”
Find out more: www.colsenkeane.com; 704-274-1152.