This question is posed to me almost everyday, so I've had a long time to think about it; What does leather remind me of? It's the smell of an old workshop, an old saddle museums, or a luxurious car, and, just pure nostalgic feelings for the past. But most importantly, I'm reminded my craft, of the type of leather that I work with everyday. I'm reminded of a particular leather that I find to be the most beautiful to touch, to smell, and work with. This special leather is called LATIGO, which translates from Español to English as Spanish Whip. Naturally, I've found this name to be the inspiration for our first line of aromas.
So here we are; Spanish Whip, a rugged and playful aroma roll-on oil for men with hints of tobacco flower, citrus, sandalwood and cedar meticulously blended by @mossbotanicals of Ojai, Ca from all natural ingredients. Available this week in our showroom in a very limited quantity.
Every Season we host a variety of classes in which students will make leather goods such as, a wallet, a belt, a bracelet, and much more. Our curriculum emphasizes DOING to learn, MAKING to be creative, and EMBRACING mistakes to gain experience. We empower our students to craft with their hands, become self sufficient and build confidence.
The New Fall Workshop Schedule:
Bracelet Making Class
Thursday, October 26th :: 6pm - 8pm
Saturday, October 28th :: 5pm - 7pm
Belt Making Class
Thursday, November 16th :: 6pm - 9pm
Saturday, November 18th :: 5pm - 8pm
Tote Bag Making Class
Thursday, November 30th :: 5pm - 9pm
Saturday, December 2nd :: 5pm - 9pm
Our new workshop dates are up! We will be putting workshops together from October through December twice a week. Snag a spot or two and come join us at the variety of workshops we are offering this season. See you there!
*For more information on the specifics of each workshop please visit our workshop page at makesmith.com or give us a call at 805.699.6296
Turn Heads and make a statement. The new Crossbody Soft Brief is here and its the perfect accessory for you to go from business to beach and back around again.
This is not a messenger bag, its better. We ditched the flap and created a soft brief that will take you where you need to go and maybe a bit further. If you're anything like us, we’re always looking for the perfect carryall. We’re last minute packers and that meant needing to make a bag that inspired confidence, easy and style. I'm pretty sure we nailed it. With an adjustable strap and a internal laptop sleeve this bag goes at the top of the packing list (that is if we have time to make one). From a business meeting to a long weekender it doesn't take no for an answer.
Whats our favorite part? Well the laptop sleeve of course. With contemporary convenience built right in, its hard to say "why not" to this durable design.
Buy one here! $325
Photos courtesy of Lerina Winter
Your search has ended. With the release of our new Zipper Cross Body Purse, you won't find yourself wanting anymore. Its minimalist attitude and beautiful character flaws will be the beginning of a long friendship.
The perfect companion bag is here and we have Weslie to thank for it. Friends that have needs inform our new design decisions 100%. Following an afternoon of coffee and conversation, she urged me to get to work on a custom design--something sleek and simple, she said. Coming up with a design that could follow her any and everywhere was tougher than expected, how could something so straightforward be so taxing? The final product was more than we had hoped for, its simple, elegant and rustic enough for casual use.
Our favorite feature of this piece is internal pocket (per Weslie's strong request for somewhere to store her always lost keys).
Buy one here! $265
Photos courtesy of Lerina Winter
Intro: Never forget an idea, make sure you write it down! Journaling is a really great way to process all of your creative thoughts.
Development: We made this journal for the Director of the Santa Barbara Film Fest, Roger Durling. He came to us with the idea of having a classic, clean but old world style leather bound journal that has the ability for refillable paper. He interviews people, takes notes about films and writes notes about his students work all day long, so archiving the books for a later date is a must. So, we designed this leather tie-up style journal around replaceable decomposition books that can be taken out and then replaced with a new one with ease.
Feature: One of the best features of this piece is that the journals inserts can be found at most drug stores, books stores and/or ordered online from Amazon, because they are an educational industry standard size.
Buy one here! $85
Photos courtesy for Winter Creative Co.
We spent a couple of days with Lynd.com to work on a "Vlogging for Business" project... the following is the script from the tutorial...
Jem Schofield of theC47 breaks down the planning, production, post production, equipment, and distribution of an ongoing vlog for your company, business, or creative endeavor. Jem explains how to select the right subject matter, pick a vlogging camera, and shoot your vlog. Plus, he goes over helpful post production and delivery strategies, including editing and integrating branding assets. Jem shows all of this by walking through the process with a business owner, Steven Soria of Make Smith Leather Company.
See more of the project we worked on with Lynda.com >>>>>>>>> https://www.lynda.com/Video-tutorials/Next-steps/567791/598316-4.html
Grab a custom belt for yourself, as well. Will make one up within a few days and ship it to ya!
Our 2017 summer workshop program is fulling underway with leather tooling, sandal making, tote bag making and last but not least, leather belt making. Please take a look at our class schedule to see a full list of available classes. Our first class was run by Brad Cooper of Cooper Saddlery in Buellton, CA. Brad opened his shop last summer and has been hand-making saddles of the high quality American craftsmanship money can buy you. Take a look at the photos below to see Brand in action teaching an 8 student class all about leather carving, shading, casing, coloring and basket weave stamping. Its was a beautiful day in sunny Santa Barbara, watching, learning and taking part in this lost craft.
Customer: Can I speak with Mike?
Me: No, there is no mike that works here. My name is Steven Soria, and you have arrived at our leather shop called Make Smith. How can I help you?
Customer: Quit messing with me, Mike, I haven't had all my coffee, yet.
Check out this awesome DIY we did with TEVA....
We’ve all been there: waiting at the baggage claim carousel with fingers crossed our suitcases made it from point A to B and no one picked ours up by mistake—no easy feat between flight delays and the fact that every suitcase looks, well, exactly the same.
Enter Steven Soria, the craftsman behind Santa Barbara, California-based leather goods shop MAKE SMITH. To help us celebrate the start of Spring Break season and National Craft Month, he whipped up some eye-catching leather luggage tags that will set your suitcases apart from the rest of the pack and get you where you’re going that much faster. Photos by CARA ROBBINS.
Meet the Maker: Steven Soria of Make Smith
How did you discover your passion for your art?
I grew up in my family’s leather-crafting business, where most of my play toys were art and crafting materials. In many ways, there wasn’t a discovery period for me because it’s been more of a lifetime journey. READ MORE >>>>
We're very excited to announce that famous sandal making class will be happening again this season at Make Smith Leather. Stac Fulwiler will be head down the 101 freeway from Oakland CA to teach a six our class. As always, all are welcome to participate. Here are the details:
When: Saturday, May 6th, 2017
Time: 11am - 5pm
Where: Make Smith Leather Co.
117 West De La Guerra St, Suite C, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Class Fee: $250 sign up through the shop!
Description: In a 6 hour workshop, you will learn how to make a pair of leather sandals, using your own feet for the fit and your own design for the style (or pick a design to make from my website). We'll provide the instruction, the tools, the materials and the leather. By the end of class you will have made your own pair of leather sandals! You will also learn some basic leather-working techniques and you’ll leave with a handout outlining sandal-making basics, including places to source materials in California.
Make Smith is a 500 square foot traditional leather-crafting workshop located at 117 West De La Guerra St Unit C, Santa Barbara CA 93101. Our goal is to provide the resources, education, and community for creative minds to make quality handcrafted leather goods. Our classes can enhance a growing career or satiate a long time desire to start a new skill in a small class format. We host a variety of classes in which students will make leather goods such as, a wallet, a belt, a bracelet, and much more. Our curriculum emphasizes DOING to learn, MAKING to be creative, and EMBRACING mistakes to gain experience. We empower our students to craft with their hands, become self sufficient and build confidence.
2017 Workshop Schedule:
Saturday, April 29th from 2 - 6pm :: Leather Tooling
Sunday, April 30th from 2 - 6pm :: Leather Tooling
Saturday, May 6th from 11am - to 5pm :: Sandal Making
Saturday, May 27th from 2 - 6pm :: Belt Making
Saturday June 10th, 2017 from 2 - 6pm :: Tote Bag Making
We never really had an official opening in Los Alamos to celebrate our little shop opening in North Santa Barbara County, but trust me when I tell you that lots of champagne has been flowing! For almost a four years now, Shelter Social Club has worked with us to develope small branded leather goods for the lobby shops at all of their locations, so it only seemed natural to start selling our tote bags and leather accessories, as well. You can now find a full assortment of our Make Smith branded goods at the Alamo Motel Gift shop. We're officially curating a small shop within the check-in lobby. Stop by and scope out whats happening at our new little shop @ The Alamo Motel, or better yet, book a room for the night and make a weekend adventure out of it. But don't forget to stop into Municipal Wine Makers who has a quaint little tasting room on the hotel property.
We are super stoked to announce that we have launched a new project with UGG Mens Accessories. They will be selling out leather belts both online and in their retail stores. Please take a look when you get a minute;
We are very exciting to add Stace Fulwiler to our roster of talented teachers for Fall/Winter 2016 Leather crafting classes. Below are the details of her upcoming sandal making workshop:
First of all, what is Sciatica? According to wikipedia; Sciatica is a medical condition of pain going down the leg from the lower back. Its pretty intense, and if you've every had this condition, you know if really NO JOKE. Its basically, extremely bad back pain. For me it all began with my huge ass wallet! I was carrying around so much junk in it; old credit card receipts, plastic gift cards to places I was never going to visit, etc. Shortly after a few chiropractor visits I ditched the old brick shaped leather wallet and made myself a prototype wallet, small, minimal and could fit in my front pocket. So, no more sitting on my wallet. No removed all the clutter, migrated over to this new new clean, thing and minimal wallet, and all my back problems began to shape up. It took at least three months of stretching and rehabilitation, but I was able to cure my Sciatica. The Credit Card Sleeve is now our best selling wallet.
The added benefit? I stopped loosing my wallet because I didn't have to take it out of my back pocket every time I had to sit down, get in the car, etc. So I stopped leaving it around in really odd places. It now sits safely in my front pocket.
We accepted a really awesome design contract with Marge Cafarelli, Managing Partner with Urban Developments and the leading force behind Alma del Pueblo. The plan was to open a beer garden (name respectfully "The Garden") that would showcase some of the best craft beers made in the central coast with a focus on Santa Barbara County makers of all sort of beers from Lagers to sours beers. There will be 41 tapped cages available for tasting at any given time. So this is where we came in. We designed the tap handles from vegetable tanned leather, embossed their logo and sewed them up. We used both natural finished and hand-dyed. In a few words, we were very please at the results.
Last night was the opening and it was a huge success! People enjoyed hanging out in the space which was co-designed by The Brothers of Industry and Marge Caferelli, herself.
Don't worry we are here for you on Saturday, but Sunday we will be closed to hang with Dad! If you need to stop by we've got a few cool gift ideas.
1. Bill Fold Wallet - This rad handmade wallet comes in tan, brown, black, ox-blood or cognac, hold up to 14 cards and has some room for cash. See more...
2. The Craftsmen Apron - Whether dad is a professional wood worker or just a backyard weekend BBQ'er he'll appreciate how well made this denim aprons were build. See more...
3. Leather Knife Roll - Sure, dad has lots of knives, but where does he keep them? He'll love this carry case to help keep all his expensive knives in one place. See more...
4. Key Chain - Help keep dad organize and looking classy. Our key chains with clip are a really great small gift. Don't forget to ask to have it embossed with his initials!!! See more...
What are the things in life that get better with age? Some would say wine, art, and whiskey. But, what about leather? Leather gets better with some age. And that's why the adaptation from spirits to leather for the name Cognac works so well. Not only does it look exactly like a well aged spirit, but in a similar fashion the language around brown leather continues to become more rich: colored, deeply colored, brown brandy, very fine flavor brandy, perfectly pale - the most famous Charente specialties came in various shades of amber and copper. After four decades Cognac is still improving, and so will these leather goods. Everyday that goes by your leather goods take on more character and develop a luster that you cannot duplicate. But with time and patients you will have the most valuable heirloom pieces. This Father's Day give this well aging gift to the dad in your life that keeps getting better with age. You can find our key chains, belts and wallets by following these links or stopping into our leather shop in Santa Barbara, CA and seeing them in person. Let us guide your Father's Day shopping. Shop our collection >>>
Show Room Hours:
Mon - Saturday 12-6pm
117 W. De La Guerra Street Unit C, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Alexandra Gibbs is a freelance photographer working and living in the Santa Barbara, CA area. Previously, Alexandra was a producer at a photography studio in Manhattan where she lived after attending Brooks Institute of Photography. She effectively captured a day in the life here at Make Smith. It was our pleasure to work with her and have her visit. See the full album >>>
See the full album >>>
All photos were shot by Alexandra Gibbs.