February 29, 2016

Desert & Denim 2016 Recap

By Macy Pryor
Desert & Denim 2016 Recap

Here at Make Smith, we appreciate dirty boots. Do you know why? It's because they tell a story of an adventure... We're still brushing the desert sand off our boots after an incredible weekend working Make Smith's booth at the Desert & Denim trade show in Joshua Tree, CA. Put on by Juniper Ridge and hosted by Mohave Sands Motel, the weekend was filled with nerding out about leather, meeting other like-minded artisans, attending demonstrations, and drinking some tasty beverages. 

The intention of the show "to introduce unique brands to a curated group of buyers who appreciate an American style and value a community experience over the repetitive transaction of an average trade show", was exactly how it felt. Many vendors from all over the place came to show their goods, talk about their work, and lead demonstrations. Steven showed the crowd how to make our new tooled knife sheath. Something we have been practicing at the shop with the help of our super saddle maker friend Brad Cooper. We love the knife sheath because it keeps our sharp Anza Knives safe, while also looking great attached to your side. 

We were lucky enough to be placed in the middle of "leather row", and filled much of our time nerding out about leather with Bulldaogge & CO, Red Clouds Collective, DoomedNYC, and Sweet Trade to name a few. We all have different styled products, but the same materials, so it was great to share leather technique, frustrations, and what machines are running the industry. To make sure we didn't get too dehydrated in the desert, Union Wine, Sixpoint Brewery, and Tincup Whiskey were steady flowing, and if you ever needed a little pick-me-up sweet, Endorfin foods had some bomb chocolate.

It's necessary to take a step away from work for a few days to attend an event like Desert & Denim, because man you come back with some great stories, inspiration, and orders! We had so much fun in the Desert with all you insanely talented vendors! Thank you Juniper Ridge for organizing such a great weekend. We look forward to D&D 2017.


(Motorcycle and Camping photo credit: Candy Mountain Collective.)