January 05, 2017

How One Leather Craftsman Is Changing Commerce

By Steven Soria


Everybody has to Start Somewhere

“Of course I’m a jack of all trades. I’m a business owner.” – Steven Soria, Founder of Make Smith

In our bubble of business, ecommerce seems to be the dominant force, but realistically the total percentage of ecommerce sales compared to brick and mortar sales is around 6%, according to Harvard Business Review. Although the scale of sales is unbalanced and the challenges faced are unique, an online business and a brick and mortar business have one blaring commonality — they’re the brainchildren of entrepreneurs.

Make Smith is run from an unremarkable 15’ x 20’ building tucked behind a dive bar in downtown Santa Barbara. Steven Soria, CEO and head craftsman of Make Smith, spends most of his time in this converted workshop crafting artisan leather goods — skills taught to him by his father and his grandfather. Before he recently brought on two apprentices, Steven made every single piece himself by hand.


Make Smith