Hides and Stitches

Business Information

Business Owners Dan and Tiffany Garbowitz

Business Name: Hides and Stitches

Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Project description

Website: hidesandstitches.com

New Hobby
While searching for the perfect naturally tanned belt to add to his wardrobe, Dan Garbowitz found that retailers who carried the specific full-grain natural belts that he wanted, were asking for $100 or more. Dan thought he could make one for less, so he purchased the leather and tools needed and went to work. Dan said, “My first belt turned out pretty well, so I thought I might try my hand at making a wallet. My new hobby sort of snowballed from there. In order to afford better tools and better leather, I started selling belts for $40 locally. When a few sold, and I realized people were excited about the product, I decided to open up shop.”

Meet the Power Team
What started off as a hobby for Dan, soon transpired into a successful online business that he runs with supportive business partner, his wife Tiffany. Not only are Dan and Tiffany owners and makers of Hides and Stitches, but they are also the parents to two beautiful children. Tiffany said, “Each piece in our collection is designed and handmade by one of us. Every wallet, every case, every key clip is sewn by hand, ensuring longevity and providing uniqueness to the product. We value owning our own business. This gives us the opportunity to work together everyday on something that we are both passionate about. We get to be creative and be a part of a unique makers community. It also allows us to be home and raise our two beautiful children.”

When asked what their main challenge has been since starting their business, the Garbowitz express that it’s hard to find a balance in running a business while raising their family. Tiffany said, “We have a 4 year old son and a 2 year old daughter. One of us has to take care of the children while the other works. It has worked well for us so far, but it is definitely our biggest challenge. We are both fortunate and thankful to have willing grandparent babysitters! They believe in us and our business and we are truly grateful for all their support. Having this support allows us to continue our passion to bring heirloom quality, handmade, precision crafted leather goods and accessories to people at accessible prices.”

It’s the Simple Things
Despite the chaotic challenge of having a balanced household and business life, Dan and Tiffany find joy in their small daily wins. This positive attitude is a huge part of their growing success. Dan said, “We value the reward of customers choosing our products as part of what they will carry on a daily basis. Most of our products are very personal, and when someone chooses to buy from us, it means they believe our products fit their needs and style. This motivates us during the hard times to continue with what we are doing.”

Advice for Business Success
Like many talents and skills it’s vital to stay updated with the current trends. This also applies to running a business. You want to always ensure that you are open to the current trends within your specific industry. This will allow you to further your success within the industry. Dan said, “In the maker industry, it’s obviously important to feed your creativity as much as possible, and join the local artisan community so you have a network of supporters with experience who can offer you help and advice as needed.”