Making a Comeback

A few years back I sort of abandoned this blog for a new one that was part of my website, and it seemed like a good idea at the time.  Well, I feel like I don’t update it very much and I think I will be more active over here, so I am coming back!  I spent a long time trying to get things back on track after my cancer treatment a few years back.  I have now been in remission for 3 years, and just had a clean scan last week.  I feel like, for the first time in a while, I am on my way back up.  I have been going to community college for the last 2 years and applied to schools this year and got into San Jose State for Industrial Design.

I am super excited to start this new chapter in my life, and all this good news has me thinking maybe I should get back to blogging a little more.  I used to enjoy sharing my leather creations, and although my business has gone through some tumult due to my health issues, I am proud to say that things have been going really well lately.  I have moved to focusing more on shows, and getting my products in shops and it has really allowed me to expand into more avenues that I have wanted to for a long time.  So, in a lot of ways, I am at a point that I thought was impossible 3 years ago, and it really just hit me that this is the case.  I still make a ton of knife rolls, but make an equal amount of purses, bags, satchels, and am starting to make stuff more stuff that is in my own wheelhouse, like art supply storage and such.  I have had the luck of having my last semester at community college be mostly made up of art classes and it has really made me realize that I need a better balance in my life.  This thinking is what led me to go back to school in the first place.  Making leather goods is something I love to do, but it has never quite brought me the financial or emotional stability that I need to reach at some point.  So, I am headed to school to do something new, but right up my alley, and I think it will open up a whole world of possibilities that I didn’t even know existed.

Along the way, I will be moving, and trying to find a good way to move my leather business with me.  This may take a couple of overlap months, where I will still have my shop in San Luis Obispo, but will be just producing goods to stock my site while I am up at school.  Any  artist communities or group/shared workspaces in the bay area?  I would love to eventually get into some kind of group set up over my current lonely set up that tends to lead me to feeling isolated.

My hope for the future has been restored, after 6 years of generally sucky ness,  and I feel good about it.  From now on I will probably be posting a mix of leather work like I have in the past, as well as fine art work, such as printmaking, as I am about to pull the trigger on a small etching press!

I have been really excited about some new products that I have been working on lately, mostly these awesome little pen rolls:

 

They are 8.5″ tall and 15″ across when open and have a 4″ x 8.5″ zip pouch and four slots for pens and tools.  I will be releasing a version with a snap instead of a wrap soon as well, due to some customer feedback, but I will keep the wrap version because I like the simplicity of it.  I have been working on a smaller version that isn’t quite perfect yet as well, so look out for that.  These are in my shop at JAWLeatherGoods.com now for $80.  Makes a great gift for your artist friends!

Thank you everyone who have been customers in the past, I really appreciate all the support for my products that I have received over the last 9 years, it’s been a crazy ride, on both work and life sides, but it seems like it’s all sort of coming into focus finally.

-Jonathan

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August update in September – Where have I been?

Dear Everyone, 

If I have not answered your email, or left you hanging on an update, or you have noticed that all the promises I made in previous posts haven’t come true, there is a reason.  Over the last 6-10 months I have been slowly losing energy, wondering what is wrong and feeling fatigued and weak on and off.  Unfortunately, I have been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a blood cancer.  

I found out about two weeks ago, and luckily have been (slowly) working and getting orders out in a somewhat timely manner.  I am hoping things will continue this way.  I start Chemotherapy the day after tomorrow, thursday the 5th.  From what I understand, I should still be able to work, so things shouldn’t be dramatically be affected.

Feel free to email me, especially if you need something within a certain time frame, as wait times will probably be a little longer than usual.  Worst case scenario, I will close the shop temporarily, but hopefully this won’t be necessary.  Availability of certain items will be in and out too.

I’ll update here once I see how I feel once the chemo starts, to give a better idea of what wait times will be and how I’m feeling.  

 

Thanks so much to all my customers, hopefully everything goes smoothly, and I should be cured in about 6 months!  Really cannot wait.  

 

-Jon