It turns out that many people who do leather work professionally protect their methods and techniques as shop secrets, which I totally understand and respect. Unfortunately, that leaves us amateurs to figure out everything from scratch for ourselves. It’s getting a little better now, with more leathercrafters sharing their knowledge on forums or youtube. But it can still be hard to find people sharing perv-specific designs, patterns and techniques.
When I began the blog in 2010, I figured if I had about 5 regular visitors I would consider the experiment a success. 1.4 million page views later, the audience for the blog has far exceeded my expectations. The best part has been meeting pervy and creative people of all stripes from all over the world. If you have ever wondered if you’re alone in your interests, I can assure you that you’re not, and most pervs I’ve met in person have been kind, intelligent and otherwise normal-acting, fully-functional folks. It's been a blast.
THANK YOU TO THE FOLLOWING:
I wanted to thank a bunch of people who have been longtime friends and supporters, including a few that aren’t with us anymore. I have to start off here with Mark at SeriousBondage.com, without whom this blog would never have happened at all. His site inspired me to do something to share this odd passion with others, and the fact that he linked to me with a banner on his homepage was the primary source of traffic to my blog for many years. Thanks Mark, for the support and inspiration! It wouldn't have happened without you.
Also, thanks to other friends, artists and inspiring people I’ve met along the way:
sammy, thisgirl, Meguca, -EM-, Elizabeth and Dave Andrews, Jeff Gord (RIP), Lew Rubens, Mumman, Dalton Ott, Karen Hsiao, PJW, Serene Isley, cyaneyedinbarclay, Londonropetop, Bob Bassett, Captive Kink, Kevin at Straitjacketed.com, JustJimAndWendy, Kate O'Brien, Le_Cordonnier, Fragileslave, Restricted Senses, and all my wonderful previous clients.
If you are interested in having something custom-made, I do apologize, but I could never find a way to make that whole process work. The reasons (in case you’re interested) break down into 4 categories:
FINANCIAL - It’s difficult to produce custom-items at a price point people are willing (or able) to pay. There is great amount of risk in making one-off pieces: a single mistake on the last step can result in a ruined piece, meaning I have to eat the entire cost of the raw materials - which is very high when it comes to leather.
People are used to the cost of mass-produced items, so their frame of reference is often skewed. And for almost everything I make I’ve seen knockoffs (for less that my own cost of raw materials) for sale on eBay. People who appreciate quality and have the means to pay for it are as rare as hens teeth.
Finally, I have a day job, and the prospect of making enough to replace that income from leathercraft is so remote as to be laughable.
Doing this has made me understand why quality leather gear costs so much, and why people who do custom work are so rare. It takes a lot of time, effort and an appetite for risk to make a go at it.
TIME - I get a ton of requests for gear, but I don’t have the capacity to do them in a timely manner, so I mostly have to turn people down. I hate saying no, and it becomes a constant, ongoing bummer to answer my email or FetLife messages. At this stage in my life, I’m ready to shut the door on the whole thing. A “no” can set you free, and I need that freedom right now.
DIFFICULTY - Dealing with clients and making a custom item based on their supplied measurements is a procedure fraught with risk. Even with the added step of making test-fit prototypes, there is a possibility for errors and problems in the final result. Creating custom patterns, then making prototypes is time-consuming and expensive, and in the end I may end up working for just a couple of dollars an hour. It’s just not worth the risk, and the expense/payoff ratio just doesn't work out.
CREATIVE - I hate limitations, and when you’re working on a custom piece for a paid client, you have to do their bidding. That makes total sense, (it is for them, after all) but the thing I enjoy most is being able to follow my own ideas, wherever they may lead. The best-case-scenario is when my desire to make something aligns with the client’s vision, but that doesn’t always happen.
I have many ideas for projects in the works that I haven’t seen anyone do before, and if I don’t make them, I don’t think anyone will. People can point to something once you make it, and say “I want one”, but I’m more interested in making things from my imagination that I haven't seen before, and without limitation of cost, functionality or aesthetics.
Collaborating with like-minded artists and photographers has been profoundly rewarding for me, so it’s where I hope to focus my efforts in the future. I still plan to share projects and techniques along the way, and welcome feedback and questions anyone may have. Thanks for your time, the comments, and I hope you continue to enjoy the blog.