A hobby that expanded into a business – Blackkat Leather


 | September 1, 2015
Our interview with Cassandra Amu from Blackkat Leather.
Tell us the story behind Blackkat Leather. How did it start? How did you come up with the idea? 

A couple years ago on a flight back from the East Coast, we were rifling unnamed-1through the skymall (as you do on domestic flights when you forget to bring your own entertainment) and a beautifully crafted Made in USA laptop bag caught our attention. Unfortunately, the price of this bag would have cleared our savings account. The bag construction didn’t look too complicated so we decided to try to make it ourselves. Blackkat Leather started as a hobby making a few designs for friends and has gradually expanded into a small business. Our business is focused on simplicity and quality materials that are still affordable for most. 

Softball question here, but what is so special about your bags?
All designs are created, cut and sewn by hand. Each one is focused on IMG_20140824_191509simplicity and functionality, as well as sustainability. The materials used in our bags are all of the highest quality and are durable to withstand a lifetime of use. 
What future plans do you have for Blackkat Leather?
Because our business is still so new our plans are focused on increasing our popularity and getting our designs into more retail stores. This will be our first year selling at art festivals and we are hopeful to increase our outreach to the public. We hope Blackkat Leather will continue to keep proving that Made in USA products can be affordable as well as great quality. 
Have you always thought of yourself as an entrepreneur?
unnamedNo not really. Neither Drew nor I have a background in leather making. However, we are both very artistic and leather design and crafting has come naturally to us. The leather bag making started out as a hobby and with so much interest from our friends and public media it has turned into something more. We both continue to work full time jobs and try to fit in the leather business weeknights and on the weekends. Watching the business grow with more and more interest is very exciting. 
Has living in Santa Cruz had an effect on your business?
Yes it has. Santa Cruz is a great community to promote hand made products. Shopping local is a huge focus in Santa Cruz and many of the local retailers are very willing to carry our products. Sustainability is also a staple of Santa Cruz and the fact that our bags are designed to last has been a huge selling point. 
To learn more about Blackkat Leather go to their website – Blackkat Leather
Do you love hand Crafted items made in Santa Cruz? If so check out our next event – Crafted in Santa Cruz

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