This month’s Mappy Hour Maker Series, presented by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., we sat down with Hunter Leach, the founder and maker behind Snowday Leather. Based out of Missoula Montana, Snowday creates custom leather goods for all types of adventurers.
Giveaway: As part of our series, we’re giving away a custom leather belt and sheath. Enter by November 21.
What’s your connection to the outdoors?
The outdoors have always been my passion. It was introduced to me at an early age and I love to be in the ocean and on the snow. Outdoor sports are the focal point of my life, yet, even though my parents introduced camping and skiing to me as a kid, it didn’t really take over my life until I was an adult. That’s why I moved to Montana, for the snow.
How did you decide to start your own leather business?
I was gifted a few leather working tools from my mom. It was just a box of old leather working tools. They just sat in a closet for a while but when my wallet started falling apart, I decided to make myself a wallet.
Why did your mom think you’d want this old box of leather making tools?
My dad was a carpenter and woodworker, I always liked making stuff and I like being creative…so she just thought I would like it.
Why work with leather?
I actually had no interest in leather before i started working with it. I considered woodworking because that’s a natural option for me. I made some kayak paddles and I thought that might be a way to make money. I’d been trying to think how to be my own boss – I don’t like working for other people – so I was always on that search. Woodworking is cool but how many people are going to buy custom wood paddles? Leather is cool because everyone uses a wallet, everyone needs a belt, the items I make are really common and could be used by anyone.
Where do you source your leather from?
I get my leather from a variety of tanneries around the country and one in Tuscany. I chose them based on quality. I want to work exclusively with vegetable tan leather because it’s higher quality; the color consistency, durability and grain density.
It’s fun to work with and i know its gonna last.
How has your business evolved since you first started?
The products have changed a lot, I have a new wallet design and now do bags, knife sheaths, mugs, valet trays and belts. I’ve expanded what I’ve made a lot and invested in tools that help with efficiency. My goal is to get the website and social media to be a bit stronger so I’m not so tied to local markets and can have more independence.
Whats next for the company?
I’m going on a Southwest tour so you’ll see Snowday in Arizona and Southern California this winter.
Keep up with Hunter and Snowday Leather on instagram: @snowdayleather