Featured Tippmann Customer
Customer Name: Talks With Animals
Address: 37 Sesame Street, Keene, NH 03431
Company: Onzaamidoon Wiijayaaw Awakaanag (OWA) (translates to Talks With Animals)
Years in the leather industry: 55 +
How did you get started in the leather industry?
We were poor and I had to learn to make things I wanted and needed. I trapped Muskrats and Beavers and tanned the skins to make things.
What aspect(s) of the leather industry you are involved in?
This is from my business plan:
Onzaamidoon Wiijayaaw Awakaanag, hereafter know as OWA, is a sole proprietor company owned by Talks With Animals. OWA creates and sells handcrafted custom products made of leather and wood and creates glass etchings. Most items are created as custom products according to customer requirements. Some finished products are on hand to demonstrate the types of products that OWA creates. The owner, Talks With Animals, has been designing and creating both leather and wood products for over 55 years. Currently the business is operated at 37 Sesame Street in Keene, NH, 03431, a private residence. However, it is the intent of Talks With Animals to own a building in southern NH that would serve as a manufacturing facility as well as a retail store for OWA. In addition to the retail store, OWA plans to operate a website to promote the business and where orders are processed. The target market includes Aboriginal Peoples and people who prefer hand crafted leather and wood products and hand etched glass items. OWA considers doing repairs on leather products on a case-by-case basis. OWA uses top of the line raw materials to create the custom products. All products sold by OWA are handcrafted by Talks With Animals. OWA does not resell products from other sources.
How did you originally hear about Tippmann?
Through The Leather Crafters & Saddle Journal. I have dreamed of owning one for a long time.
What types of machines did you use before Tippmann and if you had used any other Tippmann Machines?
I have used an old electric industrial heavy duty machine used to sew rugs together. I have also used, and still do, an electric sewing machine to sew light leather materials such as pocketbooks. I have never used any other Tippmann products.
Pros to the Tippmann versus other machines?
I love the Boss. The Boss is an excellent machine for the type of custom work I do. An electric machine just does not work well for what I make. It took me about 8 hours to sew on one wear sole by hand for one moccasin. With the Boss it takes me 5-10 minutes. How is that for increasing production?!
Cons to the Tippmann versus other machines?
Sometimes I find it difficult to hold a piece and hold the threads when starting the sewing process.
Suggestions to others who are looking to get started in a leather craft.
Get some professional help to develop and document a business plan. The business plan will determine if you should go into the business or not. Do not just start a business without doing a business plan.
What has changed in the leather crafting industry since you first started?
Too many things to mention here. From the leather tanning and sewing machine industries to the computer industries to what customers want, there are many, many things that have changed over the past 55 years. The world is flat. Things can be bought, sold, and be seen in seconds now around the globe. That did not happen 55 years ago.
In your opinion, what is the most important thing to remember before beginning a new piece.
Have a plan and a pattern, even if you have to take apart an existing piece to make the pattern.
To make your own puckertoe moccasins, Talks with Animals was kind enough to put together a complete guide showing step by step how to make them with the Tippmann Boss. Here is a link to the pdf: http://www.tippmannindustrial.com/images/pdf/Guide-puckertoemocs.pdf