Born and raised in Denver, CO, I started working with leather out of sheer curiosity a few months before my 21st birthday. My humble beginnings started with a piece of lined paper, a couple scraps of suede from the local hobby shop, and some tools my dad had lying around from his decades old leather experiments.
I fell in love with leather as a medium, it has all of my favorite aspects of fabric and wood, which I have been working with for most of my life. Over my first few years of recreational leather working I quickly realized that if I wanted to pursue my craft I would have to make products of high enough quality to sell. It was in the moment of this realization that Steergear was born.
I have been a bike messenger a little longer than I have been working with leather. It was the combination of my passions for both that created the foundation for my business. I began by making messenger oriented products such as u-lock holsters, beer koozies, hip pouches and eventually full size messenger bags. I have never shied away from custom orders, which has led to developing knife and tool rolls, various card holders, purses, wallets, belts, watch bands, laptop cases, camera cases, portfolios, and even a custom designed tool vest for a carpenter friend.
As a designer my aim has always been simplicity. I want my products to be intuitive and user friendly. I believe my work should take on an age and patina to reflect the personality and style of the owner. More importantly I want products to not break down. Through rigorous trial and critique of materials, techniques and designs I consistently strive for a more durable product. My goal is to create a product that will outlive you.
Growing up I've always had an adoration for art. From a young age I knew it was something I intended to make a career out of. Art was the only thing I could seem to keep focused on during my childhood and teenage years. I found myself at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago just months after graduating high school. I had always focused on painting but during my time at SAIC I found myself taking an interest ceramic sculpture. This is where my work drastically grew in scale and my style as artist finally came to fruition. I've worked in many mediums, but leather has been an entirely new experience. Working with leather is like getting the best of both worlds. For me, it is like sculpting, painting and illustrating all in one. Leather as a medium is all about craftsmanship. With leather there is no hiding your mistakes. Your first go is your last. It has really helped render my skills and allowed me to except my flaws. I'm always up for a challenge and love doing custom illustrations on my pieces. I want our products to reflect the personalities of the people rocking them.
I have joined teams with my husband, Andy in creating and establishing SteerGear. Working together has allowed us to collaborate on projects and ideas which has ultimately lead us to transcend as artists and creators. We are constantly learning from one an another, bouncing ideas, and critiquing each other. As a force, we hope to see our company grow and flourish with age, much like our leather products do.