Built On and Building Legacy. 

Charlie "Buzz" working on the nursery.After serving in World War II, my grandfather Charles grew his nursery from the ground up, propagating cuttings from local flora into an entire inventory of nursery stock. Starting from humble beginnings, one of his first jobs was paid not in cash but in the trees located on the client's property. He would then sell the trees, remove and replant them. From this small enterprise, he built a company that did work from Milwaukee to Chicago (and beyond).  Very much a man of his generation and environment, he was not one for overt displays of affection and he was enigmatic to me in that sense. But I remember some very clear things from him. 

When he would smile it was very genuine, very inviting. If you got my grandfather to smile, it was a rewarding achievement. He was a man that believed hard work was far superior to shortcuts. He was a man that respected the world around him, from the people he knew and worked with to the plants and business he grew. As a result, he commanded respect from the world around him. 
He also had a penchant for anise square candies which, from time to time, he would slip into your hand when mom or grandma wasn't looking.

And I suppose those are the things he is in my mind. Genuineness, hard work, respect, and the idea that the little things matter.

My father continues those lessons. Over the years, he and I have worked for others and started our own businesses (together and separately). Whether it's in construction or art, my father is constantly striving for perfection. It drove me crazy as a young man, the idea that "good enough" is not really good enough, but I now see the wisdom in making things as perfectly as you can. He is the reason I have the motto "if I don't like, I don't sell it". If I can't be proud of what I make, I have no business asking my clients to enjoy it.

I have also watched him over the years in dealing with others and he has always been the pinnacle of fairness, often times to his own detriment if needed. His underlying premise is always to simply treat others as you'd want to be treated. Sometimes that means you have to do things that you know won't be rewarded in a financial way or perhaps even reciprocated. You do the right thing because it is the right thing to do. 

With all these concepts in mind, I started Two Ravens Trading Company. A company that brings my love of leatherworking to fruition.

•Leather is about the senses. Soft, yet firm to the touch. Inviting. Rich, full smells. Beautiful to look at with it's soft luster. 
•Leather is about purpose. Functional. Durable. Fashionable. Indoors or outdoors. At work or a night on the town. 
•Leather is about memory. Whether it's grandpa's leather knife sheath, dad's old jacket, or the piece that you hand down to your children. Leather lasts and carries memories with it. It carries...Legacy. 

That is what I do here. I strive to make beautiful, functional, pieces that can be passed from generation to generation. I hold to the ideas of my father and my grandfather. I take pride in creating leather pieces that represent those ideals of genuineness, hard work, respect, perfection, fairness, and the idea that the little things matter.

Welcome to Two Ravens Trading Company: Legacy LeatherCraft