We had the good fortune of connecting with Rubi & Mike Powl and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rubi & Mike, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
In February 2018, we did our first Cupid’s Undies Run in downtown Denver where we finished second in fundraising. We were so impressed with the Cupid’s Charity, which raises money for Neurofibromatosis research, that we wanted to do more. During a week-long Christmas vacation in Estes Park we decided to combine our hobbies – Mike’s love of leather work and Rubi’s love of fashion and graphic design background – to form Tiny Dog Leather Studio. Tiny Dog Leather Studio, which handmakes all of their products, donates 10% of all net proceeds to our Cupid’s Team page https://my.cupids.org/JDPOWL. Back in 2016, Rubi’s son and Mike’s grandson, Jake Dylan, was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis. NF1 is a genetic disorder that affects 1 in every 3,000 births with complications ranging from neurological problems, to skeletal problems (scoliosis, osteoporosis), to vision problems resulting from optic tumors, to cardiovascular and breathing problems, to even cancer. In two years, Tiny Dog Leather Studios has donated about $1,500 to our Cupid’s Team page. We are excited and dedicated to continuing to make the best quality, handmade leather products while also educating our clients about NF. To learn more about Tiny Dog Leather Studio and browse our products please visit us at www.TinyDogLeatherStudio.com or follow us at @TinyDogLeatherStudio on Facebook and Instagram.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Tiny Dog Leather Studio is 100% handmade in our houses where we cut, stain, sew and finalize our products. We started with only $500, old tools and a dream to help Jake Dylan and others with NF. Since then we have added new tools, leather sewing machine and many more products to our line, and even customize certain products based on client’s needs. It was not easy starting up as we both have other jobs but our passion to fundraise for the NF community and offer a quality handmade product pushed us to continue the journey. The creative process of making each product unique, made with quality leather, makes us feel confident that anyone will enjoy our products. One important lessons we have learned is that you can transform your fear into something good. As long as you have discipline and a good work ethic you can make a difference in your life and others. For Tiny Dog Leather Studio it is very important to use our talents and skills to continue to bring awareness to the NF Community. Our products are made with love, hope and desire to eventually find a cure for NF.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
A week long trip to Colorado – is that enough time? We enjoy the outdoors and the National Parks Colorado and surrounding states have, as well as National Monuments, hiking trails, breweries – the list goes on and on. One of the places that we cannot live without is Create Cooking School. Create has an amazing vibe with the best owners and staff, great offerings and coolest patrons. The team at Create has become dear friends to our family and they are a big supporter of Tiny Dog Leather Studio.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Children’s Tumor Foundation and Cupids Charity for all the work they do to find a cure for Neurofibromatosis. Rubi’s husband Jeff, Jake, Zack and Mike’s wife Peggy Powl, our entire family and all of our clients !!