We had the good fortune of connecting with William Reeves and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi William, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Growing up I was always one of the kids who was pretty good at art and making things, so I have always enjoyed creative things, and because of that, I have always owned some type of creative small business since I was in early high school. With that in mind, I have always been interested in old world ‘lost arts” as I call them (i.e. pottery, blacksmithing, glass blowing, leather craft etc.) Around 2011, I was really into watching blacksmiths and similar creatives on the internet. In 2012 I moved from Philadelphia to Denver with my now wife. Obviously I could not become a “smithy” in a 2 bedroom apartment, my neighbors would kill me or I would light the building on fire. So as i fell into the youtube whirlwind of artisans, I discovered some leather crafters and thought it was really cool, since you can essentially make almost anything from leather. It also did not take up a lot of room to get started and did not make much noise at all (good for the neighbors). I started it as a hobby in 2012 and I called it Quiet Leather Works because I could not become a blacksmith, and now I have been full time for almost 9 years.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
As I stated earlier, I have always been an entrepreneur since early high school. I first started a tee shirt company with my close friend James ( who is now a successful artist as well ). I had another similar company in college and I eventually started a small skateboard company out of Philadelphia called Voyage Skateboard Co. I was fortunate enough to have my grandmother help me financially to start the business and although it was not a huge some of money to start a business like that, it was also not and insignificant amount. After about 2 years my now wife, then girlfriend got into Denver University Law School, and we moved to Denver in 2011. The skateboard company was more of a regional east coast brand at that time so I eventually needed to let it go. I soon picked up leather crafting and with outlets to sell art or crafts like Etsy and other companies of the like, I was able to start making some side money from my full time job. As a leather craftsman, I am not really doing anything different than most others. I make the common everyday items like belts, bags and wallets, but I also offer customization on certain things, like if someone has a company logo or you want initials etc. I am just a guy who really enjoys making things for other people that will last for a very long time and look good.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, anyone who knows me will certainly know that I will be taking anyone to 1up Colfax. I am there quite a bit, because my friends and I are pinball nerds and you can catch us there almost any day of the week. When friends come in, they always want to see red rocks whether they have tickets or not, but just to say they were there. If they want to hike, my go to, is to take them up to Lake Haiyaha in Rocky Mountain National Park. As far as food goes, there are some obvious cheap eats like Cherry Cricket for burgers, or Taco De Mexico for tacos. We like Dos Santos for higher end tacos. My wife and I like Charlie Brown’s for late night drinks and some piano.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Certainly my family, they have always been supportive with what I have wanted to do. My wife as well, she has never questioned a thing about me starting a business and is sometimes more confident in me then I am ( she even gave me the entire 2nd bedroom for my workshop ). Skateboarding has also taken me to a lot of places in my life, introduced me to countless people and I honestly think if it were not for skateboarding and creativity of skateboarders and our community, I would not be where I am currently.
Other: My Etsy site which is different then the items on my site. https://www.etsy.com/shop/QuietLeather