Cow Tattoos

pattern printed on outside of leatherpattern on leatherpattern on leather

Starting my own business is an amazing experience. Here, I’m using “amazing” in the sense that events emerge which simultaneously bewilder and challenge and impress. Responding to accidents, stumbles, to those things I didn’t predict, and don’t have training for, has been an opportunity for creativity beyond just the visual and engineering creativity exercised in designing the board.

There’s also an interesting new pressure. I am the final, and most times, sole decision-maker. I need to put myself in the shoes of the customer, think about how they’re going to be affected by decisions I make, balance shipping time vs. quality vs. process efficiency & consistency. Alongside that, I need to integrate the impact of my decisions into the financial spreadsheet and see if I’m still making money (or at least generating value or setting myself up to make money in the future). This decision-making is a responsibility I’ve not quite settled into. It is a shiny new sneaker that yet needs some foot time to feel natural.

What I mean to say, by way of this diarizing introduction, is that there has been an accident with the leather.

For my current run, the leather backings have had the registration pattern printed accidentally on the wrong side. Now there is a pattern on what should be the unmarked back of the leather piece – the “shiny” as opposed to the “rough” side. The photos above show an example.

In terms of all the factors and forces mentioned above, this is a new tricky decision I’m faced with. Immediately I know I can’t ask customers to accept a product that doesn’t look like what I advertised via the showcase photos. Do I just toss this run of leather in the garbage? That would incur a painful financial sting, but I need to be ready to accept it. Beyond just the money, cutting and lasering new leather would also push every customer’s order delivery dates back at least a week.

Looking at the registration pattern that has been etched in, it actually looks pretty cool, aesthetically. I think I’ll go ahead and burn the registration pattern into the correct side, and then ask a subset of the customers whose delivery dates were soonest if they’d like to have a backing with one of the patterns on it. Hopefully some customers will enjoy having this new “tattooed” cow option, and I’ll be able to keep the shipments moving out.

In the meantime, does anyone know a supplier that can deliver pre-cut leather?

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1 Response to Cow Tattoos

  1. none says:

    I buy my leather from wicket and craig, good product, took a long time to ship ( i got it split to 5 oz instead of the normal 8-10 oz.weight). If you call them they might be willing to cut it to size for you so it does not hurt to ask.


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