February is Black History Month, and Tandy is celebrating by showcasing some of our favorite makers, small business owners, associates, and friends—people who make their mark in our lives every day with their enduring spirit of creativity and innumerable contributions to the world of leatherwork.
“You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”― Maya Angelou
Damon Ingram, owner of After Hours MFG
Owner of, After Hours MFG, Damon Ingram, is a self-taught leather craftsman who has a passion for creating quality products with a compelling brand! He bought his first leather hide from Tandy two years ago and has never looked back. Follow Damon on Instagram @damonmarkmadeit and @afterhoursmfg. Follow Damon's creative journey on YouTube Link to: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFNwPYa-JsgAgckSgSWILyw
Yaa Rivera owner of, AfroRicanArt
Yaa Rivera is the owner of AfroRicanArt, a family owned business, specializing in handmade alternative leather fashion and accessories celebrating African & Puertorican culture. "I'm lucky to have a Tandy leather location just 30 minutes away so I can easily dip in to pick up supplies or just talk to other leather rafters when I need inspiration or guidance." -Yaa
Follow Yaa on Instagram @afroricanart or visit her website: https://afroricanart.com/!
Nicole Coleman, owner of Sow Cole Creations
Meet Northern Virginia's Nicole Coleman, creator of Sow Cole Creations! Sow Cole Creations was born out of Nicole's love of visual arts, color, creativity, and the desire to share that love with the people around her. As a creative designer and artisan, Nicole has fused function and flair in a new and fresh way to create leather accessories. Whether in jeans or business wear or dressed for a night out, her clients love the versatility of Nicole's creations—classy and classic with a bit of flair. Follow Nicole on Instagram @sowcolecreations or visit her website: https://linktr.ee/sowcolecreations
Benton Racine, from Tandy Store #159
Meet Benton Racine, from Tandy Store #159 in West Palm Beach, Florida."I am not naturally a leathercrafter, but I am learning a variety of leathercrafting skills from one of our outside teachers. I enjoy meeting and talking to my customers and learning about their leathercraft journeys. I am proud that I've been able to support some of our customers who have turned their love of leathercraft into a business by purchasing from them or recommending them to others. I love the diverse range of customers and employees at Tandy and how the company supports and promotes the idea that leathercrafting is for everybody!
James Baker, Manager at Store #168
Meet James, store manager of Tandy's Cheyenne. WY store! "As a single dad to a 3-year-old girl, most of my hobbies and time away from work consists of being my daughter's favorite toy! I am grateful and proud to be part of the Tandy family. Quality of life is the most important factor to me in my career and working for Tandy has allowed me to be a more present parent in my child's life. With 2020 being one of the toughest years of my life, I am proud of how Tandy stepped up to be part of the solution. If I had to sum up Tandy in one word, I would say LOVE. Love your craft. Love your life. And (most importantly) love each other."
Khan Roberts, Zone Manager
Meet Tandy Zone Manager (South), Khan Roberts! "I fell in love with Tandy Leather the moment that I entered the store when I joined the team in 2013. The smell of the leather never gets old! I enjoy teaching customers new techniques with leathercraft. Tandy has opened my eyes to a new world that I might not have found without working here. Tandy has grown from more than a job—they're a family to me."
Tony Gonzalez, owner of Painted in Blue
“Leathercrafting has allowed me to push my visual art to a new dimension, and Tandy feeds all my leather needs “ -josiesboy
Tony "josiesboy" Gonzalez is a full-time leathercrafter and visual artist. As the owner of Painted in Blue, a creative house founded in 2017, he specializes in stretching the boundaries of leather creativity. Follow Josiesboy's journey by clicking the link: https://www.instagram.com/_paintedinblue/
Jonathan M’Pinda, Accountant, and member of Tandy's Diversity Task Force
Jonathan M’Pinda was born in Zaire, Africa (now called Congo), fleeing the war with his family as a baby, first to Europe and then to the United States where he earned a football scholarship to West Texas A&M. In his spare time, he helps new Congolese immigrants with getting established and educated in their new country and also helps the Congolese community in Africa by participating in a strategic effort to stockpile the Congolese national food supply to help end food shortages. Jonathan continues to serve others by volunteering for Tandy's Diversity Task Force. "What I like about working at Tandy's corporate office (other than the smell of the leather) is the initiative that the team has taken to face the inherent issues of racism and inequality that affect our employees and customers on an ongoing basis."
Jahnell, Tandy Leather Memphis
Jahnell, from Tandy's Memphis store, has been with the company since 2014. "I love working here because I can learn new things from customers or the company to improve my crafting skills. Being able to teach what is considered a dying art to new people is a highlight of working here and am looking forward to being able to have in-store classes again one day. As a cosplayer, I make a lot of my accessories like the whip for my Selena Kyle cosplay, or the top hat, corset, and bracers for my Steampunk persona. I also like making geeky and nerdy bags of various sizes to carry anything from my dice and character sheets for D&D night to schoolbooks and notebooks."
Meet Bonita Hinton, Owner/Designer of BabyCakes Bags & Rags!
"My passion as a designer & embroidery artist is to combine my digitized art—ranging from portraits to monograms—with my favorite media, leather! Specializing in Bespoke items, my creations include leather handbags, clothing, and home decor. Details are most important as I want my clients to feel the love stitched into every item that I create."
Camille Porteous, manager of Tandy in Fremont, CA
Camille Porteous is the manager of Tandy's Fremont, CA store. "I've been with Tandy for two years, but I've always had a passion for leathercrafting and making handbags. Tandy has given me an outlet to shine and share my knowledge with the leathercraft world and community. I love working in an environment where I can be creative and create something special for people. Inspired by today's latest trends, I design each tote bag with high-end leather materials and hardware from Tandy."
Veronica, manager of Tandy Leather Memphis
Meet Veronica, manager of Tandy's Memphis store! Originally hired at the El Paso, Texas location where she grew up, Veronica's first experience with leathercraft came from a neighbor in the form of cute coin purses and bracelets. As a woman of color in a male-dominated form of art in her hometown, Veronica mostly dabbled in leathercrafting so that she understood the products in the store to better help customers. However, once she moved to Memphis she found that leathercrafters were a much more diverse group than she initially thought. "I opened my eyes and realized that there are ALL types of leathercrafters!" She says, "I hope that working with this company will inspire more women and men of all backgrounds to keep this craft alive!"
Brandon, Assistant Manager of Tandy Leather Miami
"I enjoy meeting new people from different walks of life and giving superior customer service. I pride myself on customer satisfaction, and I also have a wide berth of product knowledge which allows me to educate our customers effectively."-Brandon Reddick, Assistant Manager of our Miami store and has been with Tandy for nine years.
Nominate yourself or another maker you know to be featured in our Black History Month celebration by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org! Tag @tandyleather and use #leathertogether in your photos on Facebook and Instagram for a chance to be featured in our social media and marketing materials!