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Meet Jeanette Hernandez of Arrowhead Leather Shop in Riverside Inland Empire

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeanette Hernandez.

Jeanette, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started Arrowhead Leather Shop after years of obsessing over the artisan craft. At the time, I was working for a company in Fort Worth, Texas designing jewelry for big box stores and as fun and creative as that was, at times my creativity was limited.

My husband, Alex gifted me a leather tooling kit for Christmas and needless to say it completely changed my life as well as my husband’s. We both fell in love with leathercrafting and soon after found ourselves working small craft fairs, launching a website, and building a brand we were both really proud of.

I am completely self-taught, thank you YouTube for that! I taught myself everything from how to draft a pattern to how to properly cut, carve, stamp, and dye leather, as well as final assembly of the product. Everything you find on our website was 100% handcrafted by me. My husband takes on projects here and there.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It was rather easy to get Arrowhead Leather Shop up and running. We found that by getting out there and working events, we were able to build support for our brand from the beginning. The hardest part for Arrowhead and myself was when we relocated back to Southern California and we had to literally put everything on hold until we rebuilt our workshop. I think the biggest challenge now is building the momentum we had back in Fort Worth. A challenge I am more than ready to tackle.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Arrowhead Leather Shop – what should we know?
At Arrowhead Leather Shop, we specialize in handmade leather goods. Nothing we make is embossed or mass-produced. I have a small number of items that are ready to ship but the bulk of our product is made to order. Right now, our most popular item is a purse that features a double-headed serpent that I was inspired to make by an Aztec sculpture that is kept at the British Museum. I can’t make these purses fast enough.

I am so proud of all we accomplished in such a short time since we reopened in October. We were surprised at the warm reception we got when we announced we were open again. The orders came in immediately soon after. I think what sets us apart is that we love creating unique items that are functional yet beautiful.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I think the most important characteristic of our product is that every item is hand made. No two items, even two of the same item, are identical due to the nature of handcrafting and variations in the leather itself.

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