Every Time a Bell Rings, Another Wolf River Leather Customer is Born
If you don't know what I'm talking about... read on and discover some of the coolest leather gifts on the planet, and the couple behind this unique small business.
Is this you?
It’s December 14, and you’ve still got people to check off your list.
Maybe it’s that person in your life who has everything. (That person is always the toughest holiday nut to crack.)
Or maybe it’s your spouse or BFF. (Even tougher.)
Time is ticking, and you’ve hit every store and site on the planet.
(Fruit of the Month is looking pretty good right now.)
What do you do?
You run, not walk to your computer, and check out Wolf River Leather - a husband-wife-owned business found in a cozy little suburb outside of Milwaukee, WI.
Jim & Kim Lehmkuhl are the wizards behind this custom-made leather goods operation, and whether you’re looking for a bag that will get the attention of strangers and three-year-olds alike (it’s happened), satchels for gifting wine, or sleigh bells that will be the talk of the neighborhood, Wolf River Leather is the answer.
And guess what… Jim & Kim happen to be What I’d Rather Be Talking About This Week…
There are so many options when it comes to buying gifts for others or ourselves… some of the coolest things come from small business owners who put their heart and soul into every item.
Who wouldn't love opening up “The Companion” this holiday?
Read on for the story behind Wolf River Leather!
*editor’s note: you’ll notice the answers appear in lowercase… this is kim’s trademark, a distinctive part of her cool vibe - that’s also seen in the products she designs and her personal brand.
What’s the origin story behind Wolf River Leather (wrl)?
wrl started when both of us decided to “reinvent” ourselves. after having demanding jobs, we set out to create something we had control over, and thus, wrl was born. we named our biz after one of our favorite places - our cabin up north at the mouth of the wolf river. when urban outfitters picked us up for our sleigh bells, we transitioned from a hobby to a business. our products (sleigh bells, coasters, koozies, log carriers, dog collars) have been found in anthropologie stores nationwide.
How do you balance life and work as married business owners?
it’s hard sometimes because we work out of our home. and, with that being said, you never get away from the work. there are only 2 of us, so there’s always something that needs to be done or a deadline to be met. we have learned to balance, take time off, and, most importantly, stay in our lanes. haha.
What does a typical day look like?
our day always starts with a workout. we feel no matter what the day brings, we can handle it because we started our day on the right foot. we have random meetings at the tannery. depending on the season, we’ve been known to add golf in there a few times a week 😁
Jim: workout, workshop
Kim: workout, social media mktg, sewing
Other fun facts/info you want to share?
we have 2 dogs that we spend a lot of time with - both are rescues. they are a great diversion from working on leather.
Where do you sell most of your products… online or shows?
thankfully, we do really well at both. the shows are exhausting, but it’s important that we get in front of people so they can feel the leather and personally see the intricacy of our work.
Speaking of getting in front of people… check this out:
Future goals/aspirations for WRL?
to continue to grow our online business
Three surprising things in your WRL bag:
wrl clutch, lipstick, and a snack
Where can readers find you?
And that’s a wrap!
I’ll be back Saturday with more last-minute holiday help but for now…
stay safe, stay sane, and get yourself some leather!
(I 100% endorse Wolf River Leather - I love my “Dump Bag!”)