Posted by & filed under Quality.

We’re excited to announce our Winter 2016 Photo Contest Winners. It’s about time!
Congratulations to our winners and thanks for all who submitted.

Dec 2016 Photo Contest - Best Photo 1st Place - Jay Akins

Best Photo, 1st Place – “Keeping it ‘Simple’ Sailing the Greek Isles,” Jay Akins, wowed our leather off with his beautiful Simple Backpack. Never before, have we seen Saddleback so nautical! Jay wins our grand prize $500 Gift Certificate.

Dec 2016 Photo Contest - Best Photo 2nd Place - Randy Mankins

Best Photo, 2nd Place – Randy Mankins caught this epic, mountain-high shot of himself and his Travel Case, while piloting a Sikorsky S-61 Firefighting Helicopter over California. *No bat-turns were made acquiring this photo! Randy wins a $100 Gift Certificate.

Dec 2016 Photo Contest - Best Photo 3rd Place - Aaron Downing

Best Photo, 3rd Place – Aaron Downing was traveling cross-country with his family when he snapped this photo of his large Satchel at Flaming Gorge. Right where it belongs! And winner of a $100 Gift Certificate.

Dec 2016 Photo Contest - Best Photo With Child and Leather - C.B. Wolfe

Best Photo with Child – Curt Wolfe treasures this memory of him and his son exploring the streets of Cairo. We know exactly what this is like, hauling kids and leather around. It doesn’t get any better than that. Curt wins a $100 Saddleback Gift Certificate.

Dec 2016 Photo Contest - Best Photo With Pet - Nick Anderson

Best Photo with Pet – Nick Anderson had his Front Pocket Briefcase for only 5 days, and he was already feeling attached. His happy dog lets us know who comes first though! Winner of a $100 Gift Certificate.

Congratulations and thanks again! Follow the link here to learn more about our Photo Contest and how to enter.

-Your Friends At Saddleback


Posted by & filed under The Voice of Saddleback Employees.

by Audrey

Make It a Saddleback Christmas This Year



With the holidays in full swing, we’re feeling rather jolly here at Saddleback Leather. But if you follow us on Facebook, you already know that. We’re smack in the middle of 12 Days of Saddleback Leather, spotlighting one of our most beloved designs each day.

And because it’s the season of giving, on Day 12 we’ll choose one of the 12 featured designs to gift to a fan. How’s that for spreading a little holiday cheer? You could be the lucky recipient—just like, share and comment on Facebook along the way.

Here’s a sneak peek at what’s to come in our 12 Days of Saddleback Leather:

On the 7th Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me … A Saddleback Simple Backpack.

This is just the thing you want slung over your shoulders. It’s rugged. It’s handsome. It’s the perfect size for almost anything. You’ll want to use this bag exclusively; no other backpacks compare. And when it gets worn in a bit after some use? Well, it’s a work of art. We have a feeling you’ll be toting around a whole lot more stuff in this beauty.

On the 8th Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me … A Saddleback Bible Cover.

Not just any cover is worthy of the Bible. But behold Saddleback’s premium full-grain leather cover. It wraps around your Bible for a beautiful covering for the word of God. Remember the reason for the season this Christmas; gift this Bible Cover to encourage Bible reading and reflection in the year ahead. Can we get an amen?

On the 9th Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me … A Saddleback Notepad Holder.

Is a notepad a staple in your workday? And do you happen to appreciate the finer things in life? Get your hands on Saddleback’s Notepad Holder. It’s a piece with pure panache that’ll last your entire career. Prepare to turn some heads on your way to the corner office.

On the 10th Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me … A Saddleback Overnight Bag.

It’s time to carry your belongings in a bag made of leather. Saddleback’s ruggedly stylish Overnight Bag is sturdily constructed from one piece of leather, so it’s durable and highly effective at keeping out what you don’t want in: dust, rain, heat and cold. It’s prepared to go wherever your travels take you.

On the 11th Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me … A Saddleback Tournament Chess and Checkers Set.

Chess or checkers: The choice is yours with Saddleback’s stunning Chess and Checkers Set. With this handsome, full-grain leather set gracing your coffee table, you’re just a game away from an unforgettable holiday party. Let’s make some memories, shall we? Your move.

On the 12th Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me … Saddleback’s Classic Briefcase (the One That Started it All …)

Tough, supple leather. Handy pockets for just about anything. Super-durable copper rivets. Oh, and you can also carry it the traditional way or switch to backpack mode. The Classic Briefcase is basically perfect. And it just gets better with age. Whether you’re gifting it to your mountain-hiking-loving spouse or your high-powered-executive friend, it’s a gift they’ll love for a lifetime.

Join the conversation on our Facebook page every day! Like, share and comment during our 12 Days of Saddleback Leather, and you might win. Happy holidays, everybody!


Posted by & filed under The Voice of Saddleback Employees.

by Madeline

Chi Omega Christmas

Come Shop Saddleback Leather at the Chi Omega Christmas Market!

Calling all Saddleback Leather fans in Texas: Here’s your chance to browse your favorite products IN PERSON. We’re setting up a pop-up holiday shop at the annual Chi Omega Christmas Market in Dallas. Stop by our booth and add a little magic to your gift-giving this holiday season.

Imagine the joy when your loved one unwraps a new favorite from Saddleback Leather. From handsome leather wallets to luxurious leather totes, our booth has something for everyone … and something for you, too. Whether you’re checking off your holiday list or you want to get something special for yourself, don’t miss out—our holiday shop at Centennial Hall at Fair Park is open for three days only.

We hear it often: Devotees of Saddleback Leather want to touch the products and smell the leather before making a decision. Our pop up holiday shop is the perfect opportunity to get up close with our designs and examine our superior quality and attention to detail. And no matter which Saddleback Leather items you choose, you know they’ll bring holiday cheer to everyone on your list.

Plus, you can’t beat this one-of-a-kind shopping experience in the heart of Dallas. The Chi Omega Christmas Market is a wonderland of more than 180 merchants with all kinds of fares: toys, home accents, food gifts, clothing and accessories. The best part? 100% of the admission fees benefit local charities. Last year, the event raised $330,000 for those in need in Dallas-Fort Worth.

General admission is $12 online; $15 at the door and shopping hours are:
Thursday, November 17 from 1 to 9 p.m.
Friday, November 18 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday, November 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Start making your list now and we’ll see you next week in Big D at the Chi Omega Christmas Market! Visit for more details.


Posted by & filed under The Voice of Saddleback Employees.

by Audrey



Prepare yourself… We’re bringing back the original Small Classic Briefcase. You know the one—the tough-as-nails, full-grain leather bag with a pigskin lining and marine-grade polyester thread that went out of production a few years ago. (Is your heart palpitating yet?)

It’s back. And not only is it back, but we’ve combined it with items that all quality-leather-obsessed people need in their life: a wallet, coffee sleeve and key chain. Everything good in the world is packed into this Limited Edition Small Briefcase Bundle.

But, as the name reveals, it’s a limited-edition item. You better get it or you’ll miss out.

Let’s take a closer look at this limited-edition bundle, shall we?

The Small Classic Briefcase has everything Saddleback fans have come to expect, from the original two-rivet main closure design to ultra-strong hardware. Leather aficionados bow down to this bag, though, because of its rugged durability and smart sensibility. We all want a designated spot to stash odds and ends: a cell phone, wallet, keys. This case delivers. It has pockets galore, not to mention a removable shoulder strap that converts to a backpack. Because nobody wants to miss out on an impromptu hike.

Then we have the Small Square Wallet, that mainstay item that lives in back pockets and purses everywhere. Perhaps mull it over with a hot cup of joe with our full-grain leather Coffee Sleeve guarding your hands, and insulating your beverage. When your keys are misplaced, but attached to our Rectangle Key Chain, you can anticipate sheer delight when you find them.

Ladies and gentleman: Imagine all the places you’ll go with the Limited Edition Small Briefcase Set. Sling it over your shoulder for your daily trek to the office or bring it with you on your next cross-country flight. You’ll be prepared to handle anything in your day.

Enter our Facebook contest to win your favorite part of the bundle. #UnbundlingTheBundle







Posted by & filed under The Voice of Saddleback Employees.

by William Nelekona

I edited this 30 year old video of my Dad and I washing the Land Cruiser, to go with this blog; the story, video, and photos, are all about love. I hope you’ll go hug your Dad or Mom, your husband or wife, or sibling, or anyone today for that matter. Tell them how much they mean to you. Hang on to the good memories. I hope you enjoy…



I still remember having that whole backbench of my Dad’s Fj60 all to myself, being lulled to sleep by the unmistakable Toyota engine sounds and vibrations; Or humming along to Five O’Clock World, as we canvassed  all over the Lonestar State. Just me and my Dad. The Mighty-Mighty took us everywhere and anywhere you wanted to go. It gave me the kind of memories that still resonate decades later.


My Dad is my hero. I used to lay on top of his back and watch westerns for hours on the weekends. It was the best. He would take  me hunting with him all the time. And if I wasn’t using my hawk-like vision to search for prey, I had my head straight down looking for arrowheads and fossils. It was hard for me to do both. I recommend either hunting or looking for points and bones, but not both simultaneously; you’re more likely to get neither. One hunt I finally found my first and only complete arrowhead. It was incredible to touch it, and hold it in my hand. Who had made this, I wondered? Did they kill with it? What did they kill, and how long ago? These were the thoughts that I had lying in back of the Cruiser, thinking of the old days of the wild west and life long before that. And if I wasn’t imagining these things, I was asking my Dad a thousand questions, and he would answer every one.


My Dad loved his Land Cruiser. It was like an extension of who he was. He took such great care of it. The styling was perfection. The back door had a pop hatch and tailgate, that folded down into a bench seat. It was great for taking all the cousins on hay (FJ) rides through “the farm.” The farm was a little patch of heaven in Mansfield, (about 100 acres) that was owned by my Great Grandmother, Nana, and later by my Grandmother, Marianne. It would fill up with Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrushes in the Spring.




The Mighty-Mighty Land Cruiser almost seemed alive. It was capable of anything. It took us to unknown lands, kept us warm or cool, got us out of tight spots. The Mighty-Mighty stayed quiet until it was asked for service. But it always wanted to come with, and never backed down from a challenge. Almost like a good dog.


Fast-forward a handful of years. I woke up and got dressed for school one morning, much like any other day, but this morning I turned sixteen. Let freedom ring baby. I walked out front to wait for my ride to school, when my Dad came strolling out front and smiled at me. He tossed me the keys to the Land Cruiser. He tossed me the keys to the Mighty-Mighty and said Happy Birthday Son. Can you imagine?


Six months later Dallas was iced over and gray. This usually happens once or twice a Winter. Basically, it snows, but it turns to rain and freezes on the ground, leaving a slick icy surface. Well, that only means one thing when you’re a teenager, in Texas: No school. That particular day, we turned on the news, but my school wasn’t listed as shut down for the day; so begrudgingly we headed off to school. My friends and I arrived, and people were running out the side door, saying that teachers were not taking roll. We immediately turned around, headed back to the parking lot to find a ride outta there. And since the roads were dangerous, my friends and I had been dropped off by one of our parents, so we needed a ride to my Cruiser. We found one. Once we got dropped off, we all loaded up and decided to go to a friend’s house to hang. On the last stretch of road it was really curvy and I was going too fast, especially for ice conditions. But hey, it’s the Mighty Mighty, it can handle anything. All of a sudden a black cat darted in front of me and I had a knee jerk reaction. I ripped the wheel just enough to avoid the cat. Dang that black cat! Had I the opportunity to do it over again, the world would be shy a cat. I lost complete control of the truck and we started sliding backwards down the street. I was doing all I could to turn, but to no avail. We skidded for about 35 yards, smashed into and over the curb, immediately striking a telephone pole. The Land Cruiser wrapped around the pole, then, flung off towards some vines over an embankment. Luckily for us, the vines held the back of the Mighty, and we didn’t plunge 10 or 12 feet down. Here begins the dark ages of the Mighty-Mighty.

I spent the next 3 years of high school spending all of my money working on my Cruiser, trying to restore it. Trying to get it running once again. Thousands of dollars. Eventually, I put the care of the Cruiser with an old friend, as I had no means of storage and no money to fix it up as a daily driver. He drove it for a few years, then, I took it to an uncle’s house in the Hill Country to go into hibernation for another five+ years. I told people the Mighty-Mighty was on life support, one day it will live again. By this point, it was in a Hill Country grave. But lately, its been calling to me…


Now I’m married and have an infant daughter. Life is much different than the days of being a boy then, being a young man, and finally becoming my own man. We need money and I have to make some tough choices. Our current Soccer Mom-mobile, (sorry Moms) is a gold 2003 Honda CR-V, and has had a couple issues this year. It’s that time where we spend the money to get it fixed up with needed repairs, or sell it, and try to get something better. I’m getting creative and bootstrapping life. I called in a AAA wrecker to hook me up with a free tow. Thanks AAA. The idea: Pull the Mighty-Mighty from the grave, spend the 500-1000 to get it running again (naive) and sell it off. Then, couple the money from the Mighty with the money from the Golden Girls Van (hey it gets good gas mileage) and get our “new” car. That’s practical, that’s safe, that’s wise, that’s the conservative move.


When I went up to the mechanics parking lot, I spent a while with the Cruiser just looking over it. It’s in pretty rough shape. But somewhere in there, I know there’s life. I only see 2 choices. 1. Sell the Mighty Mighty to some rich guy who can drop $20K into it on a whim, and I’ll let my belly, my soul, my free spirit, my pride, all go with the selling of that cherished truck. Or 2. I keep it. I dare to make a new commitment to kicking life in the teeth, to taking my family all over the world, and living boldly. It could take years, it could take lots of money and time and sweat, but that truck is staying in my family. The Mighty Mighty will live again. It has too many memories for me, and it’s just too cool to pass over to someone else.


I don’t know where this path will take me, and I don’t know when the Mighty-Mighty will once again be our vessel into the wild, but I am committed to the fight.


I encourage you now, with whatever fight you have in your life. For me, it isn’t just a truck. It’s about preserving something special, it’s about making a goal, it’s about making myself get out there again and conquer life’s obstacles, It’s about helping people more and going deeper in my relationships; And to move, and move swiftly. We all need to move.

So whatever you’ve got in your life today that you think you can’t do, you can. And if you decided long ago that you’ve given up, and many years have passed, things can’t change, today is a new day for you. Today you can go left, instead of your usual right.  Because our time here is so short and it’s so easy to forget. So just do it.


Posted by & filed under The Voice of Saddleback Employees.



by Nick Bridwell

Rene Boerop is Saddleback Leather’s own International Man of Mystery. He is a Dutch man, living in León, Mexico, running a factory that makes bags for a company out of Fort Worth, Texas. Today, we get to know Rene a little as we chat about his life and his work as the General Manager at Old Mexico Manufacturing, where Saddleback Leather bags, etc. are born.


NB: You grew up in Holland, right? In Amsterdam? What was it like over there?


RB: Yes I was born and raised in Amsterdam Holland. Amsterdam is my city. I studied, worked, and lived there until my 28th year and I loved it. It is there that I studied hotel and tourism. I also worked in one of the finest hotels and restaurants.


NB: What’s something about Amsterdam most people might not know?


RB: Something that makes Amsterdam so special is that the citizens are from all around world. Did you know that 60% of the people living in Amsterdam are foreigners? This is what makes the ambiance so different and special. It is a city that never sleeps.


NB: Any cool stories from your life abroad?


RB: One day I said to myself that I wanted to see Europe and I thought driving an 18-wheeler would be a cool way to do that. With that said, I quit my job at the hotel, and started working at a moving company. I got all of the licenses and I started on a moving truck, then a small food truck. Eventually, I began driving through all of Europe with a trailer carrying “dangerous goods”. This was a great job and I saw all Europe from England to Bosnia, and from Gibraltar to Norway. I was able to see so much and learn so much about other cultures.


One trip I’ll never forget was driving liquid led (the stuff for gasoline) to Bosnia Herzegovina. This was right after the war. The US soldiers were still there. They stopped me at the border and when they finally let me pass, they had to carefully guide me around active land-mines!


Then I had to go with a 40-ton trailer over a temporary wooden bridge, because the cement one was blown away. Seeing the village blown away and talking with people who survived was something I will never forget. I thank God every day we are all healthy and safe.   


NB: What do you miss the most about Holland?


RB: HMMmm not sure, some food dishes and typical candy.  I do miss shawarma, which is lamb’s meat in a pita bread with some salad and garlic sauce. Ooh so good.  Last time when we were in Holland, my wife and I woke up at 2am and went for one.


Other than that, I always liked going to the football matches of my home team Ajax.

I guess I don’t miss so much, because I am happy with the life I have here. Since I arrived in Mexico, I have always accepted and respected Mexico the way it is, and I guess that helps me not miss so much.


NB: I know eventually you ended up in Mexico. What events lead you from Europe to Mexico?


RB: I came to Mexico because of my ex-wife. I met her in Holland and moved with her to Mexico fifteen years ago. Our marriage didn’t work out, but I stayed in Mexico because I love the country. The weather is WOW and the people are great. Another very good reason to stay is my kids! All 3 of them were born in Mexico. Today, I am happily married with my wife Gabriela. We got married last year on the beach of Vallarta.


NB: How did you meet Dave and Suzette in Mexico?


RB: I met them in one of the restaurants I was working for at that time. They came in for breakfast and we got to talking. I think one of the things that had a big impact was that I made French Toast for Dave. It was not on the menu, but we did it anyway and he loved it.


NB: I wish I would have put French Toast on my resume!


RB: After that they came over every time they were in town. We became friends. After about a year knowing them, they asked me if I would like to help them build their manufacturing company. I said yes for sure and that was in August 2008.


A nice fact is that thanks to OMM I met my wife, Gabriela. She was working for the accountant firm OMM hired to review our taxes.


NB: You’ve played a huge part in building up the OMM factory from 9 people to over 200 employees. What principles guide your management? What do you believe is the most important quality to have as a manager?


RB: I have seen and lived in earlier work experience how NOT to manage your people. That helped me create my own very simple way of treating people, which is “We are all equal. Treat all people with respect and train and value them.”  That has always been my philosophy of how I want to manage our people. And not just our people; also our vendors and clients. You need to treat them all with respect.


Today I still think that, but working with Dave, Suzette, and the people around them showed me there is more. I have learned tons of new amazing stuff over the past few years, and every day I keep on learning.


Getting back to your question, the most important quality to have is that you Love and Respect your people. That is the golden rule of ongoing success.    


NB: What’s life like down in León? What do you do for fun?


RB: Life is great over here. I am a big fan of the weather. We have about one climate all year. It’s very nice (when I am writing this it rains haha) except about 3 /4 months a year from June to mid-September.


People are also great here and always outside, because of the warm climate. Life is lived outside.


We go to the zoo, watch the local football team in the stadium. We also like go to a small town called Guanajuato. It is about 40 minutes away. We have a great dinner there and then go dancing after and stay over in one of their small hotels. I can recommend one to you if you’d like. It’s fun.


I have met some Dutch people over the past years and made some fantastic friends, too. Once in awhile we get together. We talk, drink some beer, play cards. I love to play klaverjassen, a Dutch game you play two against two. It´s fun and for me it is the best card game I know.


NB: I ask this question a lot. What is your favorite Saddleback Leather bag?


RB: I have a black large Classic Briefcase. I love it. I take it on all of my trips with me. I have to admit that I am looking at the new backpacks and I like them a lot. They look really cool, so it could be that I will change from the briefcase to a backpack.


Also I have always liked the Waterbag. Why? Because it is such a unique design. Think of it. It is just one piece of leather folded and sewn together. Not sure if there are others like it, but for sure it is very special. And trust me, I know what we need to do to make them. It’s not easy, but when you see the result it sure is worth it.


NB: So how many languages do you speak now? How do you say “I need more leather, please” in Dutch?


RB: I speak four languages, Dutch, German, Spanish and English. In Holland you get English class at school from 6 years on. Working in hotels and restaurants also made it easier to practice. It was kind of the same with German. We always say we don’t like the Germans, because they are our worst enemy if it comes to sports and in particular football. We have quite some history there.


In Dutch you say: “Ik heb meer leer nodig alstublieft” if you want more leather.


This interview was conducted in August of 2016. Nick Bridwell is the resident Blog Writer at Saddleback Leather and the author of the 2014 novel, The Ties That Bind.


Posted by & filed under The Voice of Saddleback Employees.



By: William Nelekona

Less than 24 hours before I was to drive out to a stunning ranch in Brady, Texas, and marry the love of my life, I was in a bit of a pickle. I didn’t have a wedding ring, and I was out of money.

Now for you unmarried men and women out there, all I can say is that as time gets down to the wire before your wedding you can experience different emotions. You’ve got a lot to get done. I was mainly dealing with the hustle and bustle, the lose-your- appetite over the amount of friends and family showing up from all over the place, and coming to the realization that ’the day’ was almost here.

I was fortunate enough to have half a dozen of my closest friends show up from around the world to celebrate a day before we were to set off for the ranch. They took me down to Austin where we went and enjoyed the nightlife. But how was I to go have all this fun and have no plan for a wedding ring? I began looking through my arsenal for something to sell. Before we headed out, I posted an ad to Craigslist for a knife that I owned, in hopes of finding a buyer, and being able to buy a wedding band. The blade in question: A Benchmade Mini Infidel, OTF Auto knife. (An out-the- front, dual action, automatic knife; i.e. a switchblade.)

Early the next morning, a piercing ringtone cuts the air of the hotel room.  “Hello, this is William,” I blanched.  “Yes, do you still have the Infidel available?” (Yes, I do!) I was stoked. We were staying at a hotel just up the street from the Texas State Capital. (Bigger than the D.C. Capital by the way) I then, remembered Kruger’s jewelry was only a few blocks away. This could work out perfectly. I arranged to meet this guy on the corner of Congress Ave. and 8th Street, where Kruger’s is located. I called Kruger’s and let them know I was on a very tight budget and needed a gold wedding band. They looked around and said they have 1 ring in my size that would work and to come down.

My buddies and I get to to the prearranged meeting spot, and one of my dear friends from Hollenbek, Germany, suddenly lights up when he sees a Chipotle across the street. He must of mentioned Chipotle half a dozen times in the days leading up to the Austin adventure, and he was nonetheless enthused on our chance encounter. He bought 2 burritos; one for now, one for the long flight back to Deutschland in a few days. His family are salt of the earth people who run a little restaurant and pub called Hagemann’s Countryside.  If you’re ever a good ways east of Hamburg, and want some serenity and something tasty, go there.

A few minutes go by standing on the street corner, when a gentleman approaches me, and asks if I had the knife. It didn’t feel sketchy at all. Yes, I’ve got it. I pull out the Infidel and hand it to him. I looked around feeling like I must be doing something highly illegal. I wasn’t to my knowledge, but there was something all too funny about a transaction going down for a switchblade, in sight of the Capital, and around the corner from a jewelry store. It couldn’t of happened more seamlessly. He deploys the blade back and forth, once or twice and naturally remarks, “I like it.”  He pulls out his wallet and hands me $330. We shake hands, and part ways.

I round the corner straight into Kruger’s. I swing open the door and walk in with my brothers to get my “1 ring to rule them all”;  Well, the man who was helping me showed me the ring, and it was perfect. 14 karats of gold goodness and fit just right.  “How much?” $350 + Tax. Ew… I reached into my wallet retrieved my fresh made $330 and 3, wrinkled $1 dollar bills. I told the guy politely, “I just sold a knife outside to buy this wedding band, and it was all I had. I need it for $333 out the door.”  Well, Mr. Kruger happened to be there himself. The gentleman goes to the back of the store, and comes back out with Mr. Kruger. He was jovial and kind, more interested in this knife I just sold outside of his shop than price negotiating over the ring.  So I indulged him. He told me I should of brought the knife to him, he might of bought it. He accepted my offer of $333.00 out the door.

He even had one of his guys buff the ring until it was completely matte instead of a high polish, like I wanted it. He asked if I’d come by after the wedding sometime, to give a photo of my wife and I as newlyweds. I still haven’t done that, but will one of these days.

We made it out to Selah Springs Ranch and I now had a ring for my wife to put on my finger. Just before my brothers mounted up to head to the altar, which was a beautiful oak along the San Saba River, my good friend Clay hands me a finger of whiskey and his .1911. Well, my boys toasted me over good whiskey, and I emptied that magazine at a target 100 meters away. It was just what I needed. It was now time to marry the love of my life. She looked more beautiful than words can describe.

The ceremony went great, and the ring exchange did too; even if I might of placed the ring on her wrong finger. We did manage to burn down part of the fire pit area, at the ranch. That could have been a huge disaster, and it happened early morning, on the wedding day. The owner’s Phil and Andrea Chavanne were so incredible with everything. Phil told me to stop apologizing and to let it go. He said it’s over and for me to focus on my wedding, we could talk about the fire another time. He taught me a lesson. He gave me grace and forgiveness right away, and even though he wasn’t happy about his firepit going up in flames, he knew it was an accident; albeit one by me and my hooligan friends. Not really surprised we managed to do that.



I have new meaning to something ‘going off without a hitch.’  There’s plenty of 
hitches in life, but it’s how you decide to roll with it and what you’re gonna do about it that makes all the difference. Adapt and have a whole lot of fun in the meantime. It works out better than you could of thought and is much more memorable.

Oh, and it’s really obvious God had a hand in all that too.


Posted by & filed under NDYS, The Voice of Saddleback Employees.

In this thirty-seventh episode of the Not Dead Yet Show:

I found a Small Briefcase. Should I sell it? I also found some dead animals and decided to give them away.



Come see the rest of the Not Dead Yet Series

Subscribe to the Not Dead Yet Show newsletter right now or else be prepared to face the consequences of missing the greatest show ever produced about the Munsons living in tents.

Posted by & filed under Traveling, The Voice of Saddleback Employees.



by Liz James (Customer Service)

Like many other people, I’ve gotten caught up in Pokemon Go fever.  In case you didn’t know, Pokemon Go is the latest app to catch on in the world, and allows you to fulfill your childhood dream of collecting Pokemon in the real world!  You don’t have to have any childhood memories of Pokemon to have fun with this app, though…  I know several people who are just now discovering the joy of finding Pokemon and the agony of missing a Pokemon catch.


Part of the game involves going outside and catching Pokemon, as well as taking some long walks to hatch Pokemon eggs.  In recent days, portable chargers have become quite the hot commodity, as the app does tend to be a battery hog.  And you mustn’t forget some water for the longer walks!  To do some of that, though, you might need a bag to carry that portable charger and/or your water bottle.


Luckily, I’ve got a few suggestions as to what bags an aspiring Pokemon Master might want!


1: For the minimalist Master – The Book Bag


You’ve got all your Pokeballs and Potions in your app, so no need to carry around a big bag!  You really just need a good bag to carry your small ID wallet, keys, and that portable battery charger.  You may be walking around indoors, taking advantage of the AC and the nearby Pokestops and Gyms at your nearby mall, so water isn’t necessarily your priority  You can get that from the water fountains.  But that portable battery charger that you have is, because catching Pokemon on an empty battery is impossible.


2: For the iPad Master – The Tablet Bag


A puny phone screen isn’t enough for you… You have to catch your Pokemon on the big screen.  Only your tablet will do to catch ‘em all. That front pocket is good enough for a portable battery charger and your keys, and you can clip on a water bottle if you really need one.  But most likely, you’ll be out of the heat, since holding your tablet for that long is a hassle and you’d rather be indoors or in the passenger seat of your friend’s car to catch your Pokemon.


3: For the lady Master – The Rawhide Crossbody Bag


Sure, you’re going to go out catching Pokemon, but you also want to look good.  So take it from an experienced Pokemon trainer… this Rawhide Crossbody will suit your needs.  There’s enough room in there for your portable battery and a Long Trifold Wallet, plus your keys and sunglasses.  A water bottle can be clipped onto the side, or if you want to go with a smaller wallet, a regular plastic bottle can fit inside.  And you can wear this crossbody easily for those longer treks!


4: For the everyday Master – The Leather Satchel


You’ve figured out by now that there are certain spots in your city where you can sit and spin a few Poke-stops at once.  And since you may want to surf the internet every five minutes on your smaller laptop, you want a bag that can hold that, your portable battery charger, and two regular water bottles. So the Large Satchel is your best bet.  Plus, if you have a larger reusable water bottle, it can be clipped on to one of those D-rings easily.  And if you need to walk a few kilometers to hatch that egg, the Satchel can go into Backpack form easily.


5:  For the long-haul Master – The Front Pocket Backpack


Sure, you could go for the Simple Backpack, and that would do just as well.  But if you find yourself needing space for two bigger water bottles, that Front Pocket will come in handy to hold your portable charger.  Inside the main compartment, you can easily stuff snacks, first aid kits, compasses, anything an aspiring Pokemon master would want when they’re going to be out and about for long periods of time.  I mean, you never know when you’ll see a rare Pokemon nearby.  Just don’t forget the sunscreen and your stuffed Pikachu as you race out the door to catch ‘em all!


Posted by & filed under The Voice of Saddleback Employees.


by Nick Bridwell, infographic by Brian Griffith



If you are a man of some style and substance, odds are you probably need to cart around more than what will fit in your pockets. It’s okay, men have been sporting bags for thousands of years.

No matter the variety of bag you choose, you will no doubt encounter opposition. This most often comes in the form of sarcastic statements like “What’s up with your murse?” or “Hey, Sally, where’d you get your man purse?” I’ve heard many varieties.

Let’s face it, those unsolicited comments come from the folks who generally wouldn’t know style or function if it hit them in the junk. And you can spot them from a mile away. You know what, I’ll accept my bag as a “man purse” if they will accept being spotted for these alternative ways to carry their things:


The Zoot Suiter- You can spot a Zoot Suiter, because his pockets are filled to the brim and this makes his pants puff out like a 1940s gangster. It’s amazing what a grown man can fit in his pockets. Tablet, cell phone, chainsaw, the cast of the Sopranos. This is the same dude who gives you a hard time for using a Satchel, all the while he’s sporting blue jeans that have suddenly turned into parachute pants. Your comeback: “Where’d you get those pants, Al Capone’s estate sale?”


The Cat’s Cradler – This is the dude you see walking around constantly with a handful of wires, clothes, papers, computer cords, all tucked in and out of his arms like he’s playing the childhood game Cat’s Cradle. From far away, if you squint, the Cat’s Cradler sort of looks like Pig-Pen from the Peanuts cartoon strip, because there’s this weird tangle of junk all around him. The Cat’s Cradler can often be spotted ogling leather briefcases and saying, “I bought my wife one of those.” He didn’t and he want yours. Your comeback is classy and charitable. Just look at his pile of junk and say:  “I’m sorry, can I help you with that?”


The Be-Right-Backer: The BRB-er is a little more savvy than the Zoot Suiter or the Cat’s Cradler.  He doesn’t want to be seen burdened with all of his necessities. Therefore, he just keeps his stuff at his desk or in his truck. So, the BRB-er will most likely tell you. “I don’t know why all of you guys need to carry around man purses. I get by fine.” Then, he’ll disappear for ten minutes into the 112-degree summer to fetch a notebook he left in his 145-degree truck. Your comeback: “Man, what took you so long? I had a beer in my bag for you, but I got bored and drank it.”


These are just a few of the natural opponents of the awesome leather bags we make here at Saddleback Leather. Next time they call you out, check and see if they are a Zoot Suiter, a Cat’s Cradler, or a BRBer. Sometimes, you even get a combo.

Oh, and be sure to point out that men have been carrying bags for thousands of years and show them this sick infographic.