We caught up awhile back with long time Saddleback Super Fan Jimmy Sexton. What a cool guy.
Jimmy’s a decade-long fan with a few mythical-level vintage pieces in his collection, including an original small briefcase, suede-lined messenger, and a medium satchel his wife dubbed her “Paris bag”. Jimmy’s 4 kids (ages 9-21) all used Saddleback Leather backpacks and satchels all through school, and carry key fobs. “Saddleback Leather is part of my family DNA,” Said Jimmy. “We don’t go anywhere without Saddleback!”
In addition to his love of leather, Jimmy owns several businesses promoting travel and the outdoors, particularly in his neck of the Ozarks. “We like to brag about our area,” he says. “I could write the rest of my life and not scratch the surface.”
Check our our conversation with Jimmy –
SBL – Where are you from?
Jimmy – I’m originally from Neosho, Missouri. Neosho means “City of Springs” in the original Native American language. I moved away for a few years, but moved back after having kids to be closer to the grandparents.
SBL – What’s your passion?
Jimmy – Getting back to the roots of personal connections, off social media and cell phones. We own several businesses, and through those we teach our kids a hard work ethic from age 6. Through Sexton Media Group we produce the magazine River Hills Traveler, which is devoted to outdoors and traveling throughout the Ozarks. We tell stories, hidden gems of the Ozarks, encourage readers to keep the streams clean and to pick up trash. Every weekend we’re out doing something travel-related, whether for pictures, stories, or to clean up the environment. Our kids go too! We also own a photography studio, where our kids help with photo shoots and taking care of customers. We also rent tuxedos and my wife owns a salon, and she started a ministry. (whew!) We incorporate life experience into our work, and travel on the weekends. Bottom line: we teach our kids, whether they work with us or take over the company one day, to know how to connect and interact with people.
SBL – Have you ever met a stranger who was carrying Saddleback?
Jimmy – Actually, not once in 10 years…until yesterday! Just checked out of a hotel in Branson, Missouri and as we were leaving the covered porch in the rain, my wife thought she saw a family carrying Saddleback! I went over (trying not to stalk them!) and spotted a Dark Coffee Brown Messenger Bag. When I told the guy I’m a big fan of Saddleback, he said he’d only met 2-3 people that had SBL!
Neat story: a few years ago, we had a tornado go through Joplin, MO. President Obama came to the site, and I went with press corp to cover the story. As I went through secret service, one of them commented on my Saddleback bag, so I gave him a card!
SBL – How do you like your eggs?
Jimmy – Scrambled with cheese and green peppers.
SBL – Tell us about your favorite piece of leather.
Jimmy – My two-rivet Dark Coffee Brown Medium Briefcase with the extended handle. They don’t make those anymore. It has a REALLY long top flap, referred to as a “traveler’s flap” because it covers so much, you don’t necessarily need to fasten it. That’s an old one!
SBL – How long have you been a Saddleback fan?
Jimmy – Probably 10-11 years, since around 2006/2007. Previously I’d been carrying a Tumi bag. It was great, but I wanted something more casual. I searched online and liked Saddleback Leather, so thought I’d try it out.
SBL – What design would you like to see Dave come out with?
Jimmy – I’d love to see a day bag for men and women with 5-6” exterior pockets all around, plus more inside pockets both in front and back. I’d like to see one with that “traveler’s flap.” I think that’s very important. Probably wide enough that a magazine could fit in back pocket. I have bags for all sorts of travel situations, but I find myself switching the daily bags I use on a weekly basis. That’s what I find in my line of work.
SBL – For or against onions?
Jimmy – Definitely pro-onion. We cook with them sometimes, chop them up small enough so I don’t know they’re there. Onions also pull stingers out from wasps or a bees if you get stung. Also we will cut an onion in half and put on the bedside table when we’re sick. It’ll suck the toxins out of the air. For us, it really does work, and we always have 3-4 in the fridge to cook or heal us.
SBL -How do you make the world a better place? –
Jimmy – That ties into what i do for a living because it’s a big part of my identity. I don’t watch the 10:00 news anymore. It’s usually car wreck or a murder. I challenge whether that is news or not. There are other things to focus on that are positive. In my little corner of the world, I spread good news. “The Good Newspaper.” We don’t cover car wrecks or disasters. Instead, we cover 12 ft tall tomato plants, slice of life features, stuff that doesn’t make you feel bad when you go to bed. Local history that most people don’t know about. I like to spread good news, and I feel better doing it. Helping my wife with ministry, speaking at churches and events. We’re making our little corner of the world a better place.