Making Magical Leather Goods with Lupe Corona

 

 

We recently sat down with local artist and leather maker, Lupe Corona. Her one of kind leather goods are something to swoon over. Given the attention to detail and care that leather making takes, we thought you might like to know a little bit more about her and what sparks her creativity. 

 

Tell us a little about yourself. Have you always had a deep connection to your craft? If so where do you think it came from and what influenced you to make and create leather goods?

I am a mom of two highly spirited children, and I have a wonderful husband. My life, my drive, my focus comes from them. 

I also love animals, and during the pandemic we have filled our home with chickens, cockatiels, and a hamster. A fish and two dogs were already part of the family. Most of them were my children’s pets but all of them quickly became mine. I’m sure that moms and dads know how that works. 

 

We love what you do, what called you to create?

For creative inspiration and direction, I like to look at Pinterest and magazines. If I’m not working on orders, I work on creating new patterns — for handbags, for example — allowing myself the creative freedom to keep growing in my craft through hours of learning and repetition. I see the benefits playing out. 

When I first started making bags, one bag would take all day. It was truly challenging. From experience I can say that cutting corners will only lead to frustration, and tends to be more expensive in the end. Investing in good sewing machines was an early key for me, also investing in quality tools, thread, etc. Over the years, I’ve upgraded my tools. I can’t tell you how many old tools I have that are now just taking up space. I leave them to remind of me how far I’ve come.

After years of work, my practice of creating now comes easier. But I’m am a glutton for punishment. Once I reach a milestone, I often leap into something new and more complicated. 

I remind myself that this is for the long game. It’s not just for income, not just a hobby. It’s an experience in creativity that will keep me company for the rest of my life. 

 

Do you have a bookend to your day? (a morning practice or an evening practice)?

My preferred morning ritual is a walk or jumping rope or yoga. I turn on KCRW and listen all day. It helps me concentrate. Sometimes my morning ritual skips the exercise part.  

 

What words do you live by? 
I’m self-taught — sewing, leatherwork, crochet, and jewelry making. Sometimes they blend together into something interesting. Sometimes they do not. As far as my creative process goes, I prefer to “let it flow,” as they say. At the very least, this approach allows me to add unique creative touches to each piece I make, even if the piece is made according to a pattern. 

 

You can find Lupe's exquisite creations at our Carpinteria location. 

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