Mindy Sonshine, co-founder of Orcas Island Leather Goods, has a mission: to create meaningful connections with Orcas Island through her handmade leather goods.
“We’re trying to bring a lot of people into the creation process so that they can feel that satisfaction of being a little bit of a maker,” Sonshine says.
That’s why, whenever you buy something from Orcas Island Leather Goods, you have the opportunity to customize and personalize it.
The store, located on Orcas Island, welcomes its guests with bright colors, inviting interactive stations, and the overwhelmingly pleasant smell of leather. Sonshine hopes that her shop leaves its customers with feelings of happiness.
“Our base purpose in this business is to spread joy and good feelings, and so seeing other people happy is definitely the most rewarding part for me,” Sonshine says.
Visitors will find a maker’s station at which they can make their own leather goods right there in the shop.
There is also a custom hat bar where you can pick out a hat from a collection of beanies and ball caps, select a patch, and then choose where on the hat you want the patch to be placed. Whale patches are popular, as are those that say, “Orcas Island.”
During quarantine, Mindy and her husband Mike Connell came up with the idea to sell DIY leather kits. They realized that people were bored at home and needed something fun and different to do. Their business took off, and the couple opened Orcas Island Leather Goods on April 15, 2021.
The Conell-Sonshine family hand-stitches together all of their products and often include their three children in the process, making it a family affair.
WHAT YOU’LL FIND
At Orcas Island Leather Goods, customers will find a variety of leather products and DIY kits, all featuring high-quality leather that looks amazing and lasts.
DIY kits range from $29-$249 (depending on the item). Leather coasters are $10 each, crossbody zipper bags cost $99, and handmade tote bags range from $129-$245. Hats at the custom hat bar are $39.
Mindy Sonshine loves the store’s DIY kits. The kits, which come with materials and instructions, allow customers to create their own leather items such as wallets, bags, keychains, and luggage tags.
Sonshine believes the kits are special in that they attract customers of all ages.
“I have seven-year-olds who adore putting together kits, and 80-year-olds,” Sonshine says. 68 N. Beach Rd., Eastsound, 360.298.9093, orcasislandleather.com