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Chasing Imperfection

A few Saturdays ago—the singular calm day I got between the chaos of Thanksgiving and the subsequent eternity two weeks of my entire family getting every seasonal illness under the sun—we went to a local holiday market (its first year back after being shut down by the pandemic). While it's hard not to see the vast majority of the wares there as cheap tchotchkes and low effort arts-and-crafts projects, what I like about the market is that there are always a few diamonds in the rough that make the whole experience worth it.

This year, the diamond that I discovered was a leather craftsman by the name of Ed Mason. The son of a saddle maker, Ed has continued his father's legacy, crafting some truly cool leather goods for the cowboy and cowboy-adjacent; saddle bags, gun cases, and other western tack make up most of his stock. What really caught my eye, though, was his selection of minimalist bifold card wallets.

Now, I'm a sucker for a good leather wallet, and while the ones on display were pretty simple in design, it was the sales pitch that really sold me. As I was looking through his stock, Ed took the time to show me how he selected his leather specifically for its character. He appreciated how the scars, scrapes, wrinkles, and other defects from the processing of the leather to the condition of the actual animal added beauty to each piece, rather than removed it, and was eager to share that philosophy.

Simple bi-fold card wallet made of light brown buffalo leather

As I'm sure you have gathered by now, I left the market with a little less cash, but with a perfectly imperfect buffalo leather wallet, hand crafted by a man who took an admirable amount of pride in his work, and was eager to share it with the people who were fortunate enough to stop by his stall. Between you and me, I'm pretty sure I got the better deal in the exchange.

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This is post 025 of #100DaysToOffload