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Leave your mark

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(ABC4 NEWS – UTAH COUNTY, UT) Stories only live on if they are recorded. Back in the 15th Century, pages would be hand bound to leather by craftsman to create long lasting books.

Fast forward to the year 2000. Rustico started with a challenge from a college professor; “If you build a website and sell $20,000 of product on the website, it’s an instant A in the class. The first product was our travelers journal which is still by far one of our best-selling products.”

Isaac Childs and his college buddies got their “A” and, as they say, the rest is history.

Utah County based, Rustico, is a leader in hand crafted journals and other products that stand the test of time and develop a beautiful patina. Isaac explains; “Each product that someone buys is different after 6 months of use. Whether it’s a wrist band on their wrist, or a wallet in their back pocket or a bag that they carry with them. Our leathers are really designed to leave their marks. Same with our journals. Ultimately that’s what you are doing.”

It was time for me to leave my mark by making a journal.

How is a journal made? Isaac walked me through the process as I rolled up my sleeves and went to work.

“Everything starts with raw leather…We pick the hides. We figure out what die, what pattern we use for the size journal and then we cut it on the presses;” he said. I noticed a part of the leather that had a deep scar in it. He told me they usually avoid those parts. I believe that life is full of battle scars and asked if I could make a journal with that specific part of the hide.

He obliged and we continued; “We add our identifier rivet which is a copper rivet and has our name on it and we deboss our logo on the back, so everyone knows that this is a handcrafted produce.” I was handed an awl to punch the hole and then added the rivet.

We then walked over to a special computerized machine as we told me; “If it’s a product we are building for a company or someone individually we have a logo or a name, we’ll take it to either us deboss machine or our laser engravers.” They added my name as well as the logo for a new series that I’ve be introducing soon, appropriately named “Jessop’s Journal.”

My journal was then handed off to a woman who definitely had done this before as she meticulously adding the archival grade paper and the thread, and I watched her sewn everything together by hand.

What does leave your mark mean to you? Isaac answered; “It could be simple as writing down your thoughts from today or complex as the impact that you leave on someone else.”

With another Utah Success Story, and a new journal from Rustico, I’m Doug Jessop, ABC4 News.

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