November 16, 2015
It’s a beautiful Monday and it’s all thanks to Canoe Goods! These outstanding leather goods will be at our Austin Fair November 28+29! Shop Small Saturday is a definite must this year! Founded in 2009, Natalie Davis was inspired by vintage workwear, well-worn boots, and Outlaw country music. The Canoe line explores pattern through tooled, carved, burned, and hand dyed leather accessories, from jewelry to home wares. Canoe goods are crafted with a sartorial eye and workhorse materials to last a lifetime, made proudly in the USA.
What valuable experience/knowledge did you have before starting your business?
Before starting Canoe, I worked as a graphic designer. My career in design has been quite varied (from books to packaging) and that’s prepared me for the many jobs I do at Canoe. I’m most grateful for project management skills learned from the publishing world– that keeps me on track with the multiple projects I am always juggling.
Have you had any major failures? If so, what were some important insights gained?
I majorly fail at least once a day! Failure is part of the process and even though it stings, it does teach me something important. A lot of days, it’s teaching me to slow down and be patient. Sometimes those failures teach me that I should have followed my instincts and not been driven by fear. Being a small business owner you have to pick yourself up quickly from those failures and pivot in the right direction.
What has been your proudest/favorite moment since creating your business?
Moving into my current studio was a very proud day. That space was earned over many years of hustling in a home studio. Right now I’m exploring larger studio spaces, and that’s another big step coming up for Canoe.
How does the city you live in influence your work?
Austin has a huge influence on Canoe. We began the business after moving back to Texas, inspired by the landscape, music, and kindness of Texans. The support we’ve had from our local community is overwhelming and why I can’t picture ever leaving.
What are some tips or suggestions you’d like to offer to fellow makers?
The best tip I can offer is to create a close network of friends and colleagues to lean on. Running your own business can be lonely at times and getting advice from folks who’ve been through it before is key. It will help keep you sane and save you time & money.