Riding the Valley of Death

On October 17th, Saddleback Leather has a number of employees heading to ride 105 miles through Death Valley raising money for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. JDRF is working on an artificial pancreas that I’m hoping will save my niece, Grace’s, life. Check out our 11 minute Sundance Film Festival film about her and her Diabetes Alert dog here.

If you’re going to give somewhere this year above and beyond where you normally do, then would you consider giving to support one of our riders. Each of the riders has committed to raise money and some need a little more help.

Guidelines for our giving

And if you don’t feel like giving to this, we want to encourage you to at least give somewhere. There are a lot of places to give so Saddleback has these general guidelines that may help you think through your giving. For us, the organization has to be:

  1. Loving people
  2. Financially accountable (because there are a lot of crooks out there)
  3. 85% of the gift has to go directly to people.

We don’t talk about our giving as a marketing scheme or as some sort of bragging. Nope. We talk about our giving so that it will encourage you or the business you work for to give too by seeing our example. I wish more people talked about this subject. There’s so much joy that comes from giving and so many people are missing out. A lot of time, the giver is the one who benefits most from the giving.

Copper / Leather Pen

The 1st of many copper pieces I hope to design is this pen. There’s nothing like it in the world. And with it I designed a patent pending leather sheath that acts as both a holder and a protector with one simple twist. I think you’re really going to like it. I made it so it fits standard ink refills so that your kids can still use it long after you are gone.

Book Bag

Our filmmaker, Joe, and I are reading through the Harvard Classics. Some of the 51 volumes of the greatest writings of all time are a chore to read. Plato was SUPER boring. Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography was real cool and exercised my brain. Well, anyhow, I have these old books printed in 1909 that I take with me on trips and I hate the idea of banging them up in my bag, so I designed this Book Bag to fit them perfectly, as well as a few other goodies.

And one of my Bibles fits perfectly in there too. By the way, studies show that readers retain 35% more of what they read if it is in a physical book compared to read on a screen.

Daycare at Old Mexico Manufacturing

Through long pauses and lots of tears, one of our stitchers in Mexico came up to my office and told me his story and how much he appreciated that we opened the daycare. He said that he and his wife both work for us and they have a 2 year old and a 3 year old who live with his mother-in-law all week. They only see their kids on the weekends. He said that this has completely changed their lives and now they get to put their kids to bed every night. He gets to be a dad and she gets to be a mom, everyday.

The daycare is open and I wish more businesses would do it too. You can see the opening of it in Episode 13 of The Not Dead Yet Show.

The Not Dead Yet Show

(NDYS) now has 17 episodes. Sela catches, kills and cooks her own dinner. We’ve moved into living in tents full time now. See a great Mexican Door shop we found on our 9th anniversary trip and check out my Lloyd haircut by an African who had never cut a white man’s hair before in Episode 16. Worst and longest cut ever.

Watch them all here and subscribe so you don’t miss. Bear with us as we learn how to make a regular weekly show.

Employee Stories

At our last Saddleback weekend where the whole company gets together Joe our filmmaker sat down with many of our employees and shot some of their stories. I may be partial but I think Suzette’s is the best.

That was just the beginning. This month we asked our employees to continue sharing stories on our blog. They are great! Here are the ones so far. We will be publishing these regularly. Come get to know our folks more personally.