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Major Changes on Saddleback's 10th Year

10 years ago, art was at our core and beauty really was skin deep… when talking cow skin, that is. On our 10th anniversary of starting this company, we’re bringing back that and more. We try to constantly improve, not to stay ahead of the competition, but because it just seems like the right thing to do. Read on to understand the huge changes we’ve committed to. Daddy likeee.

We’re Changing Our Leather


A $14,000 guitar made from diseased Maple or an Italian supercar lined with banged up oak from the canals of Venice. Why were these imperfect materials chosen and why do they add such value? Because they’re art. Their character tells the story of a prior life and brings joy to those who recognize the beauty.

Somehow we strayed away from that coolness, trying to please the “perfect people” with perfect leather. What some people don’t get is that perfection doesn’t equate to high quality. So now, we’re using the exact same excellent leather as always, but we’re not cutting out the art. Now you might see scars, insect bites, stretch marks, or maybe even a brand. Of course, not all scars will make the cut, since some scars are nasty looking and their story need not be told. But, wherever the cow has been gored, kicked, bitten by bats or bugs, acquired “love” marks from hooves or run through barbed wire and cactus, you’re going to see it.

The bags are now often harder to build because we’re very carefully selecting where the brands go and where the scars are placed. And I know we’re going to lose the “perfect people” as customers. I’m sorry to hear that, but if we try to please everybody, the art goes away and we won’t really please anybody. I’m not guaranteeing that all bags will have a rancher’s brand or a gorgeous scar, but you can always cross your fingers.

To see what I mean, check out this video:


Everything you need to know, including our new “EIEIO” policy, is on our New Leather Questions page, which you can visit by clicking here.

New Colors - Tobacco and Carbon


We’re changing back to a couple of original colors too. The new Tobacco looks older, darker and way more uneven, while the Carbon looks like old worn biker boot leather. Suzette and I may have a new favorite leather in that black.

The pigskin is changing as well. Expect the same tough and resilient lining, but with a sandy tone and a matte finish, complete with “love marks”. Pigs are pretty passionate creatures and you can read about that on our Questions page.

Stories in Writing and Film


Storytelling is an art. Garrison Keillor is great. I’m not. But that’s not going to stop me from doing it. So, I decided to tell a story on each product details page. Just click the “Read More” button to get the full story. Here’s an example from the Original Briefcase page:

“So, in the morning, as we three clean-cut smiley white guys emerged from the cheap hotel, everybody looked at us with suspicion. The rebels thought…”

The full story of the Federale sent to kill me is coming soon.

You should watch for little short films from us too. Not all of them will have a purpose more than to just tell a story and make you smile. Kind of like the 122 second Afterlife of a Cow film we let out last week. And the new video product descriptions could almost be considered short films. We don’t have them all uploaded to every page yet, but we’re working on it. They’ll answer way more of your questions, including which size to get.

New Photography and Product Pages


My nephew, Aiden, and my friend, Anna, just re-photographed everything leather and I think you’re going to like what they did. You can now spin the bag around, stop it and then zoom in to see what you need to see. And, we have new bullet points and reviews and customer pics and a sizing chart to help you know what fits in each bag, and what size you should get based on your height. By the way, if you haven’t reviewed your leather on our site, we would love for you to. The more honest feedback we get, the better we can make these things.

We’ve only completed Phase One of the makeover, but I think you’ll think that we think you think it’s far better now.

$500 Giveaway


Last but not least, I’m giving one $500 gift certificate away. Look for a post on Facebook called “About My First Bag”. We will have more details there.

Thanks for making Saddleback a dream come true all these years. You guys are true blue. And, we’re nowhere near finished. All through the next 12 months, you’ll be hearing even more exciting news that makes this stuff look insignificant. You won’t believe what we’ll have in store for you.

By the way, everything you need to know about the new leather is on our New Leather Questions page, which you can visit by clicking here.

Peace to you,

Dave