Outlaw Leather, a Pasadena, Texas-based manufacturer of welding gear, custom leather and apparel, is closing in on its first year of business.
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Company owner, Jesus Cisneros, worked as a welder and occasionally helped his father’s boot-making business for eight years prior to founding Outlaw Leather.
“I was working 84 hours a week-”seven 12s-”and then one day we got cut to 40 hours a week,” Cisneros said. “So, I had all this extra time and started advertising on Facebook.”
Cisneros said he saw opportunity to make a product that he, as a welder himself, believed was missing.
“Everyone in the field modifies their own hood with leather. So, since I had all that leather background, my dad suggested we make it better,” he said.
Using the social media platform, Cisneros collaborated with followers to better understand his potential market. For example, one follower said he wanted to receive Outlaw Leather products faster. Cisneros took action-”what originally took him over two hours to complete was being completed consistently in an hour, and eventually narrowed to as little as 15 minutes.
“We have some good customers with good ideas and we have our own,” Cisneros said.
Outlaw Leather offers one-of-kind products and designs, according to Cisneros. He largely attributes the company’s early success to its unique range of products, as well as Outlaw Leather’s employees.
“I was lucky enough to [hire] Gustavo Garza,” Cisneros said. “He’s amazing at what he does. He came in four months after our opening and he’s been really helpful. Before him I was doing all the work. Once I got him and the other employees, I had more time to be back and forth between customers.”
Cisneros was doing much of the painting himself when the company launched last year. Eventually, his wife, Yajaira, took over the responsibility.
“Turns out, women are a lot better painters than men,” he laughed. “And she has never said no to any of the ideas I have.”
Cisneros admitted that it makes him proud when someone recognizes his business. However, his greatest accomplishment, he said, is being able to reciprocate the support his parents gave him during the business’ early days.
Outlaw Leather ships worldwide directly from the shop and offers discounts on all its products to students.