Portland Made: Tanner Goods
Monday, August 24, 2015
Portland Made contributing writer, Peggy Acott sat down with Sam Huff to find out more about how he and business partner Jevan Lautz joined forces and the values that tie their company together.
Their motto is simple: Worth Holding Onto. It reflects the foundational and personal philosophy of Tanner Goods founders Sam Huff and Jevan Lautz, and informs the way they have built their business. It’s the triumvirate of “quality, longevity and value” that are interwoven in every Tanner product. “We feel that the philosophy of [things being] Worth Holding Onto is important in life and relationships, as well as in products,” says Huff, who himself rides to and from work on a bicycle that was hand-built in the 1980s, given to him by his father-in-law.
Both Huff and Lautz grew up in the small town of Sisters, Oregon, a vibrant community of craftspeople with an abundance and pride in quality handmade items. The two grew up steeped in the appreciation of everyday objects that carried both aesthetic and workmanship quality. Huff feels that what they do at Tanner Goods is “a way to get back to our roots.” Lautz’s background was in sales, Huff’s in product design. It was an ideal combination of skills and talents. In 2006, they started producing natural leather belts and bifold wallets in the bedroom space behind their first retail location in NW Portland.
Timing, as they say, is everything. In the mid 2000s there arose a trend toward “heritage leather goods,” driven in part by an influx of money being spent on apparel and accessories by men. Lautz and Huff were able to successfully leverage their products into this movement. Their mission of high quality, locally designed and manufactured leather goods hit just the right note, and their business took off. In the nine years since its inception, Tanner Goods has grown by an astounding 30-40% annually – a 150 square foot room and two friends has grown to a 10,000-square foot workshop and office space with a total staff of thirty-five; two retail outlets (one in Portland and one in Los Angeles); additionally selling wholesale to approximately eighty retail markets in North America, and another eighty in Europe, Australia, Japan, and South Korea.
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Want to read more about Tanner's thoughts about what is worth holding onto? Visit their website.
Want to buy Tanner products? Shop online or visit one of their locations!
Portland Made is a digital storytelling platform and advocacy center for Portland's Maker Movement. We do 2 features a month on Portland Makers; connect makers with more local, national and international markets; connect makers with local professional and manufacturing resources; advocate for makers with politicians at all levels of government; work with PSU on an annual survey that captures the economic power of the Maker Movement; help makers find real estate; and promote Portland makers with local and national media.
Related Slideshow: Slideshow: FashionNXT Recap: Northwest Designers and Up/NXT Competition
Northwest designers and Up/NXT Contestants showed their collections on the second night of FashionNXT in the Pearl.
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