Every morning drive to work is different. Some mornings the music on the way is a little slower, trying to maintain the peace from the previous nights sleep ready to accomplish the day. Sometimes it’s the complete opposite and I need to rock out to something harder, trying to wake myself up after I got on the road late because I failed to ignore hitting the snooze button too many times - causing me to wear a wrinkled last minute outfit with a less than impressive comb-over that barely hides the “bedhead” that didn’t get fully washed out in the sink as I frantically tried to brush my teeth… Needless to say my morning drives are hardly consistent.
Either way, once I pulled up to the rusty iron gates that surround Warehouse 5, I’m ready to go.
Warehouse 5. A centuries old building on the west side of downtown holds more than just our workshop. What once housed two floors worth of sewing machines all ablaze making uniforms on a factory line, is now home to over ten separate businesses. There’s a coffee shop (conveniently enough), a caramel company, a CBD/Hemp store, interior designer firm, soap makers and a tattoo shop and barbershop. And then there’s us, the OG’s of the warehouse.
We’ve set up here 5 years ago and have taken up a permanent residence since then. It’s our home away from home. There’s a couch (leather obviously), TV, Nintendo 64 (because why not?), our Colt Wrangler exclusive motorcycle, our shop dog Sonny, and even a claw machine (LET’S GET EM RICH)! Apart from the small lounge in the cold brick corner of the room, the workshop is filled with all the tools of the trade. Leather, of course. A burnisher. An anvil. Rivets. Hammer. Maul. Awl. Needles. Stitching Saddle. Press. Thread. Skiver. Glue. And a speaker… we jam.
Tables are set up with our team of craftsmen, who on any given day, can do any of the tasks assigned. The head of that table is Bradley Ericson. He is our head craftsman. There’s Jesse, our rambunctious but loyal morale leader. Gabrielle, resident artist and dedicated crafter. Austin (me), the customer service rep. and writer. Daniel, our seasonal prankster and studious worker. Falcon, Jefe,OG Bexar, and leather designer. Guy, Jefe,OG Bexar and leather guru.
A typical day for us isn’t complicated but it is filled with work. We manufacture all leather goods here and need to maintain steady inventory levels. On average each craftsman can hand-stitch anywhere from ten wallets or twenty watch straps or even one of our porter satchels a day. But there’s more to be made than that. While some work on the hand stitched wallets, some will be working on our leather dog collars, or catch-alls. All jewelry is made by us too and so are the candles.
All brand content is produced in house as well. Guy, our photographer and Falcon, our filmmaker make sure to capture and create the atmosphere that surrounds Bexar Goods. Over the years we’ve been able to take trips around the globe to field test our products and ensure their quality. It has also led way to using it as telling our story. Just as leather tells your story.
We’re more than just a team in the shop, but a family. Guy and Falcon are literally family but we all feel like an adopted crew of misfits, all unique in our own ways. Bringing that uniqueness with us day in and day out makes the repetitive nature of our job feel new each and every day. Any given moment in the shop we can go from listening to Travis Scott to Boy George to Creed. Stories are shared left to right and have occasional moments of getting on each others nerves. Our relationship in the workshop doesn’t end at 5. You can catch us running together after work, gym-ing, grabbing a drink or singing karaoke!
The work we do is consistent but no day seems to be the same. What once was a small work bench for leather crafting has turn into a spacious workshop to do full scale work. Our love for leather and spirit of adventure lives within the walls of Warehouse 5. The work we do is consistent but no day seems to be the same.
Pulling out of those rusty iron gates at the end of the day, I feel accomplished. The drive home is slower, I’m in no rush. I’m usually listening to a podcast, at peace and anticipating my eventual return to Warehouse 5 in the morning.