I spent a lot of hours in the past few days preparing for our first leather training class. I created a document that showed photographs and instructions for every single step. I wanted to make sure that if my words were not clear, the pictures might speak for themselves. It was a great first class. Of the five that we invited, three (Patrick, Aisha and Mme Sulaimani) were able to come. The other two were sick and had gone to the village to try to recover with relatives.

We are starting with basic unadorned iPhone sleeves.

Today we covered the ground rules of the program and worked through one step of the process: a simple double-strand whip stitch.

Jess Rich was on hand for the lesson and was kind enough to donate the Sunday school classroom to hold the classes. Jen was also a big help keeping me on track and on time and explaining things in different ways to help students understand.

All of the students did much better than I expected, and Mrs Sulaimani did most of her work one-handed with her baby in her lap!

I’m planning on bringing lots of cases to Derbycon to sell, and also a few samples to get votes on cases that everyone seems to like the best.

I’m really excited about this program. It’s completely non-technical and I’m finding that I have to use the other side of my brain more than I’m used to, but I’m really enjoying it and I think we found a niche, a trade that’s viable and isn’t over-saturated.

I’m also excited that this isn’t the end of the Loko program. Rebuilding those homes after the fire was an amazing thing, but it didn’t exactly provide a clear way forward for the residents that didn’t have jobs.

Keep tuned, there’s more to come. :-)