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HOLD STEADY LEATHER COMPANY

by Megan Young

(Photos by Anna Tucker)

Finding the perfect leather accessory can be pricey and time consuming. However, Cory Wood, owner of Hold Steady Leather Company has made this job easy for you. Primarily focusing on leather camera straps, Cory also designs wallets, bracelets, and watch bands, finally making leather products you want accessible and affordable.

His love for making durable leather items began about two years ago, when tough economic times left him jobless. What turned out to be a hidden blessing provided him the opportunity to focus more provided him the opportunity to focus on his passion for photography.

To get started, Cory purchased a professional camera, and with it, he received a camera strap that was lacking the sturdiness and look he was expecting.

“I bought a Leica M9 and spent a large amount of money. It came with a ‘rinky dink’ strap with which I was less than pleased,” said Wood. That is when he decided to produce and test some of his own models.

“I researched some blogs and a few “I researched some blogs and a few guys had made full paracord straps. A week later I went out and bought a ton of paracord material with which to practice,” Wood explained. After two weeks of trial and error he decided that he wanted more than full paracord straps.

Finally, after much trial-and-error whilst racking his brain for the best option, and testing multiple designs using a myriad of other materials, he settled on just the right style. “I really wanted something that would last, and that would, ideally, hold for the lifetime of the camera,” says Wood.

His straps comprised microcord wrapped around a hand-fashioned leather strap. This added durability, a unique look, and a material most camera strap companies don’t currently utilize. Microcord thread can hold up to 125 pounds, easily, and with traditional cameras weighing up to ten and 20 pounds, these straps are perfectly capable of reliably supporting a camera suspended at all times.

“I sat down and came up with a design idea. I ended up designing this loop in the leather that you wrap through and hold everything together. I also wanted to make an interchangeable strap that will fit multiple cameras, instead of one strap per camera,” explained Wood. This makes his straps highly versatile, which is great for photographers who frequently use more than one camera at a time.

Custom orders from Hold Steady Leather Company can be made via Esty or Instagram to accommodate the look you want. As with many other artists and designers, Instagram has been a huge help in getting Hold Steady Leather Company’s brand name out into the cyber world. “I have sold more straps on Instagram than any other site or store out there. I would say 80% of my sales come from that social media site because of the ability to hashtag. Individuals are able to see what you’re doing and not even be where you are,” says Wood.

For Cory, custom orders are more enjoyable. “The whole purpose of me doing Hold Steady and the straps is because I could never afford those things when I was a photographer. I like to be able to budget you for something you want versus what others can do.”

Of course, as with any other company, the custom orders vary in price depending on what you want. They can be as rustic or modern, and as thick or thin as the customer would like.

As far as future plans go, you can expect Wood to continue to make straps on the side for as long as there is a demand for the product.

“I just love what I do and when you start to put too many expectations onto what you want to happen, it turns stressful,” says Wood.

“I love showing others my trade and helping them with their needs at an affordable price.” !

WANNA know?

Want your very own hand-made camera strap? Follow Cory Wood on Instagram @Holdsteadyleatherco. Or his Etsy page at www.etsy.com/shop/woodcostraps.

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