A few days ago, I had the pleasure of speaking with one of the finest custom leather craftsmen in the country, Marty Overstreet of Circle Bar T Leatherworks. Much like myself, Marty is a one-man shop catering to a specific need, and he’s always a pleasure to talk to. I can also tell my readers that Marty is a man of his word that gladly accepts projects with just a handshake or a phone call – a rarity in today’s business climate. Perhaps it is his gentlemanly manner or the way he engages his customers…..whatever the case, Mr. Overstreet can work magic with leather when no one else can.

The subject of “passion” for our chosen craft came up in discussion, and we talked at length about what it’s like to have a real desire to outperform customer’s expectations. I told Marty I enjoyed the “Wow !” factor – hearing that surprised expression when a customer sees a finished project for the first time. This is what we both strive for, day in and day out. It is the passion for our craft that drives us both to excel.

I’ve come to know this fellow pretty well over the past few months, as we are kindred spirits. Yet, I was somewhat surprised and flattered by some comments he made to me that day.

He said, “John, I’ve done a lot of custom leather work for good folks all over the country, and I’ve been privileged to have some big names in the firearms business as my friends. Out of all the people I’ve encountered over the years, I’d say there maybe twenty or twenty five that really impressed me with their passion for their work, and I gotta tell you that you’re one of them. I’ve seen the pictures of your work and followed your progress, and I can tell that you put 110% of yourself into every project. A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; but a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist….. you, sir, are an artist.”

Folks, this is what it’s all about. I have a passion to excel, and I will always strive to exceed your expectations. Got a rifle in need of rescue ? I hope you’ll consider entrusting it to my care.

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