Indianapolis leather companies bring local crafts and history

Christian Rasiak is not the kind of person who spends a lot of time in malls. But in 2014, that’s where he found his spark.

As he wandered aimlessly through the mall, a store selling leather bags caught his eye. Besides the high prices, Rasiak noticed something else: a lack of quality in their construction. Loose threads were sticking out of the seams. The pockets didn’t feel secure. It made him think, “I can do something better than that.

So that’s what he decided to do.

The next day, he went to all the goodwill possible, buying all their leather jackets. After trial and error in his basement, he figured he might be able to make some money out of it.

Founded a year later, Scream and hide started selling handmade leather goods.

Being self-taught, things weren’t easy at first.

“What was difficult was getting this out there for the public, but I didn’t know how to do it,” Rasiak said.

Since then, Rasiak has learned a lot, and his leather is sourced from a local supplier rather than second-hand jackets.

Eric Landwerlen is the fourth generation of a family business located just across from Lucas Oil Stadium. His family’s shop Leather Landwerlenhas been supplying local businesses with leather goods and repairing them since 1908.

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This kind of relationship is rare, says Rasiak. Most companies like his have to resort to ordering leather overseas or from huge wholesalers. Instead, just over a mile separates this wholesaler from the buyer.

The two companies are now symbiotic. They need each other to exist and continue to manufacture Indianapolis-sourced products.

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