MORE ABOUT US
posted 2011 Feb by Merle Snook
Although not native Floridians, we have been here in the Sunshine State since 1969. Wow, as I'm writing this I realized - that's a long time, over 40 years. We certainly didn't plan on this profession when we arrived here. At that time our professional careers and a growing family kept us in a very traditional lifestyle, breakfast and dinner at home and children's activities occupying much of the remainder of the day and evening.
Beginning in the mid 1980s, with Merle burning out in her career and with a timely gift of Korean eelskin from dear frieids, our life became transformed. We found that we were hooked on the beauty of unique and exotic leather.
The opening of our first retail shop at the St. Petersburg Pier soon followed and then followed again by two additional stores, one each in Madeira Beach at John's Pass and Orlando on International Drive. We were introduced to a new lifestyle of travel and discovery. As we traveled over the years we became involved with and friends with some of the most talented people in the leather trade, specifically the leather industry focused on unique and exotic, sustainable animal hides. At the same time our retail stores brought us in contact with customers from around the world. We quickly discovered that these customes wanted more than simply eelskin. They wanted a larger variety of leathers and a wider selection of products. We listened. In the beginning we listened for 7 days a week and 365 days a year. Literally. Our flagship store was open every day of the year so we had plenty of time to listen and to learn, to find out what customers were looking for. Finally, after almost 25 years of retailing and listening we decided that it was time to move in a new direction. In addition to purchasing accessories from a select group of producers we wanted to produce our own products to meet these customer needs. We had the talent derived over 25 years in the business and we had the contacts as well. Who has the highest quality hides at the best prices? Who should know that better than us? We could now offer the best of products from our select producers and unique exclusive fashion accessories of our own design. Always with an eye toward sustainability and FOOD FIRST, of course.
With this thought in mind we closed the last and longest running Hide Out retail store at the St. Petersburg Pier in 2010. With long time loyal customers following us to our web site the transmission was smooth. Production of new exotic fashion accessories began almost immediately. Our greatly increased inventory of exotic leather products is growing so quickly that we very often don't have an opportunity to include new items on our web site. For this reason plus an itch to be on the move again, we now travel to festivals and introduce new customers to our growing lines. We began our travels to include Florida first but soon moved west to Mississippi and north into Georgia. What fun!
Keep an eye out for us, we're moving around. Maybe we'll be in your back yard soon. 'Til then you can follow us on our FESTIVALS page calendar or order online.
See you soon?