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Vendor Spotlight: Dan and Tiffany Garbowitz

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

Functionality and classic, minimalist style come together in the form of handmade leather goods by Hides and Stitches. Dan and Tiffany Garbowitz talk working with high-quality material, managing a busy schedule, and local printmakers.

The Market on First Fridays

August 1st. 2014

From 5:00pm-9:00pm

Located on South Division

Clean, classic, high quality, and meticulously assembled. These leather goods by Dan and Tiffany Garbowitz were a clear standout at The Market on First Fridays in June. Belts, lanyards, and a variety of wallets come in a range of tasteful neutral colors that compliment anyone’s personal taste. With stylish, minimal design, everything Hides and Stitches offers is designed for function and longevity.


Intrigued by his skillfully crafted products, I asked Dan about his small business. “Our items are all made by hand from start to finish, one piece at a time, which is the real difference between what we're doing and what retail stores offer. We are constantly learning and improving, and each piece is unique, even if we are creating multiples.” I asked him how he got started creating  and was surprised to hear that both Dan and his wife, Tiffany are both full time high school teachers. Between full time jobs and raising two young children, it seems challenging to also run a successful small business. “Time is our biggest challenge. One of us has to watch the kids while the other works on making products and filling orders, at least until the kids are asleep!” 


Despite the busy schedule, this young couple takes pride in making high quality goods from high quality material. “The first step in making a leather belt is to find the right hide, which is usually 8-10 ounce full-grain vegetable tanned leather. We only do custom belt orders, so we need the customer's measurement before we cut the strap. Then we hand punch, dye, and rivet on the buckle.”

Hides and Stitches are returning for The Market on First Fridays on August 1st. Keep an eye out for classic, minimalist leather goods made with care and precision and visit their etsy account


More on Dan and Tiffany:

What Grand Rapids artist inspires you?

All of the artists in Grand Rapids have so much talent to offer and are easy to admire. Currently I'm really into all of the printmakers who are making awesome stuff:  Woosah, Grow Up Awesome, and Runaway Press come to mind. Their apparel is so cool and unique, it's so tempting to buy something from everyone!

What is your favorite restaurant in Grand Rapids?

Our most frequented restaurant in GR is Twisted Rooster because it is close to home and offers Brewery Vivant's Farmhand.  The Green Well is another favorite because everything on the menu is delicious.  

What is your secret talent?

Dan: Finding the beauty in mathematics and the math in everything. 

Tiffany: Reading all the time and hunting down books in thrift stores.


As we count down to The Market on First Fridays in August, look out for a new article every Wednesday! Learn about a participating vendor each week in July in the Vendor Spotlight Series. If you missed it, check out previous featured vendors, Taylor Bultema and Rose Beerhorst!

The Avenue for the Arts is a neighborhood title for the South Division commercial corridor. We are residential, commercial and nonprofit groups working together in a creative community. We are residents in Heartside, and active participants in shaping change in our neighborhood. In 2005, we choose the Avenue for the Arts as a title to represent our commercial corridor and the projects and events that we create. Because the Avenue is powered by volunteers guest writers create our Rapidian content. Special thanks to Leah Burke, Avenue member and writer for her coverage of "The Market on First Fridays"  

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