“It’s obviously so much easier to just be following everyone else…but I think we all just get to a breaking point” - says Jon Hyde during this interview on About The Adventure Podcast. The focus of this episode is finding out about why Jon started making things with leather, how he has developed his business, and what brought him to Sheffield in 2021. He tells us about some of the challenges that he's faced in life, including grief, and he shares why he is drawn towards spending time in nature. We recorded the interview outdoors in Edale, about half way up Grindslow Knoll, with amazing views towards the Hope Valley. I hope that you can imagine that you're there with us, sharing a big flask of tea in the winter sun.
"I just love the daily task of making something, whatever that might be."
In this episode I interviewed my friend Jon Hyde about his leather goods business based in Sheffield. Prior to this he was a photographer and ran a queer film programme at a cinema in Brighton.
I think that this episode will be of particular interest to people thinking about taking up a new craft, starting a small business, or moving to a new place closer to the hills. Other topics that we touched on included learning about nature and geography, loss and grief, and stepping out of societal norms. At the end, Jon asks you a question to take away with you to have a think about. This will be especially useful for anyone thinking about starting or developing a business involving craft.
Here’s the full list of questions that I asked during the interview:
Why did you start making things from leather?
How do you get through the challenges of picking up a new craft?
How have you learned this craft?
Do you think it requires a certain level of patience?
How long did it take you to start selling your goods?
Have you had customers from all over the world?
What’s the process that you go through from designing to selling a product?
Do you have help with any parts of the business?
What lifestyle does this work facilitate for you?
How did you arrive at the point where you feel comfortable with what you’re earning?
Do you feel like you value money in a different way now?
Where do you think that your love of the outdoors is rooted?
What prompted you to move to Sheffield?
How has it been moving into a new city and away from a place where you had friends and you felt quite established?
What’s gone on behind the scenes?
Why do you think it can feel so hard to step out of societal norms and pressures?
Do you have particular values that you stand by and hold close within your business as well?
What question would you ask someone who is thinking about designing, making, and selling their craft, but they are perhaps feeling overwhelmed by all the different aspects of setting up a small business?
This episode was recorded while sitting on a hillside of Kinder Scout in Edale, by Sarah Lister on 16th December 2021, and edited by Gabby Wolstenholme.
You can visit Jon's website Hyde Wares, visit his Etsy shop, and follow him on Instagram. Find out more about his work in this beautiful short documentary by Sam Binstead which celebrates small makers.
Visit About The Adventure website to email Sarah, the podcast host, with your comments, questions or suggestions for future guests. Subscribe to Sarah's newsletter to receive episodes in your inbox, along with career change interviews and career coaching questions.