The Story of Leatherhelp.com
Leatherhelp.com is not just a recent startup, it is the culmination of 30 years in the trenches in the leather related services industry. My dad John Repp (pictured at the right) along with a group of other people started New Life Service Company in New York in the early1970’s. They worked to develop the early skills and chemicals necessary for leather cleaning, repairs and refinishing. Some years later the original group spread throughout the country with Dad settling in southern Pa. He has faithfully practiced his trade, run New Life Service Co., and provided for his family ever since.
At 10 years old, I (pictured left) spent the summer carrying buckets, cleaning up after him and learning the trade for myself. Through high-school and college, I continued to learn from my dad working with him part-time. Then I decided to stay with the company and became a leather repairman full time.
Over the years we have seen every leather issue in every leather application. We’ve faced cracking, torn and faded leather in many used cars. We’ve done 1000’s of leather furniture cleaning and repair jobs in homes, offices, stores and warehouse facilities. In the last 6 years we’ve even started cleaning and restoring the leather inside multi-milliondollar corporate aircraft.
The joy of what we do has always been helping the people effected by the problems. We help consumers and retailers understand the care of leather. We help individuals and companies save time, money and headaches by repairing glaring leather problems. We help people maintain their keepsake leather goods or just extend the life of their families gathering place furniture.
Leatherhelp.com is my attempt to boil down all the information we’ve shared, one person and one problem at a time over these years. The resulting information, product and services at leatherhelp.com will be infused with our experience and concern for you as an individual leather consumer. Thanks for your interest. Hope we can help you.
Why I started Leatherhelp.com-
On a little more personal note, let me give a few quick reasons why I started leatherhelp.com. I hope they are inspiring to you. Feel free to e-mail me your questions about these issues for yourself. I’d love to compare notes on how your business life effects your calling, family and purpose too.
1. To move toward my passion and gifting in life
I’ve got to thank this guy, Dan Miller, for projecting me on a path to find more purpose and meaning in my work. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Dan and even gotten to do some leather work for his wife. Reading his book, 48 Days to the work you Love, caused me to challenge the path I was following. I decided to step out and move from my leather service business toward work that I feel passionate about and which serves others. I am a relationship guy, I am a creative thinking guy. Skills which I get to use much less than I’d like in my local service business. Leatherhelp.com on the other hand, is all about finding creative solutions for our leather services industry and building networks to support those solutions. I love it. So,while I haven’t arrived at my perfect calling in my work, I’m glad to say building leatherhelp.com is a step toward it. Click on the banner of Dan above to check out more of Dan’s great resources.
2. To live with a balance between family, faith and work!
Anybody else read the book the 4 hour work week by Tim Ferris? I have. It sure got me thinking about designing my work around my life not accepting my life is slave to my work. My amazing wife home schools our kids and we are active in our church. We’d love to be freed to travel as a part of homeschooling and to give more time and energy to help the needy and our church. Tim’s book made it clear that the internet is a tool to designing a time and location independent entrepreneurial lifestyle. I’m believing its’s possible and leatherhelp.com is a step in that direction. Which leads me to my 3rd reason for starting leatherhelp.com. Click here to check out Tim’s book here.
3. To learn about the internet as the future of business.
- Residual income: On those cold winter days, I’d love to be able to stay in the warm, toasty house rather than freeze out on the car lots. Residual income is a way to do it. If I sell leather cleaning products, service referrals and information products they can be making me money 24 hours a day no matter where I am located.
- Location independant revinue streams: Now, I’m limited to only the work I can find in the local Baltimore and Washington Area. With a growing web presence, I will be able to reach potential customers around the country and the world.
In the current, “web 2.0” world, clear strategies are emerging for building such residual, location independant business. So I’ve spent the last year soaking up all I can learn about this internet business world. Leatherhelp.com is sort of a test vehicle for me to learn and do at the same time. I’m glad to talk with any other small service business owner who would like to try the same path I am taking.
The Mission of Leatherhelp.com
- The mission of leatherhelp.com is to utilize the internet to see more leather professionals helping more leather consumers.
- Leather Consumers- It is our goal to combine the experiences of many leather professionals around the country to give leather consumers valuable information, products and services that help them choose, care for and repair their fine leather goods
- Leather Professionals- At leatherhelp.com leather professionals bring their experiences to serve leather consumers. In return, we hope that those consumers will begin to trust the specific leather professionals in their area. As a result, leather consumers will find helpful, qualified leather professionals and leather professionals will find customers and grow their businesses.
- Leather good manufacturers- As those who know the difference between good leather and bad leather, we hope to be a resource to help consumers find high quality leather products. From local furniture stores to leather manufacturers to speciality shops selling high end leather bags, we will do the leg work to meet the important people and examine the product lines of leather retailers on line and around the corner.