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Fellow makers and friends Sarah Heck and Anna Warren were searching for a way to combine their talents into a business. The eureka moment came when they attended a design lab that showcased the latest 3-D printers and laser cutters. “Anna and I lost our minds completely,” says Sarah. “That night, we had the idea for our Milwaukee map journal, which was our flagship product.”

 

Why a map journal? Sarah’s grandfather worked for Rand McNally, and both women share a love for travel. “When you’re at home you’re longing for adventure, and when you’re out adventuring you’re longing to be home – with your people,” says Anna. “Maps speak to the place you are versus the place that you want to be.” That sense of place resonated with customers and quickly became a trademark of Tactile Craftworks products.

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Another trademark? Customization. All the leather is custom-tanned, and the edges are burnished with beeswax from the hives in Anna’s own backyard. Although most of their products are laser etched and machine stitched, designs in the Heritage Collection are created entirely by hand, with no additional machinery.

 

Sarah and Anna now partner with over 200 retailers nationwide while staying true to their vision of crafting beautiful, durable leather goods. They’ve also stayed true to their friendship, which Sarah jokes is “more like a marriage.” Like their products, it’s a partnership that’s clearly made to last.


Get Their Goods

You don’t have to travel far and wide to find exceptionally crafted gifts inspired by the great big world Sarah and Anna have roamed. Their handcrafted leather goods are for sale only at TactileCraftworks.com.

Friends first, these entrepreneurial women built a business on their shared love for designing goods made to last. Their leather-working studio is based in Milwaukee, but their map-etched journals, flasks, mugs and wallets are inspired by their travels far and wide.

Friends first, these entrepreneurial women built a business on their shared love for designing goods made to last. Their leather-working studio is based in Milwaukee, but their map-etched journals, flasks, mugs and wallets are inspired by their travels far and wide.