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Holtz Leather Co. Huntsville AL Made in the USA
What Its Really Like Growing Up In A Large Family

What Its Really Like Growing Up In A Large Family

A family with 2.5 children is common in most parts of the country. This average number of kiddos is seen most commonly, but its only an average for a reason. Here in the south, bigger families are more common. This could be explained by a lower cost of living, religious backgrounds, or just a southern trend that has remained true in modern times.

Here at Holtz Leather, we have more than a few team members from large families. Of the 25 individuals working here, at least half come from, or have, a family of at least five children. On top of that, many of those siblings work together here!

It may seem odd to have so many siblings working together at one business, but 100% of the time you can see the joy and love that comes with others who share your values, friendship, and (in many cases here) your DNA.

I grew up with one older brother, so hearing these stories and perspectives was absolutely fascinating. Here are a few details from some of our team members from larger families:

 The Holtz Family (6 Children)


The Holtz family is in the shop everyday. All eight of them bring joy, giggling, and an enormous amount of fun to our little shop every time they come in. From almost 18-year-old Maddie to the adorable little Gabriella, every Holtz kid helps out. Maddie, Faith and Kelsey all help out the younger three kids, Levi, Judah and Gabriella.

Names: Maddie, Faith, Kelsey, Levi, Judah, Gabriella

Ages: 18 to 3

Family Demographic: 4 girls, 2 boys

So y’all help out with the little kids a lot? Faith (15): Kelsey helps out the most. She likes it and I’m not patient enough sometimes.

Maddie, you’re almost to the age where you leave for college. Do you think you’d move away from home? Maddie (17): No way. Four days is the longest I’ve been away and I get homesick. I told my parents they messed up by making our house too fun. Now I never want to leave.

Do you remember being told you would have another sibling soon? Faith: I remember when they told us anout Levi. None of us believed there would actually be a boy until the day he was born! It was exciting though.

How do you normally react when you find out there will be another sibling? Maddie: Its really exciting. We call everyone and its a big thing.

So your dad is probably really protective over you all. How do you think y’all will react when its time for your little brothers to date? Faith: Oh, we’re so protective. When they start to date we’ll have interviews and sit-downs.

What’s your favorite part about having so many siblings?

Maddie (17): Always support.

Faith (15): Always someone to talk to. (I talk a lot).

Kelsey (12): There’s always friendship.

Levi (7): Playing! But no one likes board games but me…

Judah (5): Idk…but I just got a new board game!

Gabriella (3): *giggles and runs away*

The Woods Family (9 Children)

woods family

Ashley, Josh, and Sydney Woods all come to Holtz leather to work together. These three siblings make up only one-third of their family. Ashley is the oldest of the 9, followed by Josh then Sydney. Josh gave us some insight on their lives as Woods’.

Name: Josh Woods

Age: 20

Birth Order: Second oldest

Family Demographics: 4 boys, 5 girls. Oldest is 23, youngest is 4.

Did you ever share a room? Always have, still do. Once I lived in a small closet under the stairs, but that was the only time without a roommate.

Where did your family live? Always in the south. We spent a year in Germany for my dad’s job, but we’ve been here the rest of the time.

Home-school or Public School? All of us were home-schooled all the way

Does anyone have birthdays close to each other? Ummm…I don’t know their birthdays-there are NINE!

Favorite thing about having a big family: It was NEVER boring. There was always something going on. And that was awesome.

Do you want a big family? Definitely.


The Arnold Family (6 Children)

arnold family

Three Arnold siblings and one of their in-laws call Holtz Leather their second home. Brooke, Vince and Blake Arnold, along with Robby Baker live and work under the same roofs. I got to hear from Brooke and Vince with their thoughts on their family’s lifestyles.

Name: Vincent Arnold (Vince)

Age: 21

Birth Order: 5th

Family Demographics: 4 girls, 2 boys. Oldest is 27, youngest is 19.

Did you ever go on big trips? HA-no. We didn’t go on vacations. Imagine taking 6 kids on a vacation. We didn’t even go out to eat.

Did your four older sisters pick on you? Well of course they pretended to put makeup on me and dressed me up and stuff. But I was always the same size as them. So no one really picked on me.

What’s a memory you have from childhood? Family. Council. We always knew something serious was going down when Mom said there was a family council meeting. Someone had messed up, or a kid felt left out. They always resulted in yelling.

You lived in California for a while, did you see big families there? No! Almost none. There are so many here though. The cost of living out there is so much more, it just isn’t possible with a big family.

Were you home-schooled? Yes. We went to public school for a bit, but mostly home-schooled.

Do you want a big family? Oh yeah.


Name: Brooke Arnold

Age: 24

Birth Order: 4th

Four girls? Wow. All four are the oldest. Then the two boys.

Was there a daily brawl for the shower? When we were younger, Mom just kind of managed us. She told us when to go. Now that we’re old enough to fight, there’s a race to the bathroom when shower time rolls around.

Did you share a room? Yes, with my sister Ana.

Do you remember hearing the news you were getting more siblings? Not for Vince, because I was only 2. But I remember Blake just showing up. He cried a lot.

Vince told me you all had family council. Do you remember those? Gosh. Someone would mention we were having one and it would strike fear into my heart. Someone had done something wrong.

Do you want a big family? I either want no kids or 4. No in between.

The Dixon Family (5 Children)

dixon family


Moriah is the only Dixon here in Huntsville. Her family is spread out, so she offers the perspective of a family that doesn’t see each other every day of the week.

Name: Moriah (Dixon) Igleheart

Age: 24

Birth Order: 5th

Family Demographics: 2 boys, 3 girls. Oldest is 37, youngest is 24.

What are your favorite memories of your childhood? Christmas was always so awesome. We had so many people all together. It was so much fun. And family dinners. Just having all of those people eating and sitting down together was a great experience.

Did your older siblings pull a lot of pranks on you? They used to put in a movie when I was little, then tell me to go get ready for bed. Then they would fast forward it until it only had about five minutes left when I came back so they didn’t have to watch the whole thing and I would go to bed. Not cool.

What’s your least favorite thing about the big family? How hard it is being far apart from them now. We’re all so spread apart.

What was the best thing? Four people always had your back. When you’re younger you may fight a lot, but they’re always there for you, and that’s pretty cool.

Do you want a big family? I’m not sure. growing up it was a lot of fun, but now that I’m older I’m not sure.

The Kutz Family (6 Children)

kutz family

Our Marketing Director, Becka Christian comes from a big family herself. Although Becka is the only Kutz to work here, they’re still very close.

Name: Becka (Kutz) Christian

Age: 24

Birth Order: Oldest

Family Demographic: 4 boys, 2 girls. Oldest is 24, youngest is 11.

Did you and your siblings fight a lot? Not really. My younger sister and I always shared a room, and she’s four years younger. So there were a few arguments here and there, but not too bad.

Was there anything you didn’t like about having such a large family? It was always so loud and there was no privacy. When I was 18 and went to college I was so excited because I wanted my own thing that was nice and quiet.

Did it take you long to miss it? Not at all. At first I loved it, but after the newness of being out of the house went away, I missed being there all the time. But I only went to school about 15 minutes away, so I went home still all the time.

Are you all still close? Yes. All of my other siblings live at or near home still. My youngest 2 siblings come stay with my husband and I and people mistake them for ours all the time.

Is your husband from a large family? He only has two siblings, so it was different for him to have two way younger siblings running around.

What’s your favorite thing about having a big family? The support. People are always there for you.

Do you want a big family? Not really. Three seems like a good number for my family.

There you have it! These five families have so many stories, memories, and deep friendships. Big families are common here in the south, but they all seem to describe the same thoughts on growing up the way they did: support, friendship, and love that you just can’t find anywhere else.


To learn more about the Holtz family and this family business check out our story page.

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