We started Holtz Leather after suffering some of the lowest points in our life.

Our Story

Over the course of five years, we suffered four miscarriages, lost our business, and our house. With a borrowed embroidery machine, we started a business that saved our family from becoming homeless. Through this time of extreme humbling, God has taught us that life is more than the things we acquire or the titles we have.

1993

1st Valentine's Day — This was such an awkward time...haha!

This picture was of us serving at Inner City Ministry — 2nd Mile Day Care

Boy Meets girl

Our story really does have a ‘boy meets girl’ beginning. Coleen and I have been sweet on each other since we were just kids. I remember playing “bubble gum, bubble gum” in the back of my dad’s old pick up truck. We were no older than 5-6 years old.

1994

Our First Date

1997

Boy Marries Girl

1999

First business & growing family

Since Coleen and I were dating, there were two things we wanted. The first was a big family (lots of kids) and the second was to own our own business. I have been an entrepreneur since I was 10 years old. I’ve done paper routes, landscaping, small engine repair, and counterfeiting (that’s a funny story for later.) In 1999, I launched a very successful e-commerce computer parts business. We were 22 years old and had three kids. We were making good progress towards having a large family.

2008—2013: Losing Everything

In 2008, the Lord began a process of shaping our hearts in. His likeness. Over the course of 5 years, we suffered 4 miscarriages, lost our business, our home, had our cars repossessed, and nearly became homeless. These were some very dark and difficult times in our life.

It was a time of chastening that opened our eyes to the blessings of having a grateful heart.

2014

Starting Holtz Leather

It actually didn’t start with leather… We were two weeks away from being evicted from our home. We had 6 kids, 2 donkeys, a horse, and no housing prospects. I was completely broken and ashamed, but what I had not realized at that moment was that over the previous 5 years I had become stronger, wiser, and more certain of the things in life that really mattered. It wasn’t money, physical possessions, or prestige. It was a mindset focused on family and centered on the One who is sovereign over it all.

So, how did Holtz Leather begin? As a last-ditch effort to stay afloat, Coleen had an idea to try something on Etsy. I called my Dad who had an old embroidery machine in his basement, and we purchased 4 cotton robes. These weren’t just any robes — they were robes that bridal parties would wear to get ready for the big day. We bought 4 because that’s all we had money to buy.

We embroidered some dummy initials on them, took some pictures, and posted them on Etsy. INSTANTLY… we heard a “cha-ching” from our phone. We were using the Etsy app and that’s the sound it made when you received a sale. “Cha-ching!” We heard one and then another, and another…

It was an immediate and much-needed success!

From our success on Etsy, we knew we wanted to build something different, something lasting. For us, it was a family business of making leather goods! We worked in our basement burning the midnight oil, teaching ourselves how to be expert leathersmiths. We read every book under the sun about the leather trade and taught ourselves how to sew. Those humble beginnings helped us develop a foundation of love and compassion within our family and within our business.

2016

First Production Facility

2017

Planning Our Retail Store

Our Retail Store Opens!

On the day before we opened, I remember talking with Coleen about bringing some games to play with the kids. We were opening on Black Friday and we didn’t anticipate anyone would come by. WE WERE WRONG!

Black Friday was HUGE and has become a special anniversary for our family. On that day each year, our family works in the retail store. It’s a day filled with meeting familiar faces and lots of new ones. We are grateful to the Huntsville community for giving us a place to connect!

2018

Millworks Launch

2019

Madison Gets Married

2020 — We adopted 5 siblings from Costa Rica!

Coleen has wanted to adopt since she was a kid. I didn't get on board until we were in the midst of losing everything. Through that process, my heart became laser-focused on the mission of adoption. The growth of our company has allowed our family to grow. That's really what the Holtz story is about: family.

Check out our video documentary of the Whole Lotta Holtz blog to learn more about our journey.

Thank you for making our dreams come true!