We had the good fortune of connecting with sessann orne and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi sessann, what inspires you?
I live in Northern New Mexico outside of Taos. We live off grid in a tiny cabin that my boyfriend and I are building. We are surrounded by mountains and and an endless sea of sage brush. The landscape and the creatures we live along side are huge influences. I have also always been inspired by vintage clothing and books. Living close to the land and natural elements are on my mind constantly when I am creating a piece.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I started leather work a little over 10 years ago. I had no experience, but decided that I would move to New Mexico from Los Angeles and make a living doing this work. It was naive but somehow I made it happen. Ive been lucky enough to have been doing this full time for last almost 9 years. I am self-taught and it was a lot of trial and error. When I look back at what I made in the beginning it was all so crude. But I learned a lot and really love what I get to do. Working for myself is a dream come true, but it doesnt come without its challenges. You have to wear all the hats. You are the creator, maker, shipper, you answer all the emails, manage social media, order supplies, you are the book keeper, etc., etc. It is hard to set boundaries. I am not very good at taking time off or saying no to requests, but I am finally learning, after 10 years, that making time for myself and my other interests, is as important as anything else. Living rurally and off the grid is time consuming and rewarding. It is a totally different way of life. It takes grit and a toughness that I really value. Growing your own food, building your own home, chopping wood to keep warm, using solar electricity, and an outhouse, are not for everyone, but I would never go back to city life. Its a quiet life and I feel truly connected to my environment and the land.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Taos has an extremely rich history. There are some really incredible historical places to visit and experience and a lot to learn about, as well as some incredible nature to explore. The Taos Pueblo is the first thing I always recommend people experience. It is the oldest continually inhabited dwelling in the country. Over 1,000 years. Its truly breathtaking. There are also some truly incredible museums and galleries. The Millicent Rogers Museum has an amazing collection of art and jewelry. And the Fetchin House is one of my favorite places. Ojo Caliente Spa is great and has a bunch of hot springs you can soak in. There are also several free natural hot springs that you can hike to in the area. You can take a tour of the Earthships which are self-sustainable homes made out of mostly recycled materials. I have lived in several Earthships over the past 10 years and if you have a chance to visit one, they are really unique. If your in Santa Fe, I cant recommend Meow Wolf enough. Its unlike any other experience. Its an interactive collaborative art installation. It is beyond description and so much fun. There is also the Santa Fe Folk Art Museum. I cant say enough about Ghost Ranch and visiting Georgia O’Keeffe’s home. You can ride horseback to see the places she painted. Bandelier National Park is incredible. Its all ancient cave dwellings and really awe-inspiring. The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge in a must to get the full scope and scale of the river.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I started this business as a way of supporting myself while being able to live rurally and work from home. I really wanted to be able to work with my hands and be creative. I have been collecting vintage books and images from the 60s and 70s for as long as I can remember. My book shelves are filled with books from that time period about counterculture, communes, handmade houses, crafts, folk art, photography, etc. These images and those lifestyles have been huge influences in my life and my work. Bringing back handcrafted goods that take time and love has been important to me. So somehow, people Ive never met and their lifestyle choices and living off the land, from a time period long passed have greatly influenced my life and my work.