If I post a job posting…I get all these awesome applicants and most of them read like: ‘I know my resume is all restaurants and banking, but I just wanna make stuff with my hands.’ And I can relate to that. It’s like this primal instinct or something where you just want to create something because it’s so gratifying.” – Gabriel Hargett

In this episode, we interview Gabriel Hargett, the founder and owner of Oowee Products. Oowee is a handcrafted leather goods company based in Asheville NC. They create all sorts of custom leather products, from high-quality pint glass sleeves to leather-patched hats and more. And you know what else? They employ a hardworking team of adults that are on the Autism spectrum to help them with hand sewing and packaging up their products. Pretty rad. We know.

Here’s What You’ll Learn:

  • How Oowee products got its start (hint hint: it’s connected to the brewery industry)
  • Where the name Oowee came from
  • What it was like for Gabriel to transition from a full-time day job to a full-time business owner
  • Why Gabriel decided to employ adults on the autism spectrum
  • Oowee’s marketing strategy
  • How Gabriel is applying the concept of lean manufacturing to his business
  • Gabriel’s favorite things to do in Asheville

Check out the full episode below!

Show Notes

Oowee Products creates custom, high-quality leather goods handmade in Asheville, NC. They are proud to employ adults on the autism spectrum to assemble all of their products. Connect with them on their website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Mountain Biz Works is a local non-profit organization that helps offers small businesses learning and lending opportunities. This is where Gabriel and his team took business classes that helped improve their marketing and business strategy.

Lean manufacturing is a concept that calls for constantly improving and tweaking the manufacturing process by eliminating unnecessary and unhelpful steps. Gabriel is constantly applying this concept to his business.

The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt is a parable business book on the process of ongoing improvement. It’s a powerful book for anyone who works in the manufacturing industry.

The Wedge is where Gabe likes to enjoy a casual beer.

Mellow Mushroom is where Gabe goes for consistently good pizza with a groovy vibe.

Bent Creek is one of Gabe’s favorite places to go mountain biking.

Curious to learn more about what we do?

Making It in Asheville is a podcast where we go behind the scenes with artists, creatives, and entrepreneurs in Asheville. We learn about what they’re making and how they’re making it in Asheville.

Making It in Asheville is powered by Making It Creative, our boutique marketing and business consulting agency. We help passionate small business owners build and improve their sales and communication strategies. Learn more here.

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