When A Stranger Went Out of Their Way

The woman on the phone didn’t know how to begin. She was excited that I answered and was trying to find the right words. “While waiting for my flight at Dulles International Airport, I found this extraordinary wedding album! Someone is REALLY going to want this back,” she exclaimed. She told me that she looked at every page and felt like she had been a guest at the wedding. On the last page she saw “KingenSmith” and gave us a ring. Coincidentally, a few minutes later one of our brides called and said, “You won't believe this but somehow I lost our album at the airport!” I gleefully said, “Well, you won’t believe THIS! A very nice woman just called. She has your album!” Unbelievable. Happy, happy day!

Leather Craftsmen handcrafted this “extraordinary” wedding album. Spanning three generations, they have been creating exquisite albums since 1942. Using centuries old bookbinding techniques, their artisans carefully handcraft each book.

Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting the Leather Craftsmen artisans. Watching our beautiful albums attentively crafted with traditional tools was fascinating. We have complete peace of mind that our couple’s most treasured photographs are properly preserved for many years to come. When a stranger appreciates how special an album is, you know you are doing something right. 

Thank you Bobby, Howard, “Sal from Sicily,” Gene, Michelle, Jawon and everyone at Leather Craftsmen for your dedication to quality and making everything with love.

Here is a little peek into their workshop.


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We feel fortunate to live and work in the beautiful, Chicago neighborhood of Logan Square, among many talented artists and entrepreneurs. We believe in the beauty of blending historic with modern. Built in 1916, our European style live-work building, is land-marked by the city of Chicago, full of character and modern style. It is a dream come true to have a charming studio, surrounded by beautiful boulevards, as the foundation of our creative endeavors.

"It is a pleasure to get to know our couples, become part of their inner circle, understand their connections, and hone in on what matters most. Every celebration has its own personality, vibe and feeling. To interpret and translate the feeling, love and joy, we look for the split-second glances, tender touches, belly laughs and genuine smiles. Emotionally connected, we sense magical moments; one must first feel, and then see to be able to interpret. This is the foundation of our creative process."

"Inspired by all art forms: paintings, architecture, fashion, cinema, music and food, we incorporate our sensibilities into everything we do. Blending emotional imagery with a modern and elegant viewpoint is how we tell very personal stories in a nuanced way. We do this so that you may savor your celebration, long after it ends, and remember those feelings forever. It would be our privilege to interpret your unique story."

Heather KingenSmith