Opening pitch: Sandlot Goods’ new workshop puts a fresh spin on its best-selling wallet
As Sandlot Goods moves deeper into a new workspace off Southwest Boulevard, the six-year-old premier maker is stitching an aesthetic that holds true to its classic appeal but ventures away from hometown branding.
“In the last year, we have been dialing back the overly Kansas City feel,” said Chad Hickman, owner of Sandlot Goods. “We get a lot of orders from out of state online. It has become more of the go-to Kansas City shop for travelers and goers.”
Specializing in leather goods — as well as custom products for wholesale customers like Made in Kansas City and corporate clients, and crossover pieces for its sister brand will “drink sweaters” — Sandlot Goods recently relocated to a new space south of the Crossroads, near the state line and Westside neighborhood. The workspace shares a building with fellow makers at Ampersand Design Studio and a coming Made in KC woodshop.
As seamstresses sew leather pieces onto a fabric backing, a laser printer hums nearby in a venture that combines low- and high-tech methods to create its wares. Though product themes have intentionally shifted away from “Kansas City,” Sandlot Goods maintains its links to baseball, an inspiration for the startup’s name as well as its most popular sellers, Hickman said.
“We started with a website and one wallet,” he explained of the venture’s origins in 2013, which began as a side hobby in a photo studio.
Soon after, wholesale deals with stores like Westside Storey and — perhaps most impactful — Made in Kansas City helped propel Sandlot Goods to consistent growth, year after year, Hickman said.
“I wouldn’t say we wouldn’t be here without the guys at Made in KC,” he said, “but I wouldn’t be having as much fun with this.”
The new workspace isn’t intended to serve as a storefront for Sandlot Goods, Hickman said, noting an expanded kiosk area in the Made in KC Marketplace on the Country Club Plaza essentially now serves as Sandlot Goods’ brick-and-mortar location.
Just in time for the holiday shopping season, the company is unveiling a redesigned version of its Monarch wallet — a throwback reference to Kansas City’s sports past that features a design echoing a baseball field in bold new color options.
Surrounded by a range of tools and piles of leather — often ordered in bulk, 25 to 30 hides at a time — Hickman said Sandlot Goods is a work in progress.
“After a few years of figuring out what we do best, we’ve found the route we wanted to go,” he said.
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