Artisan Matt Saporito started his journey into professional leather-making with a ski accident. After tearing his MCL and ACL at Big Sky Resort back in 2010, he sat in recovery, wondering what he could do to keep busy. His eyes wandered to a bag he picked up a few years back while on a trip with his family. They had been visiting a friend of his in Morocco who was just finishing up a stint with the Peace Corps, and they were visiting a tannery that he estimates was about a thousand years old. He remembers the contrast of the white thread on the dark leather, the fine craftsmanship and durability of the product.
Next thing he knew, he was hobbling down to the local saddlery learning about leather-making and purchasing his first tools and leather. Aside from a quick tutorial at the shop, Saporito is self-taught, and began making wallets for friends and family. Now he makes tote bags and cross body bags and everything in-between, which you can find at the Big Sky Farmers Market and Meridian and Inner Alchemy in downtown Bozeman. He began Brick Bounds in 2014 and has been leather-working full time since three years ago. He believes in quality through simplicity and communicates his frustration with today’s world of planned obsolescence.
“It’s kind of just like a metaphor where one brick isn’t really good for anything,” Saporito said. “But if you use a high quality product, like thread or good mortar, you can create a structure that’ll stand the test of time.”
“This found me and I found it,” he says of his craft.
In addition to the farmers market, you can view Saporito’s work on his Instagram page.
Jake Mosher Photography
When it came to changing careers to photography with no formal training behind him, Jake Mosher was simply following his heart. Now, he captures award-winning landscapes in southwest Montana and spends time in the places he loves most.
“For me it was the perfect opportunity to spend time in the places that speak loudest to me,” said Mosher.
The Vermont native moved to Montana 23 years ago after college—he recalls seeing a photo as a child of a man holding a string of trout with a snowcapped mountain range in the background and feeling the draw of the beautiful state.
He has a degree in journalism and published a couple novels before he got tired of what he calls the “starving artist thing,” and switched to a career in explosives engineering. After 13 years, he left it all behind to take photos, which he has been doing professionally for over three years now.
“It was great for my pocketbook but it didn’t do anything for my soul,” Mosher says of engineering. “I turned to photography because it’s a way for me to spend time in the places that I like most.”
He spends most of his time shooting in remote areas of the region where, he says, “a remarkable moment might occur.” One such remarkable moment won him the 2020 National Wildlife Federation Photo Contest for best landscape. “Cold Night on the Yellowstone” depicts the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness with the night sky and the Milky Way galaxy arched above. You can find Mosher’s work on his website or at the Big Sky Farmers Market.
“I hope that it makes people a little bit more aware of what’s around them, particularly off the beaten path,” Mosher said of his work. “Everyone’s going a million miles an hour now [but] there’s still some pretty fantastic things to see in the world if we look.”