I was 19 when I started making leather goods in a 10' x 10' backyard shed.

The craft began a while earlier, though – I had been hand-stitching and altering clothing since the age of 12. Patterns and product ideas grew in complexity and detail. When our company formed in 2009, I was making belts, wallets and bags for friends and acquaintances who took notice of my work.
In those days, any semblance of an identity for the company I had created was overshadowed by the simple desire to build quality, recraftable goods that would endure time and regular use. Since “Mercy” happened to be the name of the old, weathered school bus that I was living, sewing and traveling in, the name was instinctively repurposed for the brand. Though it has identified the company that has sustained my family for the past 11 years, the name has never felt like a proper fit. Mercy is something that I’ve always strived to extend through my personal and professional dealings – but the importance of family heritage and history has taken on new meaning in this season. Just as the company and its core values have developed, likewise should the brand identity.

Sidnaw is a small town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where I spent much of my childhood. It’s where I picked wild blackberries with my grandmother and learned how to drive stick in my grandfather’s truck. A place that’s unaffected by trends, the constant busyness of life and the endless passage of time, Sidnaw is where I’ve known true joy and peace. It’s my intent through the reshaping of our abstract brand identity to help our company and products more clearly embody the town’s spirit.

Our commitment to quality is not changing. If anything, we’re doubling down. We will continue to focus on our ethics and manufacturing practices, all while creating as little waste as possible. Our products will continue to be made in the USA. Kait and I are still the founders and makers. What’s changing is the strength of our identity.

Thanks for your support.

Rusty Zylstra

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