Becky Schmader’s leather goods business is uniquely tied to the LGBT community because of the art of drag.
“Junkmaille started by first making outfits out of chainmail for my friends who did drag and from there it shifted into leather goods just out of a desire to learn more and make different things,” she said.
Though she mainly focuses on wallets and tote bags now, Schmader enjoys making chainmail chokers to connect to her roots as a chainmail artist.
“I also sell journals, coasters, keychains, hats, dog collars, and laptop cases,” she said. “But my favorite item that I created was a full leather harness set.”
Creating the full leather harness set tested Schmader’s limits, but she emerged victorious with a remarkable piece of art.
“It was the largest piece I had made out of leather at the time and it was a huge test of my skills,” she said. “I’m very proud of that piece and I feel as though it really cemented Junkmaille as a part of my life.”
Schmader, who identifies as a lesbian, said that she wants to inspire other LGBT people to take up the craft if they feel called to it.
“There are so many leather crafters out there but unfortunately not many are women, non-binary, or LGBTQ+,” she explained. “I try my best to make my identity known so hopefully more people feel comfortable joining the community from all walks of life!”
Schmader said that the purpose of her business is to make affordable quality items available to people.
“I think everyone deserves nice things and I don’t want to ever over-price things,” she said.
This year, Schmader hopes to expand her business even further.
“I would really love to be able to have Junkmaille be my full-time job and be able to sustain my life off of it,” she said. “Being able to do [my] craft for a living would be an honor and bring me a lot of fulfillment and joy.”