We Live in Red Embossed Leather

In addition to my day job as a cartographer, I’m a moonlight entrepreneur. My husband and I started up Restrepo Leather in 2012, a company that produces and sells high-quality, handmade leather products. Because all of our bags are handmade and made-to-order, customers can select the exterior leather color and interior suede color for their bag. I wanted to highlight all of the different leathers and suedes that we use, so I randomly assigned a leather or suede swatch to each Bogota localidad (Colombian equivalent of city ward or district). As I said when I originally made the map:

I was drawn to cartography because it is both an art and a science. Sure, there are rules to follow, there are computers to assist the process, but at the end of the day, you are a human being in the act of creation. Someone else would make that map differently from you – they’ll go through a different process, or they’ll select a different color or font. (As it goes with leatherworking. You may have a great eye for design, but if you aren’t exact about making sure that edge is perfect or ensuring that the holes you punch aren’t in a straight line, your product won’t be nearly as beautiful.)

See original post on the Restrepo Leather blog (and check out this post by my husband, Jerry, that relates leather to map projections).