The Secrets Behind Portland Leather Goods: Curtis Matsko on Crafting Exquisite Leather Products

This week’s episode of the Legacy Podcast, Paul Dio chats with  Curtis Matsko, the founder of Portland Leather Goods.

Listen to the insightful conversation with Curtis Matsko. 

Curtis shares his journey of starting a company and becoming the largest leather bag maker in America. He discovered the importance of craftsmanship and quality when he couldn’t find a high-quality leather journal in the market and decided to make one himself. The exceptional quality of Portland Leather Goods’ products has created a loyal following, with customers obsessing over the feel and smell of the real leather used. Curtis’s commitment to doing things the right way, even if it takes more time and effort, sets the brand apart from mass-produced items. He believes that tangible, high-quality products can enhance brand reputation and customer loyalty. The conversation with Curtis provides valuable insights into the significance of craftsmanship and how it resonates with consumers who seek products that last a lifetime. So, if you’re an entrepreneur or business owner looking to create and market high-quality products, this episode of the Legacy Podcast is a must-listen.


Topics covered in this Episode:

  • Discover the secrets behind Curtis Matsko’s remarkable success in just 7 words.
  • Unlock the inspiring journey of Portland Leather Goods.
  • Learn the art of craftsmanship and quality that sets top brands apart.


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About Curtis Matsko:

A serial entrepreneur, Curtis Matsko has revolutionized the leather goods industry with his brand Portland Leather Goods. What started as a friendly challenge of creating a leather journal out of scraps has since skyrocketed into a $120,000,000 Apparel and Accessories brand with fans across the country.


Timestamped summary of this episode:

00:00:37 – Starting Portland Leather Goods
Curtis Matsko shares the story of how he started Portland Leather Goods with his girlfriend. They began by making and selling leather journals, which quickly gained popularity due to the high quality of the product. They expanded their product line and became a top seller on Etsy.

00:02:53 – The Appeal of Leather
Curtis explains that the appeal of leather lies in its simplicity, durability, and the emotional connection it creates. Customers love the tangible look and feel of leather and appreciate the time and craftsmanship that goes into creating each product. Leather also ages beautifully, adding to its appeal.

00:06:26 – Customer Obsession and Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Curtis discusses how their customers become obsessed with their products, often purchasing multiple items and recommending them to others. This word-of-mouth marketing has been more effective than traditional advertising, as people trust their friends’ recommendations. The quality of the product has been key to building this cult-like following.

00:09:14 – The Challenges of Making Real Leather Products
Curtis explains that their commitment to using real leather sets them apart from other brands. Real leather requires more time and labor to work with, as each hide needs to be carefully inspected and matched. Many brands opt for synthetic materials to

00:13:59 – Finding Passion and Creating Camaraderie
The guest shares his passion for creating camaraderie and doing good through his work. He discusses how his different roles as an artist, reader, and intellectual all come together in his current role in marketing.

00:14:57 – The Most Gratifying Thing in Life
The guest reflects on the most gratifying thing he has done in his life. He shares a story about his aunt who believes that every part of her life has been the best part. He emphasizes his gratitude for his own journey and the challenges he has overcome.

00:17:12 – Overcoming Alcoholism and Gratitude
The guest opens up about his journey of overcoming alcoholism and the impact it has had on his gratitude for life. He shares how sobriety has allowed him to be grateful for the things he has and to appreciate each day.

00:18:20 – Changing Surroundings and Finding Admirable People
The guest discusses how he changed his surroundings and peer group after deciding to stop drinking. He emphasizes the importance of being around people he admires and continuously moving into new groups of people to learn and grow.

00:21:55 – Finding Admirable Employees
The guest shares an example of an employee he admires, highlighting the qualities of intelligence, kindness, and humor. He emphasizes the importance of hiring people you admire and how it has contributed to the success of his companies.

00:27:56 – Hiring Ethics and Loyalty
Curtis Matsko discusses his ethical stance on not hiring from direct competitors and shares an anecdote about a competitor’s employee attempting to join his company.

00:28:26 – Making a Difference
Curtis Matsko expresses his belief that creating and innovating can make life better for others and contribute to compounding benefits for society.

00:28:48 – Humility and Perspective
Curtis Matsko emphasizes that he sees himself as a small piece in the larger equation of creating a big company and running it successfully.

00:29:03 – Contacting Curtis
Curtis Matsko mentions that the best way to contact him is through his assistant, Mariana, but he is active on LinkedIn and shares insights into the day-to-day experiences of running a large company.

00:29:50 – Conclusion
The podcast wraps up with Curtis Matsko expressing gratitude and encouraging listeners to leave a review. Contact information and website details are provided.

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