Founded by Gunther Estrada, GRBG Made combines leather, wood, polished metal, and rock ’n’ roll to offer a classic line of apparel, handmade knives, wallets and accessories. GRBG Made, built to last, quality product until death and beyond.
“¡Habla basura!”—What up, garbage? "
Read his story below
How’d you get your start? What steps did you initially take to set yourself apart?
I got into making leather pieces in 2013 when I needed a wallet. I had no idea how to make one, but I figured it out that same day and after a few hours I had made my first card holder! I was fresh to the Instagram game, but I thought it would be an interesting story to post on social media. I was surprised when a friend asked for the price. I quickly thought about a fair price and sold my first card holder! I ended up making several pieces in the following months and sold every single one of them! I am grateful for my friends supporting this project since the beginning.
Later on, I came up with more consistent branding and professional finishing touches. Soon enough and without much thought I had a brand.
I came from the corporate world of shoes and apparel, and to me it was not difficult to understand that anything you create requires consistency as well as having a true story that’s linked to whatever you are offering: I think those two are key to have a solid start.
"When I was a little kid, I became bewitched by skateboarding. I always dreamt of having a place to spend time with my friends. A space to share, collaborate, and create new things. I think GRBG Made is transforming into this space."
Starting a creative enterprise is hard, what advice would you give to those with similar aspirations?
Surround yourself with people that have already accomplished what you have envisioned as a goal. Love and respect what you are doing by working hard at it and becoming a little better every day. Always believe things will get better.
How do you envision your brand growing in the future?
It has changed a bit since the pandemic but I guess it has grown a bit more to be an online business and we just started our distribution in Costa Rica. Hopefully more of that to come in 2021.
I’m still thinking about furniture making (leather/wood/metal) & hopefully that is something that will happen organically after the brand is operating on its own or I am able to afford help.
"Something I lack myself but that’s definitely necessary, is patience. I am learning everyday how to manage my need to get there faster, finish quicker, place hard deadlines, and not be worried about them. So crazy."
Has anything specific really spoken to you recently?
This bit from a book called The Madman by Kahlil Gibran:
“You ask me how I became a madman. ... And I have found both freedom and safety in my madness; the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us.”
"My work space is an extension of who I am. I would not be able to work in any space that does not have character, I need to be inspired to produce. So yeah, it looks badass (ha!)"
Describe your perfect day out and about locally.
Get coffee early in the morning, drive down Junipero to the beach, park my trusty van by the lifeguard station and look at the beach. It makes me feel like I am where I’m supposed to be! I love this city.
If you could move to any other place in this or any universe where would you go?
I would not do that, at least not fully. But I would do this:
Spring in Peru, Summer in Long Beach, Fall in Medellin, Winter in Prague.