As his High School internship comes to a close with graduation quickly approaching, we sat down with Shawn to talk about his leather strap process and his experience this past semester with us!
1. Describe your process from starting your draft to your finished band.
Starting the band involved a lot of research. I searched the Internet and read multiple books pertaining to leatherwork and the art of the watch strap. After extensive research I had to order the tools needed to make the watchband. To my surprise, there were a lot of small tools needed to make every little piece of the band look nice. Once I had my tools and Horween leather, I got to work. Developing the band involved quite a bit of trial and error. My first watchband was almost comical. But after every band I made, my craftsmanship skills improved greatly. By the end I felt like I gained a significant amount of knowledge pertaining to leather-work, and the comparison between the first band and final band really show that.
2. Are you happy with the result?
Absolutely! Honestly I’m very surprised at the result. In my younger years I was always the worst at “arts and crafts”. I just never had the talent or the motivation to work on DIY activities. However, with this project, working with various leathers really intrigued me and I really dove into it. By manipulating the leather and really studying it, I surprised myself, and that was really cool. The result showed me that I could do this skill that I wouldn’t have imagined in a million years that I could be good at.
3. Is there anything you would have done differently?
Be more patient. This is something that the leather making process really taught me. My first band was pretty rushed, not because I was on a deadline, but because that’s how I do most things. When I learned how to be patient, the process really improved, and so did the band.
4. What are your overall thoughts of your internship, and what are your opinions of the CWS team?
My internship was amazing. I got to work in an awesome environment surrounded by awesome people. I learned a ton about the fundamentals of a small business, and what it takes to succeed. Jeff is an amazing leader and watching him interact with the team was an important experience for me. The team was great to work with and taught me everything about their specific department. The fulfillment department taught me all the logistics of receiving an order, processing it, interacting with shipping services, and mailing out watchbands to Clockwork Synergy customers. Marketing taught me the importance of actively interacting with customers, and great ways to show everything the business has to offer. Overall it was an amazing experience and I would do it again in an instant.
5. What is something you took away from this experience?
Already being familiar with the corporate office atmosphere from an internship last year, it was cool seeing how a successful company runs from a small (family) business perspective. I learned a lot of small lessons that are each important for the business as a whole. But a big thing that I took away, like I said before, was patience. I struggled making the band; it was definitely tough at first. But I just kept researching, trying new designs, and most importantly took my time on the band and it turned out great.
6. Congrats on graduating High School! Any immediate plans for the rest of the year?
Thanks! I enlisted in the US Navy Reserves and will be in training for the rest of the year!
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