Tyler Carter has a goal for Simpleton Goods: “I want to help people simplify their lives with products they can depend on,” the Bartlesville, Okla., native says. Simpleton’s line of handmade leather goods shares two common traits: simplicity of design and functionality. The aesthetic is Carter’s own.
“I wear the same type of clothes daily,” he says. “Tee shirt. Jeans. I keep it simple.”
Simple doesn’t mean accepting less than luxury grade goods, though. The name of the company reflects a commitment to discovering the best way to make high quality products for customers.
“The name? I started Simpleton with a friend who was working at a popular boutique, and the first thing he asked me to make was a pair of leather suspenders. I’d never done it before, so it became a running joke between us that we were just two simpletons doing things we knew nothing about.”
In fact, Carter had started working with leather a few years before while part of a touring band from Weatherford, where he grew up. As a vocalist for Harp and Lyre, he did a lot of writing on the road – lyrics, reflections, chronicles of the road, etc. Durability being key on the road, he made leather-bound journals for his words. A few friends noticed, and asked him to make personal journals for them.
“It turned into kind of a side hustle,” Carter says. “Most of my products have come about in similar ways. People ask for a wallet or a journal; I make it; someone sees it and says, ‘Hey, I like that, but can you add an extra pocket to that?’”
Carter insists he didn’t set out to start a business, but his craftsmanship has caught the eye of owners at Stitch Café and The Jones Assembly. He’s done custom work for them. Admitting that he was previously scared of the amount of work and responsibility that goes into running a business, he’s come to realize that the business emerged from something he loves to do, so he still loves what he does, and it shows in the quality, craftsmanship and beauty of Simpleton Goods products.