Have you heard of death by a thousand cuts? Well, filling your life with quality will bring you health and joy and happiness one small piece at a time. And here's how you can justify it.

To the Wife

Say to your wife, “Remember that Engagement Gift I bought you?” To which she responds, “What Engagement Gift?” You say, “Don’t you remember? I scraped and sacrificed and saved for a whole year to get you that $3500 ring to celebrate the day I committed my life to you.” To which she responds, “Oh yeah”, I remember that". Then you say, “Well, you didn’t get me anything. Do you think there’s a chance I could get this little $600 briefcase to remember your commitment to me with?”  

It's 50% Off

You’re paying a really low price that's actually 50% lower than it would be in a store. Keystone Pricing is how retail pricing works. Everyone but the factory doubles their price. If a briefcase costs $225 to make. Old Mexico Manufacturing (our own factory) sells it to Saddleback for $300 and then Saddleback sells it to you for $600. If we were to wholesale the briefcase to a store for $600, then they would price it at $1200. We don't wholesale to any store, so it’s like getting a very high quality leather bag off the department store shelf for half the price.

For Posterity Sake

"Honey, all my life I've wanted to own something nice enough to hand down to our oldest son and so I want to buy a $5000 pocket watch to show him as he grows up." To which she responds, "Are you crazy? We don't have that kind of money!" So that's when you say, "Well, then would you mind if I just got a $599 Heirloom Quality Leather Briefcase for the kid to remember me by when I'm gone? Which one do you think I should get?"

Early Inheritance

"Dad, you know how when you die, you're going to leave me some money? But that's going to be a long time from now and you won't even be able to have the fun of seeing me enjoy it. What do you think of giving me a tiny bit of it now to buy this leather briefcase that I can enjoy the rest of my life and that you can watch me enjoy? And really you'd be buying it for your grandson since I'll hand it down to him one day. It'll give you twice the joy"

How Much is Joy Worth?

Back in 2007, my frugal brother-in-law and I were in my Toyota Tundra and I stomped on the gas taking off from the light. So he says to me, “You know, you just wasted a gallon of gas” to which I explained, “No, I just bought a gallon of joy”. You’re not just buying a leather briefcase, you’re buying a bag of joy.

Live With No Regrets

On your deathbed, do you think you’d ever say, “Everyone, get closer. I want to tell you something before I die. Man, I really regret buying and enjoying that cool leather backpack from Saddleback Leather for the last 50 years?" Or do you think you'd say, "I'm sure glad deprived myself of joy and saved all of my money for you guys, who don't appreciate it or deserve it, to waste and squander on junk"?

You Might Die Without It

Do you think any of the great explorers over the last 1000 years bought less than the best gear they could find? No, they couldn’t risk their lives or the lives of their crew with gear that could fail. They only bought things for if their life depended on it. Why don’t you? Isn't your life worth a few extra bucks?

Good for Your Health

Having high quality things in your life saves money, saves time, saves lives, extends lives, gives pleasure, gives social standing, gives peace of mind, gives security, brings respect, brings dignity, brings safety, brings joy, causes extra sleep, causes weight loss, causes others to want it, causes health, creates higher wages, causes efficiency, creates comfort, creates convenience, creates a better workplace, creates a nice environment, makes money, makes work easier, makes friends, builds confidence, is good for the Earth and creates demand for more quality products. And the opposite of these is also true of low quality. And it's contagious.

To Promote Art

Imagine you’re at The National Gallery in London, looking at some of the greatest paintings of the world and the curator offers to sell you an original Leonardo da Vinci painting to hang in your house for $5,000. But with the stipulation that it could never be sold, just handed down or given away. The joy you would get from possessing such a work of art would be justification enough to spend $5,000. In fact, it would almost be wrong to not buy it. To a far lesser degree, we sell art in the form of briefcases, backpacks, duffle bags and suitcases, that is highly functional. It's the right thing to do.

Confidence Increases Performance 

I used to drive an old FJ55 Toyota Land Cruiser and it was always the coolest looking manliest rig in any parking lot. When I would go out to play pool, if I drove that Land Cruiser AND wore my tough black square tipped boots, I played better and ran the table more often. It was all in my head, but it worked. What we wear, dress, drive and carry all contribute towards how we carry ourselves and the confidence we emanate. Carry a nice leather briefcase and it will change your performance.  

For the Environment

Buying quality is good for the environment. If everybody bought quality shoes, wallets, toasters, backpacks, garden hoses, briefcases and floor fans that lasted twice as long, there would be half as many of those things in landfills. If people used half as much plastic or bought half as many synthetic bags, half as much oil would be used up for the manufacture of them. Buying quality is a way you can do your part.

To Preserves the Arts

Throughout history, a mother would weave on the loom in her kitchen and teach her daughter the art as she went and they would sell their wares in the marketplace. Then her daughter would teach her daughter and so on down through the generations.

But the demand for her art has gone. The super looms of India can weave 1000 times perfectly in an hour what she can weave in a week. And for cheaper. So the daughter of today’s weaver goes to work at a hotel or internet cafe because the demand is gone for the art. And so goes the art of the potter and the coppersmith and the shoemaker and the leather craftsman. If you say you value handmade craftsmanship and the imperfect signs from an imperfect person, then support it.

You'll Save Money

Buy nice or buy twice. The Cost of Ownership. If your briefcase costs $500 and it lasts for 100 years, then it cost you $5/yr. or $.41/mo. If your briefcase costs $240 and it lasts for 4 years before the handle breaks as you’re walking into an important business meeting and your coffee spills all over your boss’s wife's chest, then the briefcase costs you at least $60/yr. This is one of the most inexpensive briefcases you'll ever buy.  

You'll Be More Successful

Carrying solid and understated quality man's leather bag will give you more respect and cause you to act with more confidence. It will also make you look more relatable and likable. Some would even say sexier. You'll win more cases, get more contracts and be promoted more often, without saying a word.

What's Your Personal Brand?

Your personal brand is the feeling people get when they think of you or are around you. One of the ways to shape what they feel or think about you is to purposefully carry things or associate with brands that share with others what you are about or value. If they are innovative, create quality or enduring things, then that’s what they’ll feel about you too. If they like your personal brand, they’ll buy from you, pick you, promote you, do business with you and rule in your favor way more often. Everyone has a brand. What’s yours?

Responsible Social Citizen 

You're planting a tree you will not each much of the fruit of nor sit in its shade. Get this bag for the next guy. You’re just the first owner of this briefcase. Do a favor to someone who probably isn’t even a sparkle in your son’s eye yet. Break it in for the next guy and pass it along.

You'll Be More Popular

Respect is what comes when people see that you know what you’re doing or can perform at a high level. I know this because disrespected people always carry crappy average briefcases. Respected people carry quality briefcases and luggage. Deep and true respect comes by your actions, your words and surrounding yourself with longlasting quality things. Not opulence, but just solid quality.

Everybody’s Doing It 

There’s a reason that so many people have way more Saddleback Leather backpacks, briefcases and duffle bags than they need. Who needs more than one wallet? But thousands own one of each. And there’s a reason we constantly hear that our leather is addictive. There are hundreds of people whose bedrooms look like our showroom. Of course, it’s not wrong to collect things if they bring you joy. Collecting our leather backpacks and briefcases is way cheaper than collecting cars and a far healthier addiction than drugs.  

Just One Time Can't Hurt 

Just get a wallet or something small to test drive and then give it away If you don’t like it. You can’t go wrong. Giving random gifts throughout the year goes a long long ways towards “Favorite Uncle” or “Favorite Coworker” or better yet, “Favorite Employee” of the year status. They’ll never forget that wallet and who gave it to them. And reciprocity usually comes back on you 10x greater. We have a 30 day return policy, no questions asked. If you don’t like it, send it back.

You’ll Make More Friends 

You’re going to meet a whole lot of people you wouldn’t have met otherwise for three reasons.

  1. We hear bag owners all the time say that strangers always stop them to ask them about their briefcase.

  2. It’s an ice breaker and conversation starter.

  3. You’re joining a tight knit and passionate community of bag owners around the world who love quality and authenticity. Have you been to one of the Saddleback Leather Fan Groups where thousands of your people trade their duffle bags and backpacks and share pics of their briefcases

"I’ll invite you to my birthday party" 

Everybody’s going to want you to go to their birthday party. “And can you bring that cool leather backpack with you?” Heck, maybe I’ll invite you to mine one of these days... if you’re an owner.

What’s wrong? You chicken? Bock bock boooooock!!! (Thumbs in armpits flapping my wings at you) 

Don’t be scared. Nobody ever regretted buying a quality thing, but if you don’t, you may always regret not buying it. Bag owners tell us all the time that they over thought buying one for too long and when they finally bit the bullet and got their briefcase or backpack, they kicked themselves for not getting it sooner. Just do it, but don’t go into debt for it.


It's Okay for Christians to Own Expensive Quality Things

 To the really religious person who was wrongly taught that owning nice things is a sign of spiritual immaturity or materialism. This one’s for you. If you often say and do things for the purpose of people talking about how spiritual you are and you reject joy or material possessions in your life because you think that it pleases God, then keep reading. This is a very common unspoken teaching among Super Christians. It’s called asceticism and is a form of spiritual pride on most of the lists. And I know this because I’m still coming out of that bad theology and spiritual pride myself.

Near the end of his life, here’s what King Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived, wrote about wealth and owning things. I’ll sum it up and then let you read exactly what God inspired him to write… for you.

Basically, he said that it’s a shame when you work hard and then die and then, before long, everybody forgets your name and that you even existed. And then someone who didn’t earn or deserve your money or the fruit of your labor is going to get the joy of spending it or giving it away. And you didn’t.

He also says that God doesn’t need your money. He gives the “donating” money job to the ones who don’t follow him and then he takes it away from them and gives it to those who please him and who are generous to the poor.

He also says that riches and possessions are a gift from God and not to reject them. They are your reward. How would you feel if you wanted to give a nice gift to someone special and they told you they didn’t want it or need it? Grace is a free gift that we don’t deserve or earn. The reason God gives gifts is because he is full of grace and therefore just loves to give gifts. To responsibly own a nice thing is not bad or sinful, if your heart is right. It is your reward from God and is the fruit of your labor. It is something that represents your hard work. The trouble comes when you are consumed with more and more things for the purpose of people thinking highly of you.

Here’s what King Solomon wrote in one of my favorite books called Ecclesiastes.

In Chapter 2 King Solomon said, “So I loathed all the fruit of my effort, for which I worked so hard on Earth, because I must leave it behind in the hands of my successor. Who knows if he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will be master over all the fruit of my labor for which I worked so wisely on earth! This also is futile. So I began to despair about all the fruit of my labor for which I worked so hard on Earth. For a man may do his work with wisdom, knowledge and skill; however, he must hand over the fruit of his labor as an inheritance to someone else who did not work for it. This also is futile and an awful injustice.”

“There is nothing better for people than to eat and drink and to find enjoyment in their work. I also perceive that this ability to find enjoyment comes from God. For no one can eat and drink or experience joy apart from him."

“For to the one who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and joy, but to the sinner, he gives the task of amassing wealth - only to give it to the one who pleases God. The task of the wicked is futile, like chasing the wind.”

In Chapter 3, he said, “I have concluded that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to enjoy themselves as long as they live, and also that everyone should eat and drink and find enjoyment in all his toil, for these things are a gift from God.”

In Chapter 5, Solomon said, “I have seen personally what is the only beneficial and appropriate action for people; to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all their hard work on Earth during the few days of their life which God has given them. For this is their reward. To every man whom God has given wealth and possessions, he has also given him the ability to eat from them, to receive his reward and to find enjoyment in his toil. These things are the gift of God.”

Then in Chapter 6 he lays it out and says, “Here is another misfortune that I have seen on Earth, and it weighs heavily on people; God gives a man riches, prosperity and wealth so that he lacks nothing that his heart desires, yet God does not enable him to enjoy the fruit of his labor - instead, someone else enjoys it! This is fruitless and a grave misfortune. Even if a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years - even if he lives a long, long time, but cannot enjoy his prosperity - even if he were to live forever - I would say, ‘A stillborn child is better off than he is’ “.

Don’t feel guilty about or reject a gift from God. It’s your reward. Of course, there’s a healthy balance. God warns a lot about only caring about living your life totally for your own pleasure and building up your image of your own self while neglecting others in need. And, by the way, if you have to go into irresponsible debt to buy something nice, then it’s probably not God rewarding you, but rather you rewarding yourself.

*Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2016 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.