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About

El Gato Montes was established in 2014 and is based out of San Diego, CA

 At Gato Montes we create unique handcrafted wearable art predominantly in the medium of leather, with some metal and stone work.  Each piece we create is completely handmade and has a story, beginning with painstaking design work, stone selection, material acquisition and the actual creation of each piece. All of our goods are created by our own hands, currently 5 of us, in this way we can effectively share in our profits as well as our losses. We as a collective seek to end the mass consumerism of the global marketplace by creating beautiful, ancestral works that are built to last into the next generation.

Ethics: What you are supporting...
We are sticklers for quality and sustainability. All of our leather is sourced from free-range cows.  We also try and buy as much up-cycled leather as possible, constantly scouring various upholstery shops, visiting up-cycle stores as well as forming connections with shoemakers in order to purchase their scraps. .  Our workshops are, as a rule, free of plastics

We have been approached by multiple mass retailers seeking to outsource our production in order to mass produce and sell in the international market. WE WILL NEVER DO THAT!!!! Small batch individualized production is our philosophy, tattooed into our consciousness via thousands of hours of human interaction, travel, philosophical discourse and extensive reading and studying global economics and social justice.  We are committed to stay the course in order to be the change we seek to create.

Meet the Owner: 
Santiago began his leather journey working 10 years ago in Latian America. Inspired by the long miles of travel and life on the road. He is an avid traveler, tinker and shit talker! In 2019 his Fiance, Jamie, joined forces with Gato and together they helped to co-create their San Diego storefront, The Gold Dust Collective. Santiago has expanded his passion and craftsmanship to his second venture, Rogue Van Company. Building one of a kind custom sprinter vans.

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Building our Community - Festivals and Events .

If you are already familiar with our brand, you might have seen us at an event or music festival.
El Gato Montes is a frequent pop-up store at some of your favorites!
For years our shop has traveled all across the United States, from New York to California and even to Central America and Mexico vending at various events. (Your boots and holsters have travled thousands of miles, with a lot of soul before you even get a chance to break them in!) 
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Due to the Corona Virus many of our normal yearly events have been Postponed or canceled.  In light of the changing political, socioeconomic and regulatory climate in the US, we will not be updating our event calander until it is clear if larger events will be allowed. ~Know that we miss seeing all you fine folks on the road!

In loving memory of Sato
Business partner, mentor, and friend