Stephanie Boyles and Scott Schaefer first met during a corporate meeting on technology and telecommunications at the front end of the internet explosion. Before they knew it, they were married and off on high-tech careers that would last for the next 25 years. What happened after that was totally unexpected—a plunge into the world of fashion.
Stephanie was and remains an avid equestrian. After leaving the corporate world in 2011, she created a mobile phone app that replaced a heavy, several hundred-page riding instruction book with a smartphone. The next problem was: How do you carry your smartphone in a safe, easily accessible, and fashionable way while on horseback?
Stephanie answered that question by innovating the age-old straight belt design with a custom belt loosely styled on the gun holsters of the Old West...with a twist (or in this case, a curve!). Stephanie designed and then patented a double-curve shaped custom belt that follows the natural contours of the human body. In addition to providing a better fit and a more comfortable feel, the unique design of her custom belts also eliminated the annoying “gapping” in the back that occurs with straight belts.
She showed the design to her husband, Scott, and the two decided then and there to form a business to get her new design for custom leather belts into the market. The first few weeks were spent forming the company, researching all things leather and leather manufacturing, and trying to determine who they might work with to produce their new creation. Most of what they uncovered led them to Leon, Mexico, the self-proclaimed leather capital of the Western Hemisphere.
Fast-forward eight years, and the company Stephanie and Scott founded, Embrazio LLC, now produces a dozen styles and many different colors of custom belts. They have expanded their lineup to include leather bags, handmade backpacks, wallets, and a diverse line of leather, metal, and pearl jewelry.
Today, Embrazio’s leather accessories are carried by over 200-plus high-end boutiques primarily in the US, and are also sold online with the company. All of their items are handmade in very small factories just outside Leon while their design, warehousing, and shipping are located in Boulder, Colorado.
While the company has greatly expanded its product offerings, the brand’s custom belt curved design remains at the heart of Embrazio’s approach and it inspires the equal focus on both fashion and function in each new product created. When asked about their journey from high tech to innovating fashion-forward accessories, Stephanie and Scott say the fundamental principles are really the same: “We listen, create, iterate, and improve just like in the software world, only with fashion you get to see and feel the final product. There’s nothing more satisfying than meeting someone who wears an Embrazio accessory and finding out how much they love it!”
Browse Embrazio’s custom leather belts and more at www.embrazio.com