Feature Friday: Brooke Worrel
If you've followed us for awhile, or really, if you're just active on social media at all, then time and time again you've likely seen the name Hell Bent Leather, a one-woman show created by the insanely talented & humble badass, Brooke Worrel.
We've worked with Brooke over the last couple of years and her infinite talent and creativity continues to blow us away. From belts to bags, pants to jackets, and every leather accessory in between - her custom made leather can be seen worn by the biggest rock stars around the world.
Meet this week's feature friday guest:
*photo by @actuallyitsaxel
Hi Brooke! You’re vending at Desert Daze right now. How’s it going?
Good! It’s on a beautiful lake and there’s some rad trippy music by Yanatan Gat and the Eastern Medecine Singers playing in the background right now. There’s a stage right across from my booth so I can watch Uncle Acid later without even getting up...
To start off, can you tell us how Hell Bent Leather come to be?
I worked for a lady named Agatha Blois for almost a decade helping her with her custom leather for almost a decade and then launched Hell Bent Leather when she retired.
You’ve gained a pretty killer clientele. Who was the first celebrity you made something for and what did you make?
My first celebrity gig with Hell Bent Leather was making pants for Slash and Duff for the reunited Guns n Roses Not in this Lifetime tour, which was great timing, it happened pretty much right after I went solo.
I had done work for a lot of celebrities when I worked for Agatha, so I actually had already met those guys. Her clientele was star studded, I can’t remember who was the first celebrity we worked with when I started with her but I do remember the one I was totally start-struck by was Rob Halford.
Continuing with that last question, who are some of the artists you've worked for? And do they tell you specifically what they want made or do they ask you for ideas?
Gun n Roses, Metallica, Alice In Chains, Ariana Grande, members of Black Sabbath/Ozzy Osbourne’s band, W.A.S.P. , Black Mountain are some... it just depends on the person, some of them have a clear idea of what they want and others are just like “I like your vibe just make what you want” but usually it’s kinda somewhere in between.
What’s the most bizarre/unique thing you’ve been commissioned to create?
A pair of chaps made from Mongolian sheepskin, which is the super long curly furry kind. They were like Centaur legs.
What are some day to day challenges you face while owning your own business?
Just the everyday hustle since I do everything myself, from fitting to designing to pattern making to sewing. I think I probably struggle the most with marketing myself, I try to be good about posting stuff online but then sometimes just go into a social media slump where I can’t even open Instagram. It’s definitely a love hate relationship with the Gram, it’s an amazing free marketing tool but can also be incredibly distracting and annoying, ha.
What is your favorite thing about owning your own business?
I get to do whatever I want. <-- yes 🙌🏽
*photo by @themagdalenaexperience
If you weren’t a leather wizard, what do you think you’d be doing instead?
Hmm, I’d probably be up to no good, this business keeps me out of trouble.
*photo by @ryanhk_
Here’s a cliche one: If you were stranded on a deserted island and only had 3 things with you, what would you want those things to be? (Minus humans or animals)
My leather jacket, motorcycle and Judas Priest.
Is there a story behind the El Camino?
The El Camino is the first and only car I’ve ever owned. I just had motorcycles for about 4 years when I first moved to LA and the El Camino kinda fell into my lap through a friend - I traded a bike for it. My friends and I spray painted the flame job in my driveway and it’s still hanging in there.
What’s the next goal or plan you’d like to see happen for for HBL?
I want to make a customizable line of pants and jackets at some point as an alternative to my full custom pieces. Just a few solid designs with a some different features to pick and choose from, with a custom fit. Something I’ve been slowly developing when I have free time (so verrrrrry slowly, ha)
*photo by @meredithdevine
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