Back in May of 2010, I was given the opportunity to purchase an existing business at the Wichita Flea Market. What most do not realize, I was still a full-time student at Wichita State University. After spending 8 years in the United States Marine Corps and being honorably discharge in 2007 as a Sergeant I chose to go back to college and further my education. Majoring in Business Management with Minors in Accounting and Human Resources obtaining a bachelor’s degree in 2011.
SGT. C’s Leathers began with my younger brother and only sibling, David Cliver aka Bubba. We slowly grew the business together until his suicide on December 29th, 2011. He was my right hand man and the best friend I could ever ask for. His memory lives on every day at the shop by celebrating his life and using his favorite saying, “Keep It Shiny Side Up and Rubber Side Down!” Sharing my story has afforded me the opportunity to help others with theirs!
Over the years, I’ve listened to what the motorcycle enthusiasts wanted and have established myself within our community. It’s not always about making a living, but spreading some light and paying it forward back to those who support my small business!
Momma, yes, my mother joined in helping me at the shop when she retired from aviation in 2013. She’s my role model. Some might say she’s brash and blunt but what they don’t know is she is the inspiration of why I do what I do! Let’s just say, I watched her work countless hours and overtime to buy Christmas presents for families in need, be my Girl Scout leader when I was younger, but most of all she taught me to be kind and compassionate to others over the years. My mother, Marie Cliver, taught me to spread love and sunshine even during the darkest of times.
SGT. C’s Leathers sets up at many events throughout Kansas, such as The Cassoday Bike Run, Thunder on the Smoky in Marquette, The Wichita Toy Run, and yes, we travel to Sturgis for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally! Besides those, the shop is open five days a week! Not to mention all the different organizations, associations, and events that we’ve donated to throughout the years. If it can bring happiness to others, why not share more of it!
2019 was the most devastating year I had encountered since 2011. Traveling to Sturgis I had a stillborn baby girl, Baby Mickey. The love from the motorcycling community poured out! I still worked days straight at Sturgis since the investment in non-refundable. On the brighter side, I had “family” I never knew existed, customers visited to give momma and I hugs from all over the country! You never really know how far your reach extends until you need some love reciprocated! And it was!!!
The shop was getting back on track until COVID-19 hit but that didn’t stop my love of giving! Momma, my friend Jenn, and I made over 1400 facemasks and never charged a penny for them, just shipping. Though the shop was closed for about six weeks, you gotta think out of the box to keep your dreams alive! That’s when I took to Facebook Live Video Sales! Those fun videos are what kept my shop doors open, not to mention allowed me to pay it forward too!
During that time period in 2020, love poured in and so did donations to help keep the shop open! I’ll never forget those who helped during my time of need! I still paid it forward too, purchasing life jackets for the Scooter’s Rally with the Love Carissa Corporation, paid rent for another small business who was struggling, and a quite a few more.
The foundation I built and continue to grow my business with is, the Golden Rule, what you put out comes back tenfold at some point. I absolutely love my job, the biker community, and my family, especially my Momma! Though we’re blunt, honest, and a little naughty at times, don’t let that discourage you from stopping by! We’ll welcome you like family and your investment with us is an investment within our community! This has been spread throughout the country, not just benefitting locally or even statewide! You’d be shocked how far you can spread some sunshine in this world!
Shop local, shop the small businesses it is those businesses who reinvest in your communities! Share your smile and love with the world and it will return, just have patience! And as Bubba always said, “Keep It Shiny Side Up and Rubber Side Down!”
Always have faith,
SGT. C’s Leathers
3343 E 47th St. S
Wichita, Ks 67216