AIs we pulled up to Jon Lind Interiors, we were instantly drawn to the bright green ’55 Chevy Nomad in front of the shop. The car, a previous project by Lind, gleamed in the sunlight, an invitation to take a closer look. The leather interior upholstery, Lind’s specialty, was shaped into what looked like beaded waves, all hand cut and lovingly placed by Lind.
Lind got his first inspiration from his childhood spent surrounded by cars. “My dad was always around old cars,” he says. “He had a couple hundred cars in a junkyard collection kind of thing.” His forays in to leather work started with his love for hacky sacks (footbag), “to the point where I was making my own out of leather and learning how to sew them all.”
He even competed in the world championships of footbag, winning four titles, becoming part of the pioneering group in making footbag a real sport and securing him a spot in the Footbag Hall of Fame.
The marriage of the two made pursuing car upholstery the natural choice. He attended WyoTech in the ’80s, apprenticing with a local company after graduation and, soon after, taking over the business for himself.
“But none of that stuff taught me any of this real high-end designing stuff,” Lind says. “I just kind of self-taught most of it except for the very, very beginning, how to sew, how to make patterns and stuff. After that, it’s just been a lot of trial-and-error and a lot of being daring to go for stuff.”
Lind’s specialty in interiors goes beyond just covering the seats–he also builds dashboards and center consoles to customer needs, sculpts door panels, and upholsters any other surface in the vehicle to complete the look. After 30 years in the business, most of his clients trust him to follow their design dreams after their initial discussion.
“And most of them, after we’ve had that kind of discussion, they’ll let me kind of go for it and create it because they don’t have that vision to figure out what it’s going to be,” he says.