Canyon Crosby believes that the best-laid plans are overrated. His approach might be risky—and definitely runs contrary to any advice you’d get at business school—but the success he’s had with his leather-goods company Landmarks and Lions is proof that, for him, a little spontaneity has gone a long way. “I wanted to create a few things to sell online so that I could raise money for my wedding,” Canyon remembers. “The business as it is today is completely unintentional, but I’m happy it happened the way it did.” Since his 2010 cash-accumulating exercise, Canyon has expanded the Minneapolis-based brand from one item—a minimalist iPhone case—to a full range of wallets, travel accessories, and key chains.
The Florida native weaves his personal, eclectic experiences into each of the pieces—Canyon’s roundabout route to leather includes pit stops in fashion design, painting, and interior decorating. Travel, too, is integral, and the wanderlust tie-in will become more pronounced later this year when he expands into luggage. Not that Canyon saw that coming. —liza darwin