Michelle in her workshop sewing. By Liisa Andreassen When she received an order for Miley Cyrus, she thought it was a joke. That joke turned out to be very real for Michelle Wheeler, founder of Hitch-N-Stitch, a custom show-apparel shop outside of Atlanta that makes colorful western chaps, chinks, shirts and a variety of other accessories. This middle school teacher by day, has turned a childhood hobby into a pretty

Woodman Leathercraft

Maine artist’s start-up enterprise leads to custom designs witha distinct sense of place By Lynn Ascrizzi It is no mere coincidence that the leatherwork being created by artist-designer Charlotte Woodman has evolved intoa harmonious synthesis of heritage craftsmanship with clean, functional, modern lines. A big influence on her passion for fine handmade work is rooted in her good fortune to live, since childhood, in the picturesque village of historic Waldoboro,

Carol Gessell

In Pursuit of Art Carol Gessell's favorite job is making saddles. By Nick Pernokas The attractive, fiftyish artist concentrates on cutting in her scroll pattern in the cased leather. A book on tape plays in the background. An orange cat, Minkey, ignores both the woman and the mystery thriller. At 19, she needs her beauty sleep. When the woman begins to stamp out the pattern, the cat   leaves the small,

Ransack Leather

Lisa Nihiser's Vintage Global Cowgirl Goth Based in the "City of Big Shoulders," as Carl Sandburg described Chicago, Ransack Leather is a one-woman bag-making outfit. Ransacker Lisa Nihiser produces unique, one-of-a-kind creations using new and recycled leather and accented with buckles, conchos, appliques, and other features. By Gene Fowler For Lisa Nihiser of Chicago’s Ransack Leather, it’s all about creativity. The one-woman, bag and clutch company lives up to its

Sole Talk

Amara Hark-Weber’s impeccable, handmade shoes are in a class by themselves By Lynn Ascrizzi In our modern era of mass-manufactured, big-brand footwear, a person’s desire for a pair of new shoes can be quickly satisfied. Does this mean that the curtain is falling forever on the one-of-a-kind, handcrafted shoe? For an answer, take a look at the masterful, custom footwear being made, one at a time, by Amara Hark-Weber, a