Happy 100th Birthday Tandy Leathercraft!

A Tandy-tastic Century By Gene Fowler What’s the first thing folks think of when they hear the word leathercraft?  I’d just about bet the farm that, from Tucumcari to Timbuktu, most folks think of Tandy. Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, the company with more than 100 retail leathercraft stores across the U.S. and overseas, turns 100 years young in 2019. In addition to celebrating the big birthday with a company-wide

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

N&A Harness Shop: Celebrating 30 Years

Noah Miller and son, Vernon Miller, team up to bring the family business into the next generation By Lynn Ascrizzi The harness workshop run for three decades by Noah Miller in Millersburg, Ohio, along with help from his growing family and a lot of local community good will, is a testimony to how much can be accomplished by consistent effort, a cooperative spirit and keeping things simple. “We started from

Buffalo Jackson

and the Return of the Rugged Gentleman By Gene Fowler “Honor your wild.” It almost seems a travesty to deem such a noble, stirring phrase a mere motto, but in the case of Buffalo Jackson Trading Company, the leather goods and clothing outfit that lays claim to the spirited maxim, the three simple yet profound words are well deserved. This year, the e-commerce establishment, with a lone brick and mortar

Mark Staton Co

A One-Stop Alligator Resource By Liisa Andreassen It all began in 1992, when Mark Staton returned to his home state of Louisiana after a three-year stint in Papua New Guinea. While there, he lived with his wife and three children and worked on the world’s largest commercial crocodile farm. Today, he runs a business, Mark Staton Co., based in Lafayette that deals mostly in alligator leather goods. Living in the isolated

Herb Bork

Cast to Last By Nick Pernokas The old dog was getting stiffer and could feel the early morning chill more these days. At 20, she sometimes needed help getting in the truck for the daily half-hour ride out to the ranch. The old man was stiff as well, with two knees that pained him and a back that frequently reminded him of a bout with malaria. Still, he appreciated being
Boot/Shoe Saddles/Tack

A One-Man Leather Shop

Long-time leatherwork instructor, Mike DeWitt, keeps his heritage craft alive and well in Oklahoma By Lynn Ascrizzi Michael DeWitt, at the workbench in his leather workshop, with saddle trees and stirrups in the background. You never know where a passion for the age-old art of leathercraft will take you. For Michael DeWitt, owner and operator of DeWitt Custom Leatherworks, the long and winding trail that leading to his current workshop

All the ‘Wright’ Stuff

Hand-built, concealed-carry leather holsters are Ohio workshop’s specialty By Lynn Ascrizzi A recent, concealed-carry holster design from Wright, called "Closer." It gives a higher ride on the body and works well with handguns with a longer barrel. What makes people take a chance and start a new business? Maybe it’s because they got a little nudge from the grandmother of all start-ups — creative dissatisfaction. This motivating mindset seems to

Techsew: Something for Everyone

By Nick Pernokas Raphael Ohayon was the founder of Raphael Sewing Machines. Raphael Ohayon started Raphael Sewing Machines in 1974, in Montreal, Canada, as a repair shop. He was also a dealer for the Singer Industrial machines that were being produced at that time. The textile and fur industries were strong in the Montreal area then and Raphael had a large pool of clients. In the 90s, local production moved

Don Gonzales: Texas Saddlemaker, Leathercraft Teacher

By Gene Fowler           Texas saddlemaker and leather artist Don Gonzales is living proof of the benefits of a family that encourages creative expression and exploration. “I grew up in the Aransas Pass and Refugio area,” he says, “down along the coast, and we had a very creative household. My mom is a nurse who creates artwork out of gourds, and my dad, who passed away in 2013, was always