Mason Dixon Made

By Gene Fowler When Philadelphia leather crafter Heather Holiday needed to choose a name for her company that produces handmade bags and men’s, women’s and children’s shoes, she reached back into her own childhood. “I grew up in Maryland,” Heather explains, “and we had relatives in Pennsylvania. So every time we would go visit them, my brother and I would play a game about crossing the state line, which is also the famous Mason Dixon Line.”  That

White’s Boots

By Danna Burns-Shaw White’s Boots opened around 1850 in the bustling state of Virginia.  New industries were emerging in Virginia’s cities. By the late 1850’s, Virginia could claim 4,841 manufacturing establishments, making it fifth among the states in this category. Canals and railroads connected farmers, rural flour mills, iron furnaces, coal mines and loggers. In the new found industrial age, the White family saw a need for well-made industrial work

Weaver Leather

Ohio company celebrates 45 years of growth, innovation and service By Lynn Ascrizzi The small Ohio community called Mount Hope seems to be a fitting metaphor for the leather goods manufacturer, distributor and retailer that is Weaver Leather, LLC, because over the years, the enterprise has extended as much optimism and promise to its employees, as its workforce has brought to the well-established business. The company, based in a 300,000-square-foot

Award Winning Bob Klenda

By Danna Burns-Shaw First Impression  They say first impressions are everything. My first impression of Bob Klenda occurred at the CSMA Winter Seminar, held at Burns Saddlery in January of this year.    The room was full of all levels of leather artisans; my seat was the stairs because all the chairs were taken – giving me a wonderful opportunity to observe the attendees.   My first impression of Bob Klenda was watching him attentively observing my son, Braydan Shaw, giving a presentation about business practices. Bob’s posture was erect, his attention undivided and he seemed

Tres Outlaws in El Paso

The Road to California Leads to the City at the Pass By Gene Fowler [gallery ids="1231,1226,1228,1234,1227,1233,1230,1225,1229" type="rectangular"] Back in the Days of ’49, many a pilgrim bound for the California gold fields traveled through the westernmost tip of Texas. In those days, the community called El Paso del Norte was on the southern side of the Rio Grande, and a smaller settlement of Americanos was growing across the river.  “The sight of this little place

Springfield Leather

Keeping up with success is their biggest challenge By Lynn Ascrizzi In Springfield, Missouri, amid a sprawling network of streets, concrete office buildings and asphalt parking lots, is a long strip mall that might seem, at first glance, to be just a nondescript part of the urbanscape.   This site, however, happens to be the bustling, creative hub that is Springfield Leather Co. (SLC). Their eye-catching sign stretches above a long string of mall storefronts that make up its roughly 30,000-square-foot commercial space; a business quite distinct from the usual mix of boutiques, coffee shops and hair salons that you’d expect to find there.   And, displayed below that sign is the name of the company’s jewelry-and-rock- specimen supply division — Touchstone Beads.   For the past 19 years, this landmark company has evolved into a highly successful, go-to place for a

The Light Stuff

A Colorado Legacy Continues By Liisa Andreassen It all started with a sneeze, or maybe a cough. You see, more than 100 years ago, Frank M. Light, an Ohio farmer, learned that he had asthma and had to find another way to support his family. In search of fresh air, he traded in a life of farming to put down roots in the then tiny town of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. He arrived via the Rio Grande

John Bianchi

Innovator in Gunleather By Nick Pernokas It was after the War. People in late 1940s New York City finally had some spending money for “fun.” One of the places they went for fun was Madison Square Garden. Looking back at the Garden now, partially hidden behind Manhattan store fronts causing it to blend in with the surrounding city, it may seem to pale in comparison to modern sports arenas. To

Stallion Boot Company

For the LOVE of Boots By Danna Burns-Shaw [gallery ids="1148,1149,1150,1151" type="rectangular"] The first year of the1980’s was memorable for political drama, cable TV (which included the first 24/7 news channel), addictive video games and the movie release of Urban Cowboy. The movie would inspire a new generation of cowboy hat and boot enthusiasts that would forever change the western wear industry. Pedro Muñoz’s venture into the fashion boot industry began

Joey Jemison

The Legacy of the Fort Worth Cutting Saddle By Nick Pernokas The 16-year-old bronc rider limped to the fence. He exited the arena and headed over to the stripping chute, loosening his borrowed chaps as he walked. He collected his bareback rigging and returned the “community” chaps to his friend who was about to ride. He reflected on how much simpler life would be if he had his own pair.