Accessories

Freddie Matara Leather: A Church of Our Own

By Gene Fowler  When leathercraft artist Freddie Matara and his wife Rebecca wanted to relocate from Brooklyn a couple years ago, they looked high and low for something a little off the beaten path. They found the perfect home in Patterson, New York. Built in 1875, the structure served as a place of worship until 1960. Today, it serves as the couple's own piece of Henry-David-Thoreau-heaven-on-earth. Leathercraft artist Freddie Matara, best
Boot/Shoe

Lisa Sorrell

A Ladies Touch Accomplished and acclaimed bootmaker Lisa Sorrell. By Danna Burns Shaw When you visit with Lisa Sorrell you soon realize that she has a zest for learning and chooses to live a bigger and kinder life. Lisa was raised in southwest Missouri in a conservative church where the women all wore long hair and long dresses.  Her mother began teaching her to sew when she was 12 years
Boot/Shoe

Oak Street Bootmakers: Rebuilding the Footwear Landscape

By Gene Fowler There are many steps in building a handmade shoe. Longtime Chicago-area shoe repairman John Vlagos chuckles recalling his reaction upon first learning that his son, George, was starting the handmade footwear business, Oak Street Bootmakers. “I freaked out, you know,” says the father, with obvious pride in his son’s success. Founded in 2010, Oak Street ships its trench boots, penny loafers, camp mocs and other styles—made in
Feature

Occidental Leather is Moving Up

Tool bag maker gets big growth spurt with new ownership and new facility in Santa Rosa  By Lynn Ascrizzi  This classic tool belt has been around for 38 years and is the original design of founder Darryl Thurner. Almost 40 years ago, building contractor Darryl Thurner of Occidental, California, got a little tired of dropping tools on the job. The problem? No quality tool bags were available that fit the
Accessories

Anna Gavrilova: House of the Rising Sun

Anna thinks outside the box in her bag designs. She makes what she would like to carry. By Nick Pernokas In a small leather shop in the town of Lyubertsy, just outside of Moscow, rock music plays in the background while a young woman hand sews her newest creation. The handbag that she’s working on is unique, to say the least. This one-of-a-kind piece isn’t typical of the run-of-the-mill, leather
Boot/Shoe

“Ah, Wilderness!”

Alkahest Moccasins & Leathercrafts — custom-made goods hand-built in the wild heart of Oregon’s high alpine country Alkahest Leather founders Dustin Lyons and Tiera Ptacek at an art fair. By Lynn Ascrizzi Eight years ago, on a fine spring day, Dustin Lyons and Tiera Ptacek set out on a life-changing, 350-mile odyssey, driving from San Francisco to Ashland, Oregon, in a tiny, Chevy Geo Metro. “We had it packed with
Supplier

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
Leather

Hitch-N-Stitch

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
Accessories

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,