Accessories Artisan Saddles/Tack

DND Leather – Where Beauty and Function Come Together

by Liisa Andreassen  When the colts she was riding started breaking her stuff, Dee Dee McGraw took matters into her own hands. She knew that making her own repairs would save her money, but what she didn’t know was that it would eventually lead to a full-time gig. She started out doing patch and repair work, and her mom quickly recognized how much she enjoyed it and offered to buy her a whole hide. That was just the beginning. Not too long after, Dee Dee stopped into Tandy Leather in Montgomery, Alabama, to buy some fancier
Accessories Artisan

AN ULTRA-LUXURY, HAND-ASSEMBLED ALLIGATOR HIDE NICHE

Part-time leatherworker, Lucas Coffield, creates sophisticated, small accessories in Palm Beach, Florida  By Lynn Ascrizzi  Ten years ago, Lucas Coffield was studying environmental marine policy at the University of Miami. For fun, and to try something new, he elected to take a course in glassblowing. He happily discovered that putting together materials and tools to handcraft items from hot glass, produced a marvelous therapeutic effect.  “I enjoyed the stress reliever aspect of glassblowing. I missed it when I got out of school,” he recalled. He graduated from the university in 2014, with a major in marine affairs. But it didn’t take him long to find another equally challenging and exciting handicraft — leatherworking.   “I’ve always had a
Accessories Leather

Texas Leather Trim: Diversity is Key to Survival

By: Liisa Anderassen Greg Cooper, president of Texas Leather Trim, a family-owned and operated business, describes his business as a "manufacturer for manufacturers." He shares that it's gone through many evolutions during the past 50+ years, but says that he's in it for the long haul. Like many small, U.S.-based businesses, Texas Leather Trim knows what its like to change course when product demands dwindle or change and Cooper shares
Accessories Leather

SEEING THINGS THROUGH

Goliger Leather Company is enjoying a surge in 2021 sales  By Lynn Ascrizzi  Cheryl Rifkin, owner and operator of Goliger Leather Company, Inc. of Ventura, California, has been working with the successful business for over 30 years. “I run the company — everything. I do the books, process the orders, do the invoicing, answer the phone, do collections, check the inventory and figure out how much to order,” she said.  But Rifkin, 66, did not always run the successful family business singlehandedly. Seventeen years ago, unforeseen change came cloaked in shock and loss. Michael Rifkin, her husband of 20 years and then company president, died suddenly on December 5, 2004, at the age of 44.    “We had bought the wholesale leather business in 2000, from Michael’s dad, Marvin Rifkin, who had bought it
Accessories Leather

Big Bob’s Ball Gloves

NOKONA! The Only Baseball Glove Maker in America By: Gene Fowler "Leather is one of the most interesting materials known to man." -Rob Storey Cody. Cheyenne. Tombstone. Silver City. Durango. The landscape of the American West is strewn with place names that evoke region's wild, romantic, storied past. The small town of Nocona, Texas, near the states border with Oklahoma, honors an uncommonly rich legacy. Named for the Comanche warrior-chief,
Accessories Artisan

Jenn Hall: The Feathered Leopard

By Nick Pernokas  Where does art come from? That is a question that has been debated for centuries. One thing for sure is that it’s persistent and it will eventually surface. For Sacramento native Jenn Hall, it could have been foreshadowed by the beautiful artwork and jewelry that her grandparents collected from the Native American reservations near their Tucson home. It could have been predicted by Jenn’s burning desire to paint as a child. But life got
Accessories Artisan

Willique Luxury Handbags – Globally Inspired

by Liisa Andreassen  It was while studying business abroad in London that Anya Pratt, a Bahamas native, first developed her love for luxury handbags. While wandering the streets of this cosmopolitan city, she’d explore the high-end shops and admire the craftmanship and attention to detail that went into creating such beautiful sights. She had friends who worked in the fashion industry as influencers and they served to further nurture her passion. When one friend gave her the book, “Fifty Bags that
Accessories Leather

TRY AND BREAK IT!

Y-Knot Lace is built on kangaroo leather’s tensile strength  By Lynn Ascrizzi  Y-Knot Lace is a small business owned and operated by Barb Sorenson, in Kalispell, Montana. She runs the enterprise singlehandedly from the home she shares with her husband, JR Sorenson, a long-haul truck driver. There, in an office space set up in a spare room, she sells her company’s main product — fine kangaroo leather lace.   “I get my lace from Australia — all kangaroo leather,” she said, of the premium product sold in 54-yard spools and 12-yard hanks. “I also sell ‘yarders’ for $1 — 2-to-3 feet of various colored lace. I usually offer these at
Accessories Artisan Leather

Jesse Beckham and the Lost Penguin

 By Nick Pernokas  Jesse Beckham sports a cool Western look that would remind you of the Texas Red Dirt Music scene that’s so popular in the Southwest. The “Open Road” hat that he wears is a tribute to his grandfather’s choice of headwear, but also a nod to his Texas heritage. Like the products he makes, it says that this is what he came from, but not where he’s going.  “I haven’t been a cowboy since I was about 12 years old,” laughs Jesse.  Jesse grew up in
Accessories Harness

NEW LIFE FOR THE WORN AND BROKEN

Missouri leatherworker’s one-man, tack repair shop is keeping him busier than ever   By Lynn Ascrizzi  Each day, when Bruce Martin greets the sunrise in rural Hartsburg, Missouri, his first chore is to head out to the barn to feed his team of Haflingers, Jim and Bud. Then, he walks back to the home he shares with his wife, Judy, to have breakfast.   Later, at around 8 a.m., Monday through Saturday, you’ll find him working at Show-Me Harness Shop, his tack repair business located only 25 feet from his residence. There, in a well-equipped 900-square-foot workspace, which occupies part of a larger building, he keeps more than busy until about 7 p.m., restoring, rebuilding and refurbishing Western and English saddles, harness and other tack.  “There is more saddle