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 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 in Henryetta, […]


Texas Folklife

The Real Life of Texas Folk By Gene Fowler  “It’s practically died off,” said rawhide braider Travis “Rowdy” Pate, at the Texas Folklife Festival in San Antonio circa 1985, when asked if his art form still flourished in the South Texas brush country around his native Pearsall. “Nobody learned it.”  In the same interview, —practically in the same breath, however—Rowdy allowed, “I […]


Larson Leather Company

More than Exotics By Nick Pernokas When John G. Mahler started as a salesman for a heel company in Chicago in 1948, he couldn’t have guessed at the events that were happening on the other side of the world that would affect his family.  In South Africa an effort was being made by local ostrich […]


Coyote Couture

By Johnny D. Boggs Gail Orrick didn’t know what to expect. Here she was, debuting a new line of furs at the Cody High Style fashion show in Cody, Wyoming, in 2010. She was such a newcomer she had to ask one of her first customers to loan back a scarf she had designed so […]


En Pointe

The Success Story of Cardinal Shoe American manufacturer finds its niche in high-tech ballet shoes By Lynn Ascrizzi In an on-stage solo, principal ballerina,Michaela DePrince, flies like a bright-feathered, gravity-defying bird, her arms stretched wing-like above her head and her expressive face turned upward, as if  searching for a distant star. What is easily missed […]


Montello Heel: An Industry Icon

By Liisa Andreassen Handcrafting custom heels and maintaining a solid foothold for more than a century, Montello Heel MFG., Inc. is a third-generation family business that makes stacked leather heels for American-made shoes and boots. Based in Brockton, Massachusetts, and housed in the same building since 1908, the company’s namesake comes from the area of the […]