Contour Saddlery: A New Way of Looking at an Old Art

By Nick Pernokas  The third grader sat on her Grannie’s daybed, reading. Her grandmother’s cottage was in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, and the open window allowed in the ocean air and the sounds from an osprey nest in the tree outside. It was a Saturday and the girl and her sisters had just returned from Grannie’s weekly summer pilgrimage to the library. Now Letitia was engrossed […]

Artisan Boot/Shoe

Music City Leather

Wes Shugart: Makin’ Boots in Nashville  by Gene Fowler  Wes Shugart heard the call of leather back around 2011.  At the time, the Nashville-based cowboy bootmaker was a builder of multi-million-dollar homes. “But I was stressed out, big time, and not very happy,” he says.  “I knew he was searching for something different,” adds his wife, […]



Triple Crown Leather Goods is retired Army aviator’s winning ticket   By Lynn Ascrizzi  How many people can point to a specific month and day on the calendar and declare that it marks the beginning of a new chance at life? But for David (“Dave”) Botelho, who lives with his wife, Maria, in Paducah, Kentucky, the transforming event associated with his brand-new start, arrived unannounced on May 2, 2020.  Before this turning point, Botelho, 59, already had under his belt a dedicated and highly active, 26-year military career, first as an enlisted man in both the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army, and […]



Long-time Australian saddler finds renewed purpose in full-time book authorship   By Lynn Ascrizzi  Rick Allen, who lives in the Levendale area of Tasmania, retired last year after a three-decades-long career in saddlery. “I built my first saddle in 1989; I built my last saddle in 2019,” he said. Reflecting on his many years as a skilled leatherworker, he added, “I’m probably an all-around saddler.”   Tasmania is an island state of Australia. Roughly the size of West Virginia, it is located about 150 miles south of the Australian mainland.  About 45 percent of the rugged mountainous island, with its spectacular coastlines, forests, […]

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. […]


Lowy Enterprises: Los Angeles’s Well-Known Secret

By Nick Pernokas  Many well-known companies roll off of leather craftsmen’s tongues because they’ve worked at developing and promoting their brand within the leather industry. Sometimes though, a real gem can be overlooked just because it’s not right in your path. I want to tell you about a company that may not be on your radar yet, but it should be.  Lowy Enterprises primarily […]