Saddles/Tack

Brandit Franco: Drifting No More 

By Nick Pernokas  Brandit Franco grew up in the heart of Florida’s cowboy country. The family business was starting colts and training ranch horses. Brandit’s father, Sam Franco, took a lot of horses to ride that weren’t making it in someone else’s training program. Sam trained everything from Quarter Horses to wild Mustangs in the Seventies and Eighties. Brandit grew up working cows in southern Florida, around Okeechobee and Kissimmee,
Accessories Leather Supplier

TEAM SPIRIT IS AT THE CORE OF A YEAR-OLD, GROWING FAMILY BUSINESS 

Missouri company supplies leather and other custom cut parts, like sweatbands. And they offer leatherwork classes.   By Lynn Ascrizzi   Sometimes, what is small, nearly invisible and seemingly insignificant, is what holds things all together.   Such is the case with the humble sweatband, that important but little regarded band of leather or other fabric sewn inside the base of a hat’s crown. Various kinds of hats and caps, be they Stetsons,
Accessories Artisan

Weinaug Leather – Classic Western with an Alien Twang

By B. Crawford If you bring a knife to a gunfight, at least make sure it has a nice sheath. Tooling a bull on a dead cow is ironic. These words of leatherworking wisdom come straight from Kingsbury, Texas, workshop of 25-year-old Trevor Weinaug, the founder of Weinaug Handcrafted Leather. Trevor is 100% Pure-D Texan, the direct descendant of a German immigrant who made his way to the hill's northwest
Accessories Artisan

Revisiting Western Skies Handmade        

Emergence of the Circle by Gene Fowler  Throughout the American West and Southwest, the vast cathedral of space that looms and soars above the landscape inspires and humbles all who behold it. In praise of this great natural temple, the name Western Skies has been applied to everything from motels to golf resorts, insurance agencies to RV dealerships. Event venues. Jewelers. Realtors. Veterinarians. Steakhouses. Candles, contractors and campgrounds. Art galleries. 
Harness Supplier

LAUNCHING THE MID-OHIO EXPO AND CONSIGNMENT AUCTION  

Careful planning and a good deal of footwork turned a challenge into a success.    By Lynn Ascrizzi  When one door closes, another door opens.   That old saying pretty much sums up what John Raber, owner and operator of Hillside Harness Hardware in Millersburg, Ohio, had experienced last year.   It all started when Weaver Leather, LLC, a leather goods manufacturing, distribution and retail business based in a 300,000-square-foot facility in nearby
Accessories Artisan

Lost Dutchman Leather Nears Double-Digit Growth 

by Liisa Andreassen  In September 2020, we ran an article about an up-and-coming entrepreneur Nate Walker, founder of Lost Dutchman Leather. We were excited to catch up with him again and learn all that’s happened since we last talked. To date, he’s seen a huge growth spurt in his community and continues to push his creativity in design. In fact, over the last year, he’s realized about a 40 percent
Accessories Artisan

Lifetime Leather Co. 

By B. Crawford  ShopTalk! is proud to have supported the age-old skills and resilience of leather craftsmen for the last five years. In this, our yearly anniversary issue, it is only fitting that we reach back into our own heritage and shine the spotlight on Ty Bowman, a craftsman whose story was told in our December 2018 issue, who continues to honor the tradition that so few follow in modern
Accessories Artisan

Carlos Macias: The Lost Buckaroo 

By Nick Pernokas  Forty-five-year-old Carlos Macias was raised in the small town of Elk Grove, California. This urban setting in a non-horsy family wasn’t the background that most people would think of for a cowboy. Carlos received a nudge in that direction from an aunt who was involved in “The Painted Ladies,” a drill team that performed at rodeos. She put him on his first horse when he was little
Accessories Artisan

Prairies, Tattooed Fingers and Victorymade Goods 

By Bill Crawford Victorymade Goods is like the song “1952 Vincent Black Lightning” by Richard Thompson - bold, ballsy and forever cool. Like Thompson, Danial Orchard, the founder of Victorymade, is a dedicated craftsman with a passion for bikes. But unlike Thompson who is British, Orchard is Canadian.   “Full disclosure,” Danial confessed from his workshop in Okotoks, Alberta, just outside of Calgary. “I moved here from Central Ontario in 2013,