Whew, what a weekend y'all! I had a great time Saturday at the Annual Boot & Saddle Makers Round Up hosted here in Wichita Falls, Texas. I though I would share some of the exciting things I experienced while there this year.
This year was the 30th Annual Boot & Saddlemakers Trade Show with vendors from all over the US as well as makers from all over. The two day event has everything for those in leather craft. In addition to vendors and suppliers, they host free seminars both days led by industry professionals covering everything from measuring for custom boots to internet marketing. They also host a saddle and boot contest for beginners and professionals alike.
While I always enjoy this show to do some shopping as well as drool over all the great tools and machines that are there, this year was a little different. This year I made a point to introduce myself to all those makers I have followed and appreciated since I've been doing leather work. I had to opportunity to meet and speak with a number of makers, and I couldn't have been happier to do so.
Early on I got to chat with Sam from Kings X Custom Leather (@kingsxcustomleather) What a guy! He was a great guy to chat with. He even gave me one of his awesome bottle cap, hand stitched key fobs! It of course swiftly found itself on my "wall of fame" in the shop.
Then we ran into Ms. Insta herself, Ms. Dian @AllredLeatherCompany. Such a cool gal. I've been following her work for some time, and it was great to meet and shake hands, and of course talk shop.
Then can a heavy hitter Jimmy Compton better known as @TheProperGentleman . Jimmy is just a downright cool good guy. Based out of Fort Worth he is turning out some incredible work. Someone I have talked to on and off through social media, it was a pleasure to get to meet him face to face and shake his hand.
A gentleman who does some wonderful tooling work was there too, I have long admired his work and like it others, it was a pleasure to meet @T-Pop-Leather-Shop
Another fellow who I ran into, Dustin Lauw at @ducksheritageleather is killing it in the Handmade boot scene! Not only is he doing awesome work (he won best stitched tops in the boot category this year) but he was as friendly and kind as they come. Taking time out of his day to really chat about what he has going on, as well share some great insight.
Wes Shugart at @MusicCityLeather was a fellow I ran into who I followed for a while. Wes is a boot maker from Tennessee, and what a guy to chat to with great whit and humor.
Then Larry Tuner with @turner_laserworks is doing some awesome work as well when it come to stamp making. Using Delrin plastics he is laser engraving leather stamps, making customs stamps affordable to everyone. Quick turn around, good price, and a heck of a guy to boot. Check him out for your custom stamp needs.
I of course had to stop my the Leather Wranglers (@leatherwranglers)Booth to chat with Paul & Rosa Zalesak. This power couple is coming out with some great tools for cutting and carving leather. I unfortunately haven't pulled the trigger on one of their knives quite yet. They are always friendly and helpful when it comes to knives and the trade.
Of course we had to stop at the Makers Leather Supply Booth and chat with Aaron & Janie Sue... I also had to spend some money while there. They are running a great leather supply business and certainly worth checking out. Aaron is an accomplished and talented leather maker, and will not carry something in his store he doesn't stand behind.
Next up I chatted quite a bit with Clay Miller with Miller Custom Leather & Tools . Clay is coming out with some great handmade stamping tools, and was kind enough to share with me how exactly he does that, which is fascinating. He also turns some beautiful maul handles along with various other leather working tools.
One last person I had the pleasure t meet was Diane Scalese, who is a renowned bright cut hand engraver. I had the pleasure of meeting her while she was set up with GRS Tools demonstration booth. If you are interested in the art of hand engraving, she is certainly someone to check out!
These folks are just a few of the great talent and friendly folks I came across at the show. There are many more, if I forgot to mention you I apologize! I encourage you, if you are a maker or simply interested in leather work, to check this show out next year! No only can you load up with everything you'd ever need, but you'll get to rub elbows with some of the industries finest!