One of the most common questions we are asked is how we find the craftspeople who make the items for BROWN BOX. At Folkway Design and Wares Co., we love the stories behind each maker as much as their items, and this one takes the cake.
We were in need of a craftsperson who could work with leather to make an item we wanted for this winter’s box. Our first thought was the local cobbler (yes, how cool is it that we have a cobbler?!). Any excuse to visit his shop is worth the trip. It is filled with 100-year old sewing machines and tools hanging on the walls that have been passed down generation after generation…all housed in a cypress baton board clad building on the edge of the bayou. (Think a mix of Geppetto and Santa’s workshops).
After discussing the project with the cobbler he said he didn’t have the machines needed and sent us further down the bayou to meet with a saddler.
saddler: a person who makes, repairs, or sells saddles and other equipment for horses
After making a trip to the saddler’s house he again did not feel he was the right fit for the project and sent us to a leathermaker. After a phone call we found out the leathermaker had since retired……but……had handed over his business to his daughter. harumph.
After several more phone calls it turned out that she was interested but couldn’t source the leather we wanted. However, as all good southerners do, “had a cousin in Alabama”……who we could try. The cousin didn’t work out either but it sure made for an interesting story along the way.
The crazy journey up and down the bayou and across state lines led us to one of our favorite town squares: McKinney, TX. Who knew just off the square in an unassuming building was an amazing craftswoman who has a self-proclaimed love for the sweet smell of leather.