Stag's Leap Leatherworks is a Woman-Owned Small Business.
Hi, I'm Kim Cruickshank and I am a leatherworker.
I grew up on a coastline but had close proximity to the countryside and trails. As a result, I was fortunate enough to have horses and I was horse crazy when I was a young girl (Still am!). We stabled them at an English Equestrian facility where I took lessons and showed my horse in Hunter/Jumper show events. I will never forget the smell of the tack room... the place where they kept all our saddles, bridles, halters and boots...it was heaven! There was a saddlery shop up the way... The Red Pony, and I would go pester the men for their scraps of leather because I wanted my room to smell just like the tack room. After a while I started to use the leather to make small crafty things like pouches, change purses and keychains. That was the extent of my leatherworking... Then.
When I got older I traveled frequently out west to ski. Squaw Valley in Lake Tahoe, California.. awesome. Aspen, Breckenridge and Steamboat in Colorado.. amazing. But my all-time favorites are Park City and Deer Valley (where I tasted my first bottle of STAG'S LEAP Cabernet, my favorite wine!) in Utah's Wasatch Mountain Range. INCREDIBLE.
But I also realized it wasn't just the skiing. It was the whole package. The flavor of the West with its majestic mountains and the little rustic towns tucked in at their base, the horse ranches, western saddles, cattle ranches!
I brought all the glory of the elements of the American West that I soaked up in my head, back East with me time after time... the Native American culture, the Gold Rush era, the ranches, friends that pick up shed antlers and Elk hunt for food, hearing wolves and coyotes on the ridge, songs by John Denver-Rocky Mountain High and Dan Fogelberg-High Mountain Snows.... AGHHH! I had to do something with that!
And that, in just a few lines is my whole inspiration. The whole reason why I started making these unique handmade rustic bags... AND the origin of the name of my company.
I have been hand making these unique, one of a kind, rustic, edgy, unisex cross body shoulder bags since 2009 and I STILL use all the memories of my trips out West, and all the Rocky Mountain folk songs in my head to create these wonderful functional works of art, trimmed with elk or deer antler pieces, bits of coyote fur, replica coins, natural stones or hand cut fringe.
I exhibit my work at fine art shows and festivals so please check my "Events Calendar" frequently!
I am a Sole-Proprietor, Woman Owned, Small Business (W.O.S.B!) and through the years I have found that my customers are as varied as my leather bag designs. I have sold to all sorts of people with varied interests. Men who do Mountain Man Rendezvous or Period Reenactments, women of the Ren Fayre, Highland Games, women of all ages from teenagers to grandmas, hikers, bikers, wanderers, adventurers and hipsters! Some even buy the bags to decorate their mountain homes. They hang them from a coat rack, aspen log bedpost or fireplace mantle as functional pieces of art. One thing I know is that every one of them want to show their uniqueness and individuality. They are people who stare life right in the face, charge it hard and love every minute of it.
All of my pieces are hand made by me. American Made! All the hides I use are oil tanned, top grain cowhide that I purchase from the Amish folks in Mt. Hope, Ohio. USA hides tanned by wonderfully simple and down to earth American people, from the Heartland of the USA!
My crossbody shoulder bags, men's, lady's, boy's, girl's, unisex bags, purses, handbags, clutches and pouches are rustic, edgy, hipster, cowgirl, cowboy, Native American inspired (see the fringed bags), boho, hippy, laptop, phone and tablet carrying.... anything you can think to use them for! All of my pieces are hand made by me, here in the good old USA.
Thanks for visiting with me and I hope that my story will inspire you to reach for your dreams.
Thanks! ~ Kim