Richardson opened the small shop in Selma about 30 years ago. Hanging on the walls are bridles, harnesses and gun holsters, and there are several saddles on display near the counter. Most everything is American-made except for the metal pieces. Richardson says unfortunately very few companies in the U.S. make them anymore.
Although his hobby shop is technically not a business, some folks do come from nearly 100 miles away to have him repair saddles and other pieces. Richardson points out a stirrup that needs repaired and a strap of a harness with the leather torn. He’ll have to cut a new piece of leather out for that.
There is a new trend of appreciation for local, handmade products, as well as the art of the community, and it seems to be catching on. Perhaps there is a sentiment attached, one of bygone days, and the hope to see a resurgence of that American self-made spirit.
Richardson hopes to see future generations enjoy leather-working as a hobby or a sideline job.
“There are quite a few people around that do some leather tooling, that make wallets, purses and belts,” Richardson explains. “I’ve run onto some every once in a while that do things like that. They do it because they enjoy it — creating something of their own with their own designs.”