Here at Boots 'N' Things, leather is my passion. I love to design, to craft, and to create truly unique heirloom quality pieces that are functional as well as beautiful. I invite you to look through my online gallery or visit my shop and see if there's something special I can do for you.
Boots N Things is an exciting place to visit due to the variety of leatherwork projects that are designed and created by one person. "First timers" are thrilled to see this unique shop because all work is handmade by Chris Apedaile herself; nothing is pre-made and then embellished. For a superior finished product, she starts with the finest leathers, uses custom tools, quality hardware and does all the manufacturing work herself.
Most shops, even if they create “custom” orders, have multiple people that only know and do one specific job. For instance, in boot making, there is the uppers person, the laster, the bottoms and finisher. Chris knows how to make a cowboy boot from start to finish, with all the work personally being performed by her.
In the process of making horse tack, Chris uses the method of traditional leatherwork. She starts by casing Hermann Oak leather, then uses a swivel knife to cut in the design. Each hand tool is struck with a mallet or maul one at a time. The tools are used to give shape, texture and shading to the various elements of the pattern.
Chris’s most common projects are genuine leather belts, chinks, chaps, spur straps, dog collars, knife sheaths, and western holsters, as well as all horse tack including breast collars, headstalls and bridles, billets, and rear cinches or flank straps.
Unique custom items Chris has created include custom saddles, book covers, braided reins with hand plaited rawhide knots, horsehair braided belts, horsehair jewelry and a tiny saddle for a special rocking horse.
New to her set of skills is custom cowboy boot making. Learning the geometric method of pattern making allows her to design every element of the boot just for you.
The word “cobbler” usually conjures up images of peach and apple with ice cream. At Boots N Things we use a different definition of a cobbler, meaning a person that does shoe repair. Although, boot repair is the highest demand in our area, many shoes, slippers, moccasins, and flip flops can be repaired. Handbags, purses, backpacks, velcro on ski boots and helmets, and elastic on women's shoes along with other accessories can be repaired. Work boots, hiking boots, and cowboy boots usually need a full sole. Men's dress shoes can get by with a half sole and heels, or just heels. Women's dress shoes commonly need the pin lift or the heel lift replaced. All shoes in our dry climate could use some leather conditioner and polishing. When the snow comes, waterproofing and salt stain removal are in demand.
And for the vocabulary buffs out there, here are a few interesting definitions relevant to Boots N Things.
1) A cordwainer is a person that makes new shoes from new leather. 2) Bespoke refers to being ordered before it is made. 3) Custom made meets the specifications of a particular person.