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Dean's Story

Do you really want to know??? Well, OK!!! The first thing you should know is that I come from a long line of story tellers; some of them even true. With that in mind, and the Good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, I’ll tell you.

My story actually starts about the mid 1800’s, before most of the west had been divided into states even. My family rolled across the Great Plains of the Midwest and on to the Rocky Mountains where the homesteaded a few hundred acres. Getting there meant they had wagons pulled by horses harnessed with leather.

……..Fast forward a little over 100 years.

I was about 12 years old when I decided I needed a rifle sling for my new hunting rifle. Being a member of the Boy Scouts, I signed up to take the Leatherworking Merit Badge and began handcrafting the finest rifle sling ever made. It was a beauty. Now all I had to do was get me a new hunting rifle to put it on. I guess I got the cart before the horse. Mmmmmm. Well anyway, I took great care of my finely handcrafted leather hunting rifle sling….. on the floor of my closet. I wasn’t really so much different from any other 12 year old boy.

For two years, I took great care of my rifle sling….. on the floor of my closet. Then that wonderful day came. After two years, can you believe it, TWO WHOLE YEARS, I had saved
enough money to purchase my brand new hunting rifle. Finally, a proper place to put my beautifully hand crafted leather sling.

I drug my parents out to the car and forced them to drive to the Gibson’s Discount Store, where I turned over all the money I had for my new hunting rifle. Broke again; Now I would have to earn more money. Damn!!!! I would find through life this was a procedure I would repeat over and over again. I will say this though, that rifle never looked so good as it did with my custom made rifle sling on it. To this day that very rifle sling is still on that hunting rifle making that rifle look good.

Having earned the Leatherworking Merit Badge meant I was now the family leather expert, and that meant the family had someone to oil all that harness leather that brought us west in the 1800’s.

From then on I tinkered with leather projects making birthday and Christmas gifts for family and friends, and of course oiling the harness leather.

When I married the love of my life in 2008, I tooled a hatband for my cowboy hat. A few years later I found myself unemployed. My wife looked me straight in the eye and said, maybe you should start doing leatherwork as a business. We took our cattle brand “DA” and branded it into OUR new leather business, and DA Leather was born.