Gun Chase had the opportunity to interview Sonia, the co-owner of Appaloosa Leather located in Vancouver Canada about their handmade custom leather accessory business. Their products range from wallets and purses to hunting gear and accessories.
When did you start Appaloosa Leather?
We officially started the business in early 2015, but we’ve been hobby leather crafters for a long time, making things for ourselves and as gifts for friends and family. We figured, with so many people asking us to make them stuff, maybe we can turn our hobby into a career and thought about how cool it would be to make money doing something we love.
I had just finished school earning my BBA in finance and to be honest was a little lost as to what I wanted to do. My fiance (boyfriend at the time) was introducing me to hunting and the hunting world. Along with that he taught me leather craft and I made my first knife sheath for my growing knife collection, (2 knives, impressive, I know). So, I ditched the high heels for camo boots, the calculator for a mallet and leather tools, and never looked back.
It sounds like your fiance really had a large impact on you, can you tell us more?
Like I said, I learned leather craft from my fiance. He’s been a hunter all his life and started leather crafting as a hobby because purchasing leather items was so expensive and he found he really enjoyed it. Leather craft is one of those things where you never stop learning, I’m still surprised sometimes with the challenges the craft throws at me.
You make products ranging from wallets and purses to hunting gear and accessories, what’s all the in-between?
All our products are handmade. We make a wide range of items, but I’ll give you some of the major ones which are; gun slings, buttstock covers, cartridge belts, holsters, wallets, belts, purses, keychains, ammo pouches, pouches, belt pouches, jewelry, pet accessories, and dog collars,
Our specialty is gun slings. We are hunters ourselves, so we test and use our own products. We are constantly trying to find ways to improve our products for durability, comfort, and fit.
What makes Appaloosa Leather special?
We take pride in our products and each piece we make we make sure it’s something we’re proud of. If you asked me to make two of the same products exactly the same, I couldn’t do it. I’m not a machine and every item would be different. When it comes to art (especially handmade art) every artist is different and every piece is different. Our designs are original and we design them from scratch (unless I have a twin out there I don’t know about who thinks the exact same way I do)
We make sure the ordering and designing process is a great experience for the customer. We enjoy working closely with our customers to design the perfect product to fit all their needs. We enjoy it when the customer wants to participate in the designing process.
The unpredictability of the outcome. Although that is also something that can make you rip your hair out. Since there are no crazy formulas and high tech machines, sometimes things and designs that you picture in your head don’t turn out the way you pictured it. Sometimes, the result is worse than how you pictured it, but thankfully most of the time it looks better. It’s always nice when you finish something and go “hey, these colors came out looking great, or these details came out even better than I pictured it.
What are you plans for the future?
Continue to put up more products and designs on our online store while also keeping up with the constant demand for custom orders.
Where can interested people purchase your handmade items?
You can browse and purchase our products on our online store at