Making things has always been my thing. We moved to Mariposa in 1979 and I went to work at home doing sewing for a wonderful lady Gret Warren making backpacks and tents. I used one of her machines.
An industrial Phaff. It could stitch you up to the armpit quicker than you could blink an eye. It took me a while, but I did learn to run it. I worked for her doing this until she stopped working for the company she sewed for and went to work for Calvin Kline and other high fashion designers. She ask me to go work with her on one site but my place was at home with my family. I then went to work for Sheldon of California leather wallet co. They were from L.A'. but had moved to Mariposa and down sized. My kids were all in school 4th grade and up so I felt I could be at work while they were at school. I stitched
because I was the only one that knew how to use the industrial machine. I really loved working there. They were good people and the product was really nice. They taught me a lot about producing a good product. Make it to last and you can charge what it is worth. Put out a bad product and you can only feel bad when you look at yourself in the mirror, plus you won't be in business very long. When it got hard to keep up with the kids ·and their activities I started staying home more. I did home day care for 20 yrs . I made all the kids their own day packs to bring when they came to my day care. Some of
them still have them today, and their kids are using them. A few years ago I was at a hammer in at Weaverville and visited with the blacksmiths there. I talked to Mark Aspery and we talked about aprons. We sat and drew up a design for a halter for a bib
apron that would not bother the neck when worn. Mark told me to make him a half apron like the one he had and he wanted a full chap apron with the halter. I could bring it to the Spring conference at Ferndale that year. Thus the apron business took off. I took 3 or 4
extra half aprons like Marks. He had me a table sat up in the big room and for three days I took orders for aprons. I believe there were 36 aprons ordered. I now have a few more styles but the half apron and the chap apron are still the same. I am almost 70 years old
and feel I have a long way to go before I have this down pat. I am grateful for the people that taught me the skill and gave me the respect of the product I make and the support the blacksmiths from CBA have given me. My kids are all grown with families of their own.
My husband is doing his best to keep up with me. He says it"s like a disturbed ant hill around here when I am home. It is a busy place. I am trying to make it to more of the blacksmith meets as a vendor. Come by and see me at the Spring conference each year.
Maybe I can fix your belt or even make you one for your forged buckle.