Leather. Maybe it’s just me, but when I close my eyes, I can easily recall the smell and feel of this timeless, durable material. It brings a smile (and sometimes a tear) as West River memories come flooding back to me — horses, rawhide braiding, and of course, time with my dad.
By 2020, a leather line had been a dream of mine for many years. Up until then, I just didn’t have the time or resources to make it happen. But that infamous year gave me time to start thinking and planning more seriously.
I met a leather maker named Paige through Clint Brown, a good friend of mine. Paige and I really hit it off. She is a third-generation saddle maker, so her love of leather and my love of designs have made for an awesome co-designing experience. She understands my aesthetic, so if I can’t articulate exactly what I want in the leather world, she can still capture my vision.
After many months of brainstorming, discussing and designing, 1948 debuted in 2021.
1948 is the year my dad was born, and the symbol used in our logo was our cattle brand growing up, so this leather line is packed with history for me. My dad has been rawhide braiding since I was a kid, which is how my love of leather started. People always think I got my creativity from my mom, but it was truly from both parents. My dad has always been working with his hands — he is meticulous!
As you can see, this leather line has been a sweet way to connect with my dad; it’s so fun to see him light up when I show him our new products. And speaking of new products, stay tuned! We have a ton of new items coming soon, including lots for men.
All the products in 1948’s line are treasures you will pass on. The lifespan of a leather bag is 40 years at least, so this bag will carry history! Our slogan for 1948 is “journey on.” Where is your path going? What legacy do you hope to leave? The timeless nature of leather speaks to the long journey we are all on, full of deep purpose and meaning.
And those are good words to close for all of you reading: journey on. :)
PS: Make sure you are on our 1948 email list so you are in the know when we launch new products! (Just scroll to the bottom of our website to subscribe.)