Chuck joined the Weaver Leather Craft Supply team in August of 2016. With experience running his own business, operating a retail leathercraft store, and a contagious enthusiasm for everything leather, he was the perfect fit for the position of Leathercraft Product Manager. In his role, Chuck is instrumental in new product development, design and testing and producing tutorials for customer education. He’ll also be playing a key role in customer outreach and developing a show and demonstration schedule.
Leathercraft Product Manager
Sam Houston State University
Class of ’86
How did you get interested in leathercrafting?
During college, I needed to have a costume for my job at the Texas Renaissance Festival. As a poor college student, I set out to make my own and asked a saddle maker in Huntsville, Texas if I could buy some leather scraps. He filled by truck bed with scraps and soon after I “became” the go-to leather guy for all students working at the fair.
What experience brought you to where you are today?
After graduating with a bachelor of fine arts degree in broadcast production, I worked at Turner Broadcasting, was an air-borne anchor for metro traffic, and worked with Dickey and Cumulus Broadcasting. During this time, I had a friend working with Atlanta Cutlery/Museum Replicas who mentioned that they were having a hard time getting good leatherwork. I started producing products for them on a part-time basis, eventually growing to have a product on 65 pages of their 100-page catalog.
This success led to me starting my own business, The Dorsett House, Inc., where I had the opportunity to do leatherwork for both movies and TV including Pirates of the Caribbean 4, Mortal Kombat TV series, Man in the Iron Mask with Leonardo Dicaprio, Arthur on BBC, Kaamelot on French TV as well as some work in the MET and on the History Channel. After 14 years in business, I went on to operate a retail leathercraft store and built its yearly sales up from $400,000 to $1.3 million. In spring of 2015, I started talking to Paul and Jason Weaver. Paul saw some hidden talent the industry was missing and I joined the team in August of 2016.
Share an interesting fact about yourself that people may not know
I’ve been a drummer since I was ten years old and even played somewhat professionally throughout my college years. While I don’t have as much time to play today, I remain a big music fan. Genesis, Pink Floyd, Rush, Yes, and Supertramp are my favorite groups.
What is your favorite thing about working with leather?
There are so many that it’s hard to pick just one! Here are my top picks:
- You can make thousands of products with little skill or expense.
- In leather, you don’t just have an “empty canvas” because you get to make the canvas too!
- The unlimited possibilities for creativity in design.
- You don’t just make products that sit on a shelf. You make products that you, your friends and relatives can wear, use and enjoy!
What is your favorite Weaver Leather Supply product?
The Master Tools line offers the best tools ever! Also, Chahin and Hermann Oak® have ALWAYS been the names in leather that I’ve turned to. I’ve never worked with other leathers that were so clean and consistent. We also carry the best dyes and finishes (no water-based) and the quality of our buckles and other hardware can’t be beat.
What is the best thing about Weaver Leather Supply?
The best things are the quality of leather, hardware and tools and the fact that products are always in stock.
Your biggest influences in the leathercrafting world
Curt Green of Bare Bones Leather
A great guy who does magnificent work, Curt greatly influenced my stamping and carving techniques. He’s been featured in a myriad of motorcycle-related magazines for his leather work and taught a number of basic and advanced tooling classes in my store.
Hank Reinhardt of Museum Replicas/Atlanta Cutlery and Author of Hank Reinhardt’s Book of Knives: A Practical and Illustrated Guide to Knife Fighting
Hank gave me my break into professional leather work and taught me the value of quality work and accuracy in my designs.
Dan Crates of Crates Leather Company
Dan taught me how to find a quality hide and how to match the right leather with the right product or project.
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