2013 Project 365

Project 365/234 – Leather Shop

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A rare find, and a true treasure and resource for equestrians and motor bikers is Outback Leather in Laurel, Maryland. In business for at least 40 years, walking into the shop is like taking a step back in time.

With the warm scent of leather oil, and old leather wear of all types throughout the shop, I feel as if I’m in the wild-wild-west. Β A place with they remember my name, even if it has been awhile since my last visit.

Today the owner told me that he was thinking about retiring. Not only would all the Harley Davidson bikers be lost, but I’d be really lost if they closed up shop.

There’s just no place like this anywhere in the area. Here’s hoping a great successor is found to continue the tradition of their leather repair.


Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.

John Wayne

24 replies »

  1. That’s a shame that he’s thinking of retiring, I remember that shop from my childhood. Got my first pair of cowboy boots there, and then later on, my riding boots.

  2. It would be a shame if such a quaint shop were to close. The problem these days is that no one wants to be a craftsman or work the long hours required to keep a store like that open.

    Thanks for using my favorite John Wayne quote. Who knew that the big lug had a brain?

    • The owner was telling me how his fingers were stiff from sewing for so many years. It’s truly an art with the work he does. I took a 150 year old strap from a Civil War rifle that I tore. He instantly knew what it was and how to put it back together. Amazing!

      • I wondered about that. Most of the people who work with their hands end up with gnarled fingers from years of work.

        We tell our youth to go to college and get an MBA so that they can stand in line with all the other recent grads with MBAs. Once they land a job that they hate, they stick it out till they’re in their late 40’s, early 50’s, then shuck that job to take up a craft that they love.

  3. As soon as I saw this picture I instantly smelled leather…I love that smell. My good friends brother had a small leather shop making small wallets, shoes, belts etc and every time I went in there I was overcome by the lovely smells. I hope he finds a buyer soon.

  4. your pictures make me wanna go horse-riding again… i haven’t done it for a long time, but my sister owns two horses. i guess it’s time to visit her beauties again πŸ™‚

  5. It is so hard to find good skilled trades these days.
    I’m not sure about in the states, but here in Aus, it is recognized that there aren’t enough apprentices in craft trades coming through.

    • That’s interesting, so are they starting to encourage apprenticeships to continue the craftsmanship? In Peru with the textile industry, they recognize how important it is and are now encouraging young women to learn the trade.

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