Originally Published: February 23, 2015 6:02 a.m.
Put on those boots and fix up the saddle, the annual Southwest Leather Workers Trade Show is fixing to commence once more.
Now in its 15th year, the show will run from Friday through Sunday, Feb. 27-March 1, with workshops starting Tuesday, Feb. 24. Once more hosted by The Leather Crafters & Saddlers Journal, this is the first year exhibition space has filled up since the show moved to Prescott.
Ralph Solome Jr., publisher of The Leather Crafters & Saddlers Journal, said his wife's father, Bill Reis, who had been putting on a similar show in Wyoming, originally started the show.
"There was a call for it and people asked him to bring one to the Southwest," Solome said, noting that a lot of people who are interested in leatherworking gravitate to the Southwest.
Solome said the show has been in Phoenix and Riverside, California, and spent many years in Wickenburg before outgrowing the area and moving to Prescott.
"My wife and I fell in love with Prescott," Solome said. "It's been a fantastic success and everyone loves being there."
According to Solome, not a lot has changed in this year's show, but stated that the leather art exhibition sale, in cooperation with the Mountain Artists Guild, has continued for a second year.
This is also the first year since moving to Prescott that the space for exhibitors has sold out. Solome called the filling up a good thing because the show came to Prescott because of continued growth.
"It's looking like it's going to be a great show," Solome said.
Solome mentioned the show has everything the leather enthusiast wants or needs, whether they're just learning and getting started or want to move from recreational leatherworking to professional. He said it's ideal for any fans of leather, western culture or equestrian fare.
And he can't wait to get here.
"We had a great time last year and we're very excited to get to Prescott," Solome said.
Held at the Prescott Resort & Conference Center, 1500 E. Highway 69, the show is free and open to the public.
For more information, visit www.leathercraftersjournal.com.
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