The distinct smell of leather met me at the door of Thomas Kepler’s leather workshop this fine Central Pennsylvania morning. In search of a new leather belt and hearing rumors of a leather craftsman plying his trade in the picturesque village of Allensville, I planned my trip and was not disappointed.
Mr. Kepler, a self-taught craftsman, has been honing his craft over the past few years, and, in my assessment, I find him to be an accomplished practitioner of the leather trade with a varied inventory of quality goods.
I had in mind a solid belt for everyday use and soon found one to my liking. I was also impressed with his selection of more refined designs for dress apparel, although I could not find one in my size. This was of no problem to Mr. Kepler. He assured me that a short 15-minute wait would result in just the product I had my eye on.
I was fascinated by this craftsman’s work and the assortment of tools, both old and new, throughout the shop. As Thomas worked, we engaged in a friendly conversation. I soon found that he was born and raised right here in our community and that I was acquainted with his extended family. I discovered that not only does Thomas produce a variety of leather products, he also engages in saddle and tack work.
The belt was soon completed, and our business transacted perhaps a bit too quickly for my liking as I could have lingered a little longer in his shop to observe the finer points of leather craft. But the chore list at Cowhill Cottage is not growing any shorter, and preparation for the coming change of seasons requires my attention.
I invite you to contact the Kepler Leather Company and hope that you find this shop full of leather products as interesting as I have. I believe you will be impressed with the quality and variety of his work. Of course, our support of local artisans is foundational to the development and sustainability of our collected communities throughout this region we call home.
Here is the contact information for Kepler Leather Company: