Merchant Leather owner Dan Horan started working with leather after he came across a designer/maker in Texas selling a leather wallet that drew his interest.
The designer wanted $500 for the item and at the time, and Dan couldn’t justify the price. So he decided to make his own, and two years later he finally made something that closely resembled the Texan designer’s creation.
“Looking back now, I appreciate the design, work and craft he put into it and would happily pay the $500,” Dan said. “It would have been much cheaper in the long run.”
From there, Dan’s wife had asked him to make her a tote bag. After receiving an overwhelming amount of attention, he decided to launch Merchant Leather in 2015.
This year at Holidazzle, you will find Merchant Leather and all your leather needs. Some larger items such as briefcases and tote bags as well as smaller items such as belts, wallets, keychains, clutches and coasters will be for sale. Dan will also be teaching classes on how to hand-sew leather. The classes are about 30 minutes in length and are a great way to learn, and create your own hand-sewn leather good.
Holidazzle’s full calendar run is Thursdays through Sundays from Friday, November 25 through Friday, December 23. It is open Thursdays from 5-9 pm, Fridays from 5-10 pm, Saturdays from 11 am-10 pm and Sundays from 11 am-7 pm.
“I am most excited for Holidazzle because I get to meet so many new people that come to celebrate and enjoy the festive atmosphere,” Dan said.
He hopes the people he meets take away an appreciation for handmade goods and the people who make them.
“If you buy something, you are not just getting a product but a piece of the artist and their efforts,” he said.
Everything Dan makes is made by hand. He doesn’t use machines in his crafting process, which means nothing is mass produced. Everything is cut, stitched and finished by hand with the best and most natural materials available.
“Everything I make really is built to last a lifetime,” he said.
Dan feels incredibly lucky to be able to create something that makes other people so happy.
“What I make is more than just a bag or a wallet,” he said. “While they may be just things – they are things that can make you feel more beautiful or handsome or self-confident or happy. I am lucky to be able to add, even in a small way, any of those feelings to someone’s life.”