Local Holiday Gift Guide: Clever With Leather

Local Holiday Gift Guide: Clever With Leather

I met Claire, the owner of Clever with Leather at the Crave Festival this past fall and immediately fell in love with her leather goods. What first caught my eye was her adorable, equine inspired bracelets and her double leather dog collars (you know I love my doggies!). All of her pieces are hand made, in a little shop, just inside of Versailles that she started when she moved to the States from England, over 20 years ago. Having trained in master saddlery, all of Claire’s pieces are equestrian inspired, which is a perfect match considering she is located in the horse capital of the world!

I was lucky enough to spend a few hours with Claire while picking up some pieces to share with you for this post.

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Claire whipped up a few special pieces for us during our visit. One being this men’s bracelet (below) for Mr. Love Lexington. Claire does custom orders as well so if there is something you are looking for and don’t’ see it on her website or in her shop, just let her know and more than likely she can stitch it together for you. The Mr’s bracelet was nothing but a big sheet of leather when we arrived.

 

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I wanted to show you what I mean by a touch of equestrian. This men’s belt, know as the Lexington belt (fitting name, right?) was one of my favorites. On a horse saddle, there are straps that hang down the sides to hold the stirrups. The holes of those straps are numbered so that you can adjust them on both sides so that your legs are even (and one stirrup isn’t higher or lower than the other). Claire adds small details like that to her products to that extra touch.

Quality is also extremely important to Claire. Look closely at the belt buckle….see the middle piece is silver and not gold on the two brown ones? That is because the silver tongues hold up better than the gold ones. Without the tiny little piece of the belt…it would be unwearable.

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Claire was also kind enough to make my boxer, Nikki, a new collar. A collar that I was able to pick out her colors or leather, fit it to her neck, and have a fancy lil’ name plate added (like those used on the horse bridles!) This too was made, by hand, while we watched and chatted with Claire. I was in awe, watching her make something so beautiful from just pieces of leather with such ease and grace…all while holding a conversation!

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Now my personal favorite piece! What was intended to be an iPad carrier (full size version) for J. Peterman, is now my newest clutch! Claire pulled the original design from a pile of goods she had been working on and my eyes lit up like a child on Christmas morning. This little beauty is crafted from buffalo leather which is soft and slightly textured. Trust me when I say if this was a scratch and sniff post you’d not be able to pull your nose away…the leather just smells incredible!

I’m planning on having Claire craft me up an original tote made from the same leather. A large, open bag that I can throw in my laptops, an extra pair of shoes, my clutch and head off to work (forget coach, Michael Kors, etc…I’d rather have a stunning leather bag that no-one else has that was made right here in my own city).

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Weep No More Sweathsirt c/o The KY Shop.

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{Equestrian iPad Case (on sale!) c/o Clever with Leather / available at J. Peterman.}

What I love about the Clever with Leather gifts are there is something for everyone! A inexpensive, yet quality made bracelet for a friend; a new personalized collar for the dog lovers (or a gift for your pup…I’m not above doggie gifts!); a new, handmade belt for good-ol dad; or an original design for your someone special.

You can visit Clever with Leather’s website here, stop by the Facebook page here, or contact Claire via her website for original designs or to set up an appointment to visit her shop here. You can also find the equine, briddle bit bracelets at our local boutique, Calypso or online here.

Want to learn more about Claire at Clever with Leather, check out this post from Explore Kentucky.