Hey there, I'd like to welcome you to Kippylou's. My name is Chantell and I am the person behind Kippylou's. Making things out of leather that others can use and love makes my heart happy.
I got my first taste of working with leather when I was in high school and attending Rodeo Bible Camp. During the time I was able to I was at the leather table and made my first belt. Not going to lie, I felt like I was pretty cool lol.
My grandpa told me a story about how we had a family member that actually use to do leather work. We were out by the field, in the driveway working on a truck or something (grandpa always has those "do you have a minute?" projects that turn into a days work lol) when he was telling me about it. I remember thinking "how cool would it be to have my own leather business" but of course the next thought was, "Yea, that could never happen. I wish I lived back in the day". He had done some leather work in the off seasons, and he let me use what he had around. There are actually a couple of the tools that I still use.
Little did I know that belt was only the beginning of everything! This was back in the summer of 2010! Guess who I rode at the camp? That's right, it was the one and only Kippylou! It may become another post for later talking more about this horse, but shes been with me and taught me so many lessons along the way. She is a jerk, but also my absolute favorite horse out there.
Through high school I continued to do a couple more little projects. Mainly fixing things up to where they were usable. We didn't have the most money so we could only get used tack and I'd make stuff out of other old pieces. One of my favorite sets was one that my mom and I made our own and put some turquoise "antique" on (we had no real clue what we were doing lol). I thought it was so cool because it was different, and other people who had really nice and expensive tack thought it was cool. At one point someone wanted to buy it off my horse and got me thinking that maybe someday I could do a little more with leather.
In college I was having a rough transition not having my horses with me and I needed to find a new way to relieve stress, so I went ahead and started back with leather to help me out. I kept making stuff and eventually opened a Facebook page, and got my business set up for the first time in Oregon. I was selling some of the stuff I was making! It felt so great to make stuff for other people and be able to get some more tools. During college I also met my now husband, Shea.
We graduated, got married and started our married life. We both are dreamers, and he pushed me to keep up with my leather while we got our family started. A couple of months later I was getting sick over ridiculous thing and then we found out I was pregnant with miss Dally! It was a rough pregnancy for me, we moved to Washington (the state not DC lol) while I was pregnant to a town in the middle of no where called Okanogan for a new job for Shea. It was a beautiful area, and I was making some things as I could while being pregnant and sick all of the time.
When miss Dally arrived, I started making more things and was really enjoying it. I was thinking about if I wanted to continue with leather or go a different direction, and ultimately chose to stick with the leather. I saw a job posted down in New Mexico for doing leather work for a company, and Shea (jokingly at first) started looking at things down in New Mexico. Well he found a job that aligned well with his goals, and it was an area we had drove through before. We talked more about it, and decided that he should apply and try for it. He went down for the in person interview and really enjoyed the area, and people. When he was offered the job we packed up and moved down to this tiny town called Logan.
When we were looking the area up online there was a larger town called Tucumcari that was close to Logan that I had no clue how to pronounce, To Come Kari, if your curious lol. Well a year into his job we ended up buying a little run down small horse ranch that we are now making our own. I FINALLY have my arena that I've been dreaming of!
Shea has now switched departments where he can grow more with his goals, and I am running my business while raising Dally and living our dreams! I am so proud of where we are and can't wait to grow Kippylou's more over the years.
Kippylou's is me creating products that are functional and fashionable that you can enjoy in your life. All of the products have love behind them, and they fill my heart with joy. I am currently shifting things around with Kippylou's and adding more giving. I have learned that what fills me up the most is when I can give to others in my community (locally, and online) through my work.
Kippylou's will start having certain designs that will go towards helping out different people in our western community. If you know of a cause that Kippylou's could give to please email firstname.lastname@example.org or through your social media site of choice (@kippylousleather).
Many people that I do orders for are western mamas and I can't tell you how much I love that. Western mamas are total badasses in my opinion. We do a ton (haha that's an understatement!!) and deserve to treat ourselves every now and again. I am here whether you need leather, or a friend! I'd love to get to know you more! Let's connect on social media. Feel free to message me, I always love meeting new friends.