We're Jo and Donnie Keith. We met at a friend's wedding about 15 years ago. We eventually got married and Jo (that would be me) moved from Ohio to South Carolina and was looking for work. Donnie was a part-time farrier and a full-time engineer. He was wanting to make himself a new pair of chaps. He signed up for a class at a local leather store to learn about working and tooling leather. I went along to watch. The instructor told me that I couldn't just sit there and watch and loaned me a set of tools with which to learn. I loved it!
Before we knew what we had gotten into, we had leather and supplies everywhere. Donnie (the designer/dreamer) started coming up with ideas of what to make. I (the person who makes it "pretty") was learning a lot about tooling, dyes, and assembly.
We were soon meeting with other leather workers, attending conferences, and taking more classes. We were hooked!
Due to work, we moved to Atlanta, GA, then to Memphis, TN, then to LaGrange, GA. I had, by this time, made a lot of little leather items so we thought about doing some of the local craft shows. People were interested in the types of items we make. They weren't the usual belts with names and plain wallets. We were making unique jewelry items, lampshades, hot sauce holsters (due to a need at a South Carolina oyster festival), book covers, holsters, and unique purses and wallets. Then we received our first request for a custom wallet!
I was looking for work and to keep myself busy, I made more items so that our booth wouldn’t look so empty.
Lazy K Leather officially became a company in 2014. I was getting more and more custom requests. The requests all started coming with unique designs that customers wanted on the piece. I found that it was taking longer and longer to make a quality piece for a customer that would last them a lifetime.
We are still attending many shows throughout Georgia. People stop by our booth and tell us that they had hoped we would be here because they would like us to make them something unique or are wanting to purchase another item.
We've designed some very unique projects -- from lampshades to reindeer ornaments. The think I love to do most is "tool" leather. Donnie loves to come up with interesting new products. He works on designing the products and working on the assembly process. Once he has a prototype, I get to put my hands on it to make it pretty! I had a friend once tell me that leather wants a design on it so don’t leave it plain! So, we put a design on each item.
We are always learning new things. Each custom job and new product teaches us something. Your custom requests make us better.
I hope you like the items we offer. If you see something, but need to have it customized, send us an email. And, because we have so many shows, our on-hand inventory is constantly changing.