When you first push open the old wooden door at Leather Works, you are met
with the rich, velvet aroma of fresh leather, hanging still in the summer air, followed by a friendly greeting from one of the women on staff. Skirted with
pane glass windows, the light from outside pours warmly into the rustic storefront, where walls are lined with beautiful bags, belts and buckets to boot.
The heavy hum of the Singer 211-G-156 sewing machine can be heard from the open workshop, where Jolene Dauphney, owner, artisan and leather worker,
is happy to invite you back for a tour. Hooks laden with tools and thread,
this is a room where hours pass with a great deal of passionate skill and hard work.
“I love working with my hands and learning new things.” shared Jolene, who grew up just down the road from her shop in Indian Brook. Little did she know she’d find her interest in leather work, fresh out of the gates.
At the age of 19, she happened upon the advertisement for a one year apprenticeship with John Roberts, skilled leather worker, who founded Leather Works in 1988. Intrigued by the chance to learn something new, conveniently located so close to home, she applied on a whim and was accepted.
John was a thorough and patient teacher who showed admirable integrity in
his work. “We started by sewing paper!” laughs Jolene “And we sewed paper…..forever.” she smiles. It was all worth it, because at the end of her one year term, John kept her on board and for the next fourteen years,
she grew to become a skilled and passionate leather worker of her own.
In addition to having had the privilege of gaining an art trade,
she enjoyed working for John and his wife Marion, two beloved members of this shore side community who “were really just like family,” she expresses,
“…in a way; I grew up here”.
In 2014, Jolene purchased Leather Works and stands as a poster woman for women in trade. “There’s no guys here…and everyone is surprised!” Jolene laughs. This mighty gal has a wonderful team of all female employees from the community, who work with diligence to provide a beautiful, high quality,
hand-made product to share with the world.
Always with a friendly greeting and something new to entice, this stop along the trail, is so much more than a shop. This stop, is one to remember.