Alpena-Scott Stepanski is traveling to Oregon next month and his bags are all packed.
Three of his handmade leather bags have been accepted as entries for the 2022 Pendleton Leather Show on November 4th and 5th.
Alpena men owns Red Bottom Leather and makes all types of unique and colorful handbags. Many of them are sold at his Myer’s Fashions in Alpena.
The Pendleton Leather Show is held annually in Pendleton, Oregon. It is a leather trade fair where 20,000 to 50,000 people visit every year. This event has classes and contests. Exhibitors travel from all over the United States with leather craft such as saddles, saddle tools, boots, boot-making supplies, conditioners and dyes. A handbag contest was added in 2019.
Speaking with one of the organizers, Stepanski said: No one has ever come from Michigan. “
He is thrilled to be on the show.
“I’ve never done a show this big,” he said. “There will be a lot. It’s not just handbags. Handbags are just part of the show.”
Stepanski chose three handbags with a touch of Southwestern flair.
“I tried to get into that theme a little bit,” he said.
He said it took him over a month to make the brown leather sling bag, about 25 hours in total.
“I’m going to bring something out there that I don’t think you’ll see very often,” Stepanski said.
He added that his wife is going with him, as is one of his daughters, who lives in Portland, Oregon.
“We are all going,” he said. “There will be a lot of cowboys, and a lot of saddles and chaps.”
To see more of Stepanski’s work, visit his website redbottomleather.com.