Owner of Texas Leatherworks is creating custom projects and keeping the craft alive

Leather is not just for boots: Small business owner Dewey Pentecost has crafted everything from belts for Elton John to a solar system drumstick bag. So, get an idea, and he will craft it.

By Jesus VidalesMarch 7, 2024 2:12 pm, ,

Dewey Pentecost, the owner of Texas Leatherworks, has been creating leather products for more than 30 years for Texans. When he was younger, he was a touring drummer by night and a construction supervisor by day. Later, he would discover his love for leather working. It was in 1991 that he got into leather working.

“I tore my jacket and had it fixed at a place downtown called the Leather Bench and got interested in what that gentleman was doing,” he said. “He kind of mentored me a little bit on getting started and going and gave me some leather, and I made my first project, which was a tool belt for myself to do my job at the time.”

Pentecost said it’s tough to get a business like his going because there’s not many craft people like him around.

“It’s a dying art, and people can buy online something cheaper than having it custom made,” he said. “But then again, as you well know, you buy it cheap, it’s not gonna last as long as is a good leather quality product.”

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Courtesy of Dewey Pentecost

Pentecost creates a lot of belts, wallets and briefcases, in addition to doing refurbishing repairs and custom work – not to mention his most unique creation, a belt for Elton John and his drummer, Nigel, commissioned by Circuit of the Americas when John played the Formula One U.S. Grand Prix in Austin.

“They wanted to give him something kind of commemorative of the race and commemorative of Texas,” he said. “What [bootmaker] Charlie Dunn is famous for is a little thing called a pinched rose. And there are only about three or four people in Texas that know how Charlie Dunn did it, so we used that, and then we tried to figure out how to do a commemorative of the race. So I suggested that we put the checkered flag on the front and the back of the belt where the buckle side goes and then the tongue side goes.”

Pentecost said he’s happy to see young people on social media getting into leather work and carrying on the craft. He’s had many customers find his business online while searching for a place to get a belt or other custom item made.

“I’ll tell you a funny story. I was talking to a guy one time, and he goes, ‘so what do you do?’ And I said, ‘I own a leather shop,'” Pentecost said. “He said, ‘wait, what? You do all that kinky leather stuff?’ I go, ‘no, I don’t, it’s not what I do – but if that’s what you want, I can do that.’ And he goes, ‘no, no, no, that ain’t what I want.’ He just had the wrong conception of what you do with leather.”

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