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The Saddler’s Post – Tess & Ariss

Christian Lowe 21 September 2023 2629 126 4

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Saddlers & leather workers from around the world join host Christian Lowe to share stories and secrets on the leather trade and the art and life of making, repairing, and selling saddles and other equipment for horses.

Awl Together Leather is a custom leatherwork and shoe repair studio located in East Vancouver, BC, co-owned by Ariss Grutter and Tess Gobeil.

“We opened our doors during the COVID-19 pandemic on May 4th, 2021, after deciding we could work to change the homogenous demographics of our industry.

Ariss and Tess first met while working together at a local boot manufacturer and formed strong solidarity as underrepresented leatherworkers – both sick of sexism and unstable work environments. Together, we have over 10 years of leatherwork experience. We have named our company to reflect our collective values ‘All Together’ and a commonly used leather tool – an Awl.

We launched a Kickstarter campaign in April 2021 and reached our initial goal of 10k in 36hrs and 30 days later, on our grand opening, we had raised over 22k. In our first year of operation, 1428 customers walked through our door— 940 of whom became repeat customers. During that period, we completed 6694 individual jobs, ranging from a small re-stitch to re-dying Gucci’s leather countertops in Holt Renfrew. We keep thousands of items out of a landfill.”

Awl Together Leather operates on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. It’s part of our mandate to train and help marginalized communities enter professional leatherwork as both workers and owners. 


Christian Lowe Leather Care

A unique blend of soap, oils, beeswax and the wonderful properties of tea tree prepared in small batches in our studio located in Southern Ontario.


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