Made in the Midwest: Dirt Road Leather
I met Joni at The Down Hill River Run, an impromptu 5K run that friends of mine had set up for near Lake Andes, SD. We start at the cemetery in Lake Andes and run, mostly downhill until one bear cat of a hill at the end. I hung with her pretty good, until the hill. It was there I figured out who she was and what she did.
I remember making a belt for a 4-H project while I was growing up. I made a western belt with stitching, leather work and painting. I think I received a red ribbon on the belt. That was probably a good indicator that I leave leather work to people like Joni.
Joni Laska calls Lake Andes, SD home. And as you may have guessed she works with leather. Lots of it. Day in and day out. A former banker, Laska decided to work from home. In fact she even gets help from her daughter Dusti who has taken an interest in the crafting. She even has a school desk set up in the basement office you can often finder her working at.
From purses, to pliers holders to equestrian tack there isn't much made out of leather that Joni hasn't taken on. You can tell from the pictures she works on a lot of leather products. She's designed awards for Junior Rodeos, tack, moccasins, leather beading and more. .
I talked with Joni on the phone, she mentioned they had been to Sioux Falls for business, and that she was actually drawing and designing a project on the way home. She mentioned that many of her personal designs become part of the actual projects.
Oh, and she's keeping busy too. She mentioned that she's busy through June with the orders that she has so far.
If you would like to see some of the Dirt Road Leather collection, you will be able to at the Stock Show in Rapid City. Laska has teamed up with Double D Western Wear in Huron and the Double D models will be showing off some of her wares.
There are so many items and designs that Joni's worked on. To get a real feel for Dirt Road Leather and place an order for Christmas you can find out more on her Facebook Page.