If you are a leather lover living in Europe, you probably have never been to Tandy Leather. I actually had to look it up, but there are 3 stores in whole Europe, 2 in Great Brittan and 1 in Spain. So as you might have guessed by now… I had a little trip planned for Tandy Leather – Boston!
Not really in Boston…
Even while the store is called Tandy leather – Boston, you should know it isn’t in downtown Boston or anywhere near it. It is a 35-minute drive or a 1.45 minutes trip by public transport to North Chelmsford. Nevertheless, you will get a tour through some lovely towns of New England for ‘free’.
An old paper mill
You know you’ve arrived at Tandy leather when you spot the large old paper mill. I think it used to be watermill driven since there is a lovely little brook nearby. It is quite an impressive building and I am glad they didn’t tear it down but made great use of it. Little shops, restaurants, and even a gym are located in the mill nowadays.
What about the Tandy Leather Store
I don’t know why but I had quite high expectations for Tandy Leather. I hoped for a store I would find myself getting lost in all the leather hides, tools, and accessories. But it was a little bit disappointing. Compared to my not-so-local leather shop they didn’t have that much leather. They displayed just about 30 different types of hides while where I use to go shopping I can’t even start counting the different types, and colors they have. Well, maybe it’s a good thing since when it would be the other way around I would not be able to go to a shop with such a wide range of leather.
But it’s not all negative since there are a lot of positives to tell you! First of all, they offer beginners classes for free. Well, isn’t that a smart thing to do. First you enthusiast people and if they like it they can get all their equipment at your store. Smart marketing Tandy Leather! The lessons range from information about hardware, tooling skills to dying leather. So if you are in the neighborhood and you’re not sure if leathercraft is something for you, check out their website for the schedule!
Tools and vegetable tanned leather
Second, something they had at Tandy and I would love to see in stores in the Netherlands are some high-end tools and vegetable tanned leather. Those two things haven’t I found yet back home but maybe I am not looking at the right stores. Tools would be amazing to find since otherwise, you will have to order it online. You can’t see and test the quality of the product. It has often shipping costs, shipping time, shipping risk (I just made that up but it covers the risk while being transported) which would ideally be zero in all cases. Besides these tools, I would love to see some vegetable tanned leather what would get a great patina overtime! I’ve seen a lot of this leather in Greece but often at a very large thickness. Unless you’ve got a splitting machine you almost can’t work with it. And I don’t own one ;)…
Overall, it was a nice trip to North Chelmsford to Tandy Leather Boston and I got myself a little present! I hope to show you this, this week or maybe next… What is it …? That’s something you will see very soon!