Leatherworks Tradition to open Yukon retail store

K.C. Kreger works on a piece of leather at Leatherworks Traditions, which will open a retail store inside Archery Traditions in Yukon. The new store opens Saturday. Photo / Provided

After years of selling his work at trade shows, through catalogs and on the internet, K.C. Kreger is ready to open a retail shop in Yukon.
Kreger, who worked for more than a decade with Tandy Leather in Oklahoma City, will open his store inside Archery Traditions on Saturday.
The store will be located in the same area as where Archery Traditions’ equipment shop was located. The archery shop has moved to another area in the building.
Kreger’s store is Traditions Leather-craft, and it will share space with Swinging K Farms Soaps and Skin Care products, a brand originated by his wife, Dawn.
But the focus will be on the sweet smell of leather that permeates the room.
From belts to knife sheaths to quivers, Kreger’s shop will have plenty of options available. And while some of the products will be produced by other manufacturers, most of what Kreger sells is handmade.
The company got its start in 2014 after Kreger was laid off from the Tandy leather factory in Oklahoma City after 23 years with the company.
After the layoff, Kreger said he worked for another company for a couple of years but began doing his own projects on the side.
Soon, it became apparent that he had enough work to keep himself busy fulltime.
“That’s when I moved in with Ken (Wilkins),” he said.
Kreger’s workshop is behind the archery shooting range. It is filled with raw leather that is waiting to be formed into something special.
Before, Kreger sold most of his work through his website and on the road.
“Now, we’ve got the retail store almost ready. We’ve joined the Chamber of Commerce. We’re trying to get the word out that ‘We’re not only here, but we’ve been here and we’re going to continue making stuff,’” he said.
Kreger said he also plans to sell supplies and teach classes to those who want to learn leatherworking, whether for a future career or just a hobby.
The majority of his work is for the archery industry, which makes for a good fit between his company and Archery Traditions.
He also works with a large wholesale company called 3-Rivers Archery, which is based in Indiana.
“This will allow me to sell my archery line through my wholesalers and then manufacture more stuff through our store,” he said.
Kreger said he became interested in working with leather in junior high school while growing up in Cheyenne in western Oklahoma.
In 1985, he moved to central Oklahoma and got a job with Tandy. He worked his way up the ladder to where he was heavily involved in not only the Tandy operation, but with other leather companies.
“I love everything about leather work. I enjoy making stuff. I make my own patterns, but what drives me now is teaching people how to do it,” Kreger said.
The goal is to begin offering leather work classes after the first of the year.
“I love teaching people, but I also love making stuff,” he said.
While leather products will be the main focus of the store, his wife’s soap and skin care products also will find a home on the store shelves.
Dawn Kreger discovered the benefits of the soap, which is made from goat’s milk, after developing a serious case of psoriasis.
“Once she started researching it and finding out the benefits of goat’s milk and making her own soaps and lotions with good quality essential oils, it actually cleared it up,” Kreger said.
“We don’t do medical claims, but we tell people about our own experiences,” he said.
The soaps and lotions are currently sold through the family’s website. He said they have received hundreds of testimonials about how well the products work.
“That’s what drives her is to bring a healthy product to the market,” he said.
Currently, there are about 30 products available through the website. Dawn Kreger said about half will be available in the store when it opens Saturday.
Others will be added in the future.
All of the products are manufactured by the Kregers in their home, which is near Mustang.
“They are all-natural. There are no harsh chemicals,” she said. “It is wonderful for your skin.”
Dawn Kreger said she began making the products about 12 years ago.
The store’s hours will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.
The store is closed on Sundays and Mondays, though K.C. Kreger said he will be open Mondays by appointment.

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