We had the good fortune of connecting with Trent & Katy Roberts and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Trent & Katy, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
I developed my interest in leather work when I was a child growing up on a ranch in Southern Colorado. The saddles and tack we used on a daily basis often needed repaired so I started to learn the trade out of necessity. Then in high school, a family friend helped me construct a saddle from start to finish which only increased my passion for leather work. More recently, I decided to pursue the more artistic elements of leather and began honing my skills with floral carving and developing my own designs. As practice, I started making leather items for my family such as wallets, belts, and purses. At this point, Cross Canyon Leather and Design was born as I started to branch out and make custom items for friends, extended family and other customers. The name “Cross Canyon” draws its roots to my family’s ranch in Southern Colorado where a canyon by that name exists and was a place I frequently visited growing up.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I think what sets Cross Canyon Leather apart from others is that all patterns are created from scratch. When a customer sends me a request, my process begins with a notebook and a pencil. I draw out the patterns and incorporate all specific elements such as brands, initials and floral details. Many other leather craftsmen use pre-drawn patterns for their work which turn out very nice, but often lack originality. One of the biggest challenges I have faced with developing this business is navigating the extensive learning curve that comes with making new items that I’ve no prior experience making. Many mistakes are made, projects scrapped and restarted, and a great deal of patience and perseverance has to be put forth to be successful. However, seeing the final project come together makes the process worthwhile. I am very excited to continue learning new techniques and growing the Cross Canyon Brand.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
First, I would take them to have crepes at Black Sheep in Johnstown which is owned and operated by our friends Jake and Amy Bachman. Next, we would get a coffee to go from B’s Coffee in Johnstown and make the 4 hour drive to my family’s ranch in Southern Colorado. Once there, we would spend time working cattle on horseback and put to use some of the leather products that we’ve built over the years (saddles, leggings, head stalls). Next, we would visit some old homestead sites including a rock house that was used in the filming of the movie Conhager and we would spend time looking for arrowheads and other native artifacts, Lastly, we would enjoy a fantastic home cooked steak dinner made by my step mother Annette Roberts.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Much of my skills with leather work were inspired by my father Tim Roberts who first introduced me to the trade as a child. Also, a great family friend and “Jack of all Trades” named Blake Knowlton taught me many of the finer details of leather work and remains a reliable source of information for me today. I have also had a lot of help from other leather tradesmen from online forums and through networking at leather trade shows. Lastly but certainly not least, my wife Katy has pushed me to continue improving my skills and has done an awesome job marketing the brand!

Website: www.crosscanyonleather.com

Instagram: @crosscanyonleather

Facebook: Cross Canyon Leather and Design

Image Credits
Rachel Cox Photography

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