Hailing from New South Wales, as a young man, Ian would spend his days making belts and dog collars (in between surfing!). He would travel the coastal country markets at the weekends, selling his handmade leather goods. He says markets are a great place for crafts people to start. “It teaches you how to sell and it teaches you what people are looking for and what they want, straight across the table; ‘No, this is too dear’ or ‘Oh, this is good value’ or whatever”. We have tried to stay true to these roots, working hard to maintain an authenticity – searching for good quality, style and value for our customers.
The business has recently changed hands, being sold to a long-term employee. Georgie Wilkinson has worked at Lake Leather since she emigrated to Tasmania in 2004. She has a background in saddlery and harness making, bringing a world-class education in leather craft and care to the shop.
The Lake Leather Team today
Georgie Wilkinson - an English girl of Tasmanian heritage, Georgie joined the team in 2009 shortly after moving to Tasmania to be near her family. A qualified saddler trained by the esteemed Society of Master Saddlers, she started with two days a week as shop girl. Bringing a quality education in leather craft and some great knowledge of how to care for and create leather goods, Georgie has moved up the ranks, managing the shops for the last few years and recently buying the business. As the new owner, Georgie hopes to grow the business, starting with the exciting launch of lakeleather.com.au
Sharon Hayne - Sharon brings a ray of light and laughter to the Campbell Town team. Hailing from Campbell Town, Sharon is good for some local insider knowledge for tourists and knows all the best places to score a great coffee, or while away some time in Campbell Town.
Issy Belien - Issy is our resident Viking. Having settled in Campbell Town from Belgium, Issy has a small holding where she and her husband raise goats and make natural products from the produce. From tanning their own skins to handmade organic goats’ milk soap, Issy is a gentle soul who cherishes all things natural.
Kirstin Wheelan - a local Tassie girl, Kirstin has always had an interest in leather goods through her love of horse racing. Kirstin trains her own horses and races them all over Tassie. She is a big personality and is blossoming taking over more responsibility at the Evandale shop. Kirstin is always good for some chat and is always willing to go the extra mile for our customers.
Anne Sotheran - Annie has been the maker at Lake Leather for over ten years. With a long history as a machinist making everything from curtains to horse rugs, Anne brings her skill and knowledge to the Evandale workshop. She has gone from (not so) simple sewing ten years ago to full on artisan making: cutting out, pattern making and is also learning some classic leather craft with belt making etc. Anne is a crucial part of the team and we are very lucky to have her skills. She can fix most things, but as she says, it’s the making that is the most rewarding, “It’s really rewarding just walking through town doing some shopping and seeing someone wearing something that you’ve made. I still get a buzz out of that”.