Stepanski’s handbags to be featured in Pendleton Leather Show

News Photo by Darby Hinkley Alpena’s Scott Stepanski will take three of his handmade leather bags, including this sling bag he is modeling, to the Pendleton Leather Show on Nov. 4 and 5 in Oregon. He owns Red Bottom Leather. His bags are for sale at Myer’s Fashions in Alpena.

ALPENA ­– Scott Stepanski will be traveling to Oregon next month, and all his bags are packed.

Three of his handcrafted leather bags have been accepted as entries in the 2022 Pendleton Leather Show, to be held Nov. 4 and 5.

The Alpena man owns Red Bottom Leather and makes unique, colorful handbags of all types. Many of them are for sale at Myer’s Fashions in Alpena.

The Pendleton Leather Show takes place annually in Pendleton, Oregon. It is a leather trade show that receives 20,000 to 50,000 visitors each year. The event features classes and competitions. Exhibitors travel from all over the U.S., bringing their leather crafts, such as saddles, saddlery tools, boots, boot-making supplies, conditioners, dyes, and much more. The handbag contest was added in 2019.

Stepanski said in talking with one of the organizers, they said, “This is great. We’ve never had anyone come from Michigan.”

He is excited to be a part of the show.

“I’ve never done a show this big,” he said. “It’s going to be a lot. It’s not going to be just handbags. Handbags is just a small part of the show.”

Stepanski chose three of his handbags that have a bit of a southwestern vibe, which he said will be more popular at this type of show.

“I tried to get into that theme a little bit,” he said.

He said the brown leather sling bag took him over a month to make, and took about 25 hours in total.

“I’m going to bring something there that I don’t think we’re going to see too much of,” Stepanski said.

He added that his wife is going with him, as well as one of his daughters, who lives in Portland, Oregon.

“We’re all going to go,” he said. “It’s going to be a lot of cowboys, and a lot of saddles and chaps.”

To see more of Stepanski’s work, visit his website at redbottomleather.com.


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