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A History of Hard Work: Weaver Leather Livestock- Shared From DRIVELivestock.com

Author: Kristy

In 1973, when Harry and Sarah Weaver opened a shoe repair business from their garage, they might only have imagined the success of their brand. Back then they provided quality leather products and today their namesake company offers livestock show supplies. The main constant at Weaver Leather has always been to meet, then exceed, customer expectations.

Harry was known for being a hands-on, work-on-a-shoestring type of guy. He honed his ability to make an ordinary piece of leather into an extraordinary product and this type of work ethic has placed the company into equine, livestock, leather supply, arborist and pet markets.

Located in scenic Mt Hope, Ohio, the company was first known as the Fryburg Shoe Shop. Myron Stutzman, livestock liquids coordinator for the company, says the locals sought out Harry to make tack and harnesses for their horses, halters for cattle and collars and leashes for pets. His products were also popular in several store and tack shops.

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As the company continued to grow the named changed to Weaver Leather and its offerings expanded to include nylon products and fabricated equipment. Stutzman was the company’s first employee, hired in 1974, and he says Harry and Sarah created a company that emphasized serving its customer base, a principle that holds true even today.

“Over the years Weaver Leather acquired more businesses that were essential to pursue growth and continue to support our customers,” Stutzman says. “Our current location is a nearly 300,000 square foot facility just up the road from the 20’ x 40’ garage where it all started. That small building serves as a constant reminder of our humble beginnings.”

Recently, the original Weaver Leather building was used as a fabrication shop to make equipment like cattle chutes, showboxes and trimming stands. As demand has grown, the company moved its fabrication department in 2013 to the same 300,000 square foot facility that houses manufacturing, warehouse, shipping, corporate offices and more.

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Sarah Weaver has been described as a tidy person who demanded a clean home and shop. She and Harry’s belief that people like to work in a clean environment has carried on throughout its 40-year history. In fact, when tours come through the Weaver Leather building people often marvel at how clean it is.

Harry and Sarah grew up Amish and had always been around livestock, making them familiar with what a farmer and rancher truly needs to take care of animals. Early on, Harry made a dairy/beef rounded show halter for a local customer. This same halter is in production today and is one of Weaver’s most popular items.

And though they’ve always been loyal to horse and cattle-related products, Weaver Leather Livestock was brought to life as its own division in 2010 to truly focus on the needs of the industry. Lisa Shearer, livestock division manager, and her staff combined their talents with industry professionals including Kirk Stierwalt, Bob May and Mike Harbour to bring new and innovative products to market.

“Weaver Leather’s roots run deep with positive character principles such as integrity , hard work, and humility – all values that began with Harry and Sarah Weaver and have since continued with their son Paul Weaver. As the acting President and CEO Paul emphasizes these attributes and is adamant about maintaining them in the culture found at Weaver Leather today. These same values are evident among the parents and kids involved in the livestock show industry and we are proud to provide quality products and invest in the future of these bright young livestock exhibitors.”

In 2010, Weaver Leather launched its first livestock only catalog and one year later introduced a liquid and aerosol grooming supply line as well as aluminum and galvanized equipment. The company continues to develop show and conditioning products for cattle, sheep, hogs and goats and this year produced a 120-page catalog for its customer base.

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Today the business offers more than 1,000 livestock-related product units from its liquids and aerosols to leather halters, grooming supplies and equipment. The company’s craftspeople are careful and pay attention to detail. Weaver Leather uses machines equipped with unique features to increase efficiency and lower costs. Its customer service team also meets weekly for continuing education on products and for new product training.

“Weaver Leather values its relationships with industry professionals and educating young showmen,” Stutzman says. “We are aware showing livestock is not seasonal but rather a year-round sport. We strive to keep up with what might appeal to the next generation and keep our products available to all levels of showmen from novice to professional. Harry and Sarah would be proud of our commitment to the livestock industry as we serve and educate the livestock leaders of tomorrow.”

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