About Us , History of Oak Brand Leather
About Us , History of Oak Brand Leather
The Oak Brand Leather Company
has the background to help you in caring for leather. We also offer our expertise in all areas of leather custom leather manufacturing. As in most areas nowadays, the old right way of caring for leather or the ‘True Quality finish of long ago Lost Technique’ has been set aside for incorrect, quick application finishing products. Often times, these quick fixes create multiple problems which may include leather deterioration.
I am blessed in my expertise and love building and designing saddles and custom leather. Trust me, nothing speaks more than the men and women who love and work as craftsmen with leather, so use a product that will do what it says it will do. Oak Brand Leather Conditioner was developed and used by Ed ‘Oak” Mathieus, a master saddle maker, saddle repairman and designer for 43 years. Ed ‘Oak’ Mathieus.
Oak Brand was created back in 1969 by Ed Mathieus. This stemmed from my nick name from my youth (being Oak) becoming custom by OAK which is my signature. In 1989, I was blessed with my wife and friend, Carol Marton from Stillwater, Oklahoma. Oakbrand (Leather) would be reborn in 1990. We decided to move and open a full time western store in Las Vegas, Nevada. Carol said, “We should add Leather to our Oakbrand Name. The work, sales and custom designing growth, with leather in our name would broaden our business and it did.
We were located in Las Vegas, Nevada, directly across from Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino, at Boulder Highway and Nellis Boulevard. Shortly before our Grand Opening there, I traveled to riding stables, ranches and even Mount Charleston Resort at Collie Orcuts, at Mount Charleston Inn. At Bonnie Springs’s Animal Zoo and Trail Riding, I would bring repairs and projects back to our apartment on Charleston Street where Carol worked as maintenance supervisor. Our apartment was included in her salary; as well as, I worked for Knapp Brother’s framing houses. Also just after leasing our building on Boulder Highway, we met a man named Dolph Bowman,Sr., and his wife, Bertha, at the Broad Acre’s Swap Meet. While there buying leather at his booth, we talked and come to find out we had lots of interests and needs along the same lines. Dolph and Bertha owned plus started Leather Merchants and we agreed to merge and form a partnership.
Then we built our store which Dolph made happen. The only thing was in the beginning, we were Oak Brand Leather Merchants, and thus we opened for business directly across from Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino. “Wow”, what a draw! We carried our self in business the second week after opening. Also, our name went up in Quartzsite, Arizona , at Dolph’s business there. We merged with Dolph and Bertha on (The Road) Renaissance business. He was selling leather and handmade Buckskin Clothing. Dolph Bowmen was truly giving, loving man who never met a stranger. Dolph raised two sons, Dolph, Jr and Jake. They still run Broadacres Swap Meet which Dolph started on Law Vegas Boulevard and Pecos. It’s still there today and if you like swap meets, it’s the place to go. Tell them you read this article, here.
Well folks, our partnership lasted only a few years and we separated by going our own ways. Both Dolph and I were wrong and lost much. Carol and I loved that man and truly missed him. Dolph has passed on and I know Christ, as well as God are enjoying Dolph Bowman, Sr. A man who was a great name in the building of Las Vegas and touched the heart of many with this cowboy heart and caring smile. His memory shall always be a part of Oakbrand leather. In addition, its heritage as also Dolph Bowman is a part of Law Vegas history and color.Oak Brand Leather went on to actually have five different locations over our years in Las Vegas. Because we worked for Casinos in specialty items and contracts, we also leased property from Station Casino. We had to relocate several time due to casinos needing the land we were on for development or changing zoning laws. Our location over those years were three locations. We were on Boulder Highway in two locations and Patrick Lane for a total of twelve years in all. There was a Las Vegas real estate shuffling at the time. I would at this time like to thank a few whom were directly involved in our shop and store in Las Vegas, Nevada from 1991 to 2003. First, I will start with Ruperd Brag Smith of Pahrump, Nevada, the Chevy Test and Race Tract owner. Next our hands first to Ms. Robin Roberts that was our first employee. Also, the following were also directly involve in our shop or store:
Jeff Stales, deceased, came to us to retrain per Social Security.
White Buffalo, deceased, partner in a Kelly Crocket Venture
Dolph Bowman, deceased, a part always of our company’s heritage.
Bertha Bowman, a true lady of spirit plus Dolph’s best friend and partner.
Dave Shepard, Retired Las Vegas Policeman
Bill Royce, Retired Las Vegas Policeman
Ron Morgan, Bumper, Retired Las Vegas Policeman – Number 6,7,8 were like family to help in any way. All became Oakbrand in Spirit.
Cherokee Billy, a fair repairman, good worker, and family friend
Kurwan, who worked twice for me and was a great worker.
Robbin Brumb, a sweetheart who came from Valley Horse Newspaper and became like our daughter. What a personable saddle maker and friend who went the extra mile with Oak Brand Leather. We love and cherish her with all our hearts at Oak Brand.
Rambo and Hoggie, two O.B.L. mascots who were smiles for our customers and our hearts. Rambo was a monstrous lop ear rabbit of
Robbins and Hoggie was our hybrid wold shop dog and babysitter.
Rex Bell, corporation lawyer, and personal friend (deceased 2011).
Doug Gallia, a hand and asset to Oakbrand’s name, history and was also a student.
Greg,Bonner, and Shelton, also friends and part of Oakbrands family.
Brent Cooper – my good friend and inspiration at times.
’Doc”, sucha longlegged cowboy made for the 1800’s and my friend
Gale at Sunset Saddlery and Feed. We showed how competitors could work together with customers in harmony.
Dennis Smith came to us from the 1800’s and became kin folk by adoption and his two sidekicks who were always with him (collie’s).
Bow & Chuck Trener, friends , customers, and Las Vegas history.
Collie Orcut, a friend and customer, Mount Charlston owner.
Brent Fleming, our son-in-law, always a part of Oakbrand. We could not have made it without his support and help.
Now to Valley Horse News, Las Vegas, Nevada, who published my newsletter in their monthly issue under the Saddle Doctor.
Ramon and our daughter, Shauna, are also family and always there.
And You (Whomever you are) that blessed us by walking through Oakbrand’s doors or a customer from abroad. We say, “Thanks for making us who we are.”
Every Las Vegas Casino who contracted work to us…..Thanks so much, for the opportunity to serve you….and in the future, Remember we are still here.
Last and first in Thanks (Werner and Janet) for being a part of True American Heritage with the U.S. from Germany, and still carrying on the Western Tradition, in their store, Triplehorn.com, in Germany.
Now in the months to come, a new chapter of O.B.L. unfolds. We invite you to be a part of our future with the New Oak brand staff again. In as always the making of True American Heritage a Way of Life.
The Oakbrand Gang .com, t-shirts, cups and more. I would like to mention a friend, Brian Harm. Brian started stopping by Oak Brand when he turned eighteen. He’s a good hand, too. If you’re ever out Brian Harms way in California, stop by and see him or chat with him at his
Email address, email@example.com.
August 10, 2012