Longtime Home resident Mary Hammeley has an unusual business.
She creates, repairs and embellishes leather clothing and makes other leather items at Mary’s Leathers.
She started out in 1979 in Wisconsin where she learned to do shoe repair. Later she had a similar business in California before moving to the Key Peninsula 20 years ago.
Today most of her work is custom jobs, primarily for motorcycle enthusiasts.
“I do patches, boots, chaps and bags, repair work, zippers, snaps — all on leather,” she said.
“I go to motorcycle runs, motorcycle parties, motorcycle swap meets — and I set up outside, on site.”
She also set up her booth at a recent poker run on the Key Peninsula.
“I’ve been doing it all my life and I enjoy doing it. I have a workshop in my house, but I’m out in the field on weekends.”
She can also be found at Harley Davidson dealerships in Silverdale and Tacoma and she’s a regular at motorcycle swap meets and bike shows.
“I go to Monroe for a big bike swap meet every year, and there’s a big antique bike show in Snohomish and a big motorcycle show in Ocean Shores,” she said.
“And I always go to the Anacortes Oyster Run. They have 6,000-10,000 bikes there every year. There are always lots of vendors selling leathers or jewelry or whatever at those events,” she said.
The outdoor season usually runs from March through September.
When she’s set up at an outdoor event, Hammelev usually has her sewing machine, two tables full of patches and a table where she glues things on before she sews them.
“I also make key chains, lever and grip covers and tank covers for motorcycles and vest extenders that snap onto a vest so it can snap closed if you’re wearing thick clothing underneath. Or if you’ve maybe gained a bit of weight,” she said with a smile.
Where you won’t find her are at regular swap meets or farmers markets, because, she said, there just aren’t any customers there for her kinds of things.
Her prices range from around $4 for sewing on a patch to $45 or $50 for putting new zippers in leather jackets.
She also replaces zippers in heavy cloth work jackets.
Patches are one of the most popular items she sells.
“I have patches with skulls on them, POW/MIA things, lots of different types of American flags and military service flags and a lot of second amendment things,” she said. “And patches with sayings on them like ‘Money can’t buy you happiness but it can buy you a bike.’”
When she’s not working with leather, Hammelev can be found tending bar at Home Port restaurant in Home.
“If people have things that need to be repaired, they can drop them off at the restaurant or they can contact me through my Facebook page,” she said.
“I’m pretty proud of my work and I always try to do the best I can.”Hammeley can be found on Facebook, at facebook.com/marymcleathers.
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