Tyler Kerchal recently opened a leatherworks business in Imperial. (Johnson Publications photo)
Kerchal Leatherworks opens shop in Imperial
Tyler Kerchal of Enders has been working with leather for seven years as a hobby.
Growing up he gained his love of leather working watching two of his uncles do it as a hobby. Kerchal said he always thought it was really neat watching them work, so he purchased a few tools and began teaching himself.
Through a system of trial and error, his skill grew and his hobby evolved into a business, he said. About a month ago, Kerchal opened Kerchal Leatherworks in Imperial at 427 Broadway.
He commented that there aren’t many people around working in leather these days, and he liked being involved in creating handmade leather items that bring joy to the people who purchase them.
Kerchal believes that the desire to own handmade items is on the rise, and he loves seeing things he has made being used or worn by people in the community. He said he feels great joy and pride in the items he makes because he “leaves a little piece of myself in each creation I make.”
“All leather workers feel the same way,” he added.
Kerchal said that since he began utilizing the internet to promote his business there has been an increase in purchases from his business outside of Nebraska, as well.
His handmade leather items include belts, checkbooks, women’s purses, gun slings, horse tack and chinks (a shorter half-length chap lighter in weight). Any of the items can be customized with a name or initials.
Kerchal said he loves doing different projects and switching it up with variety.
“Handing something I made to someone and seeing their excitement at getting it makes me proud,” he said.
He also commented that people particularly like having their leather items personalized.
The work that Kerchal said he likes the most is when a customer comes in with an idea and describes it to him. While they are talking, he said, he starts to build a mental picture in his head. The challenge is taking the mental image he then has of the project and developing it through to the final product.
“That is the best part, the most fun,” Kerchal said.
“If it wasn’t fun it would be a job,” he smiled.
Kerchal said he is usually working in his shop weekday evenings after 5 p.m. and during the day on most weekends. His phone number is 308-350-2222. Kerchal Leatherworks can also be found on Facebook.
He wanted to say thank you to his friends and family who have always been supportive of his dream.
“I feel blessed that I have been given the ability to do this kind of work,” Kerchal said.