Written by Aaron-Michael Fox.
Downtown Huntington, West Virginia, is quickly becoming a regional hub for local business of all types. The latest to join the fold is River City Leather, which is located in the Progress Building at 418 Eighth Street across from the Cabell County Courthouse.
River City Leather offers the finest in locally made handcrafted leather goods from sunglass cases, to wallets, to totes, to briefcases and backpacks. The designs focus on classic and timeless elements that will always be in style regardless of passing trends and fads.
River City Leather is the brainchild of Aaron Shelby Buckley and Erin Dawn Buckley, which was founded in 2011. The couple met at art school in Philadelphia, but moved back to the Ohio River Valley following a motorcycle accident that left Aaron immobile for a time.
To stay occupied while healing from his accident, Mr. Buckley started working for free at a local leather shop in Gallipolis, Ohio, and took to it like a duck to water. After crafting an original leather tote bag as a birthday gift for Mrs. Buckley and fielding requests from friends and family to make more, the seeds were sewn for River City Leather. Mr. Buckley still serves as the main designer for all of River City’s products.
The Huntington store is the second for the River City Leather Company after the factory store just up the Ohio River from downtown Huntington in Gallipolis. All materials are cut, sewn, riveted, embossed, and assembled from scratch with custom colors and finishes available for limited times (The Christmas 2019 season offers “merlot” and “olive pebble”).
When asked why they chose downtown Huntington as the place for their second permanent location, River City answered: “Because of the community! There is overwhelming support for small business in Huntington. As downtown continues to grow, offering locally made leather goods feels like a fitting experience.”
All products are handmade by four craftsmen at the River City Leather factory in Gallipolis and come with a lifetime guarantee. The original tote bag design that launched the company is still offered as the “Medium Standard Tote.” For more information or to place an order, go to RiverCityLeather.com.