Dianna displays her large assortment of creative products at a recent Craft Show. PHOTO/LYNN GOUTHRO
Dianna Airey began experimenting with leatherwork about 35 years ago and since then has always enjoyed sewing and creating designs. When she first started out tooling leather, she became extremely handy at making wallets, belts and handbags. She then got word there were courses being offered in the area on making mukluks and slippers. She decided to take the course and with dedicated hours spent, started her own leather business. “I thought this would be an opportunity to make products that had a purpose, so I started sewing for my family first and then went on to attend craft shows”, says Airey.
All Airey’s products are made by hand which is a very slow, steady and careful method. She was able to find and purchase an older singer sewing machine and this made the sewing much faster and easier when making the mukluks and slippers. “I now own four industrial sewing machines which can allow me to sew many types of leathers. This also gives the finished product a more professional look. I stand behind my products and provide excellent workmanship with the material I use.”
Dianna says her business has grown over the years and all the products she makes are available for viewing on her website. “I am always trying to create and come up with new ideas…. The most popular in the winter months are the mukluks, slippers and mitts. The designs can be very showy, but also can be a plain and sleek look. It is all about making the customer happy and satisfied,” assures Airey.
“My most popular product is my Baby Booties. The babies and children love these pull-on slippers, and they work well with everyone's style.”
She has repeat customers who buy booties as Christmas and birthday gifts.
“Fashion boots are new to my business and they come in a short and tall style. I make these for the customers who prefer the fashion boot over mukluks. These boots have a different rubber sole on them and can be worn with leggings or tight jeans.”
From this adaptable pattern, Airey has even made boots with greater traction, suitable for hunters.
Dianna’s Creations, does not stop there. She also makes leather and tapestry handbags and western apparel.
“My handbags are my own designs. I start out with a basic pattern design and make changes from there. My designs are all original and one of a kind style. The most popular and best selling bag is my Weekender Bag.”
This bag holds three or four days’ clothing and a pair of shoes and fits in the overhead compartment of a plane. This bag can also work as a diaper bag.
Her western apparel includes custom-made items: leather vests, motorcycle chaps and rodeo chaps. She’s made the Manitoba High School Rodeo Chaps for the Rodeo Queens for the past two years.
“I also make special needs products for people with handicaps,” adds Airey. “These have ranged from a special pair of mitts to a particular style of boot for an artificial foot. I have spent many hours in the making of my products, which can range from two days to two weeks depending on the item.”
Airey has also had the opportunity to sew for a high-end fashion designer and says she is now excited to see where this adventure is going to lead for her home business.
Dianna’s Creations can be found at www.creationsbydianna.com