• Jane Leonard

Working for My Daughter


It's funny how our life takes twists and turns; but not mine. Thirty-four years teaching and being the director of my own school for children with special needs was the only career I needed or even wanted, or so I thought. Prior to retirement, I questioned good friends as to what I was to do with my time. I never have been a sitter. It's amazing what God's plan is and not ours. Blythe began her business in June and I was asked if I would help. I work eight to three, five days a week for the greatest boss anyone could ever have, my daughter, Blythe. The first few days I was a nervous wreck. I soon realized I had raised a perfectionist (like her mom). Each cut had to be straight, some leather you could pull and they changed, some were smooth and some made noise (those we don't use). I was given a lighter to flame strings, a pair of Gingher scissors just for me, and I hauled a lot of leather from storage to the cutting table. Each day I learned a little more. I was given a book to read at night to help me learn terminology that Blythe easily rolled off her tongue.

The second week I was shown how to use a serger, but it became quickly obvious it was not for me after I called the repair man twice in two days. So, I continued to show up on time, I even learned to burnish leather, but that too is a skill I have yet to master. My apprenticeship continues to offer new skills, lots of SCAD books full of types of pockets, kinds of stitches with different names and every kind of leather you can imagine. If I'm not cutting the leather, I sweep the floors, and my favorite task is edge coating. I usually have more on my hands than on the leather, but I take pride in getting it perfect. If you visit the workshop, you will see my zoo board full of animals I find in the hide. It's just too much fun. I just added a jelly fish yesterday. There it was swimming in that green leather.

Blythe has been invited to a lot of shows all over the state and I was to go to help. It's not my best skill to talk to the multitudes of people looking at her leather goods. But you know, I know my daughter and find it very easy to tell you all about her awards, her talent and her passion for creating quality leather goods. It doesn't take long for someone to say "you must be her mom, that is obvious." Yes I'm her mom and her biggest supporter. You will find me at work everyday adding my two cents, cutting, hauling, flaming, edge coating, and packing bags. I couldn't ask her a better, new job.


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Thomasville, NC

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