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“I also filled an order for PRESIDENT REAGAN for riding breeches in the ‘80s and was so honored to see him wearing them while riding with QUEEN ELIZABETH II at Windsor Castle in England.” In a former railroad depot turned peach-packing plant just outside Charlottesville in Crozet, Charles “Chuck” Pinnell and his longtime staff of five artisans turn out custom leather goods for the discerning equestrian, sportsman, gardener and connoisseur. In an increasingly readymade world, Pinnell Custom Leather has made its mark, “by taking it to the other end,” he says, providing nothing short of perfection for his clientele. While the airy, light storeworkspace is welcoming, with comfortable chairs to sit in as you imagine the half-chaps, hunting bag or handbag of your dreams, Pinnell doesn’t see much foot traffic. “You don’t walk down the road…these aren’t impulse

purchases.” A pair of half-chaps—his top seller—requires at least 12 measurements, three months of workshop time, and cost $900 on average. Once measurements are taken and the globally-sourced leathers have been chosen, a single member of the small highly trained staff sees the work through to completion. “It’s never the same thing twice,” remarks Pinnell. “We’ll work on a pattern and think it’s the cat’s meow,” but the patterns always evolve to meet each customer’s unique specifications and can include custom tooling, silver work and semi-precious stones. Pinnell’s economics belong to the same bygone era as his production model. Sitting in his workshop surrounded

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Profile for Ivy Publications

Wine & Country Living Fall 2016  

Charlottesville Wine & Country Living Fall 2016

Wine & Country Living Fall 2016  

Charlottesville Wine & Country Living Fall 2016