Deborah Boucher, self-taught designer and owner of Bare Bones Leather in Parksville’s Industrial Park, talks inspiration and design while creating pieces of art and history for the worldly locals of Vancouver Island.
“I’ve been designing for twenty-three years,” said Boucher. “I use to design costumes for theater, that’s pretty much how I got started within the industry. I offer custom leatherwork and apparel, repairs and alterations. There aren’t a lot of people doing it around here.”
For years, Boucher was one of many leading costume designers at renowned Caravan Farm Theatre in Armstrong, B.C.
“They do shows in the wintertime and summertime,” Boucher said. “It’s outdoors and full of professional actors from all over the world. It’s really amazing, they use to do it with Clydesdale horses and gypsy wagons and travel around – it was quite an experience to be part of.”
While Boucher said designing countless costumes over the years for the Caravan Farm Theatre and various other theatres was exciting, she wanted to take her designs into her own hands and began working more predominantly with leathers and hides.
“I’ve always really liked the whole ‘Cowboy and Indian’ design of leatherwork,” said Boucher. “All of the cowboy gear and Native leatherwork is really what inspires me. The beading, the artwork, the leatherwork, the history — its just true art.”
Boucher sources her leathers and grommets, hides and hardware from all corners of the world and said much of her leather comes from Vancouver and California.
“Of course it really depends on what I want and need for certain designs,” Boucher said. “I have a supplier in Napa Valley called The Hide House and their leathers are beautiful.”
Happily nestled in the upstairs mezzanine of Bayview Custom Motorcycles, Boucher said that her designs are custom created to fit each client’s personality and body.
“I would love for locals to swing by and check things out,” said Boucher.
Whether looking for a custom pair of chaps for riding, a European-style leather bomber or even a little leather purse, Boucher caters to all jobs — big and small — and welcomes creative requests.
“I do a lot of inlay work, some more intricate than others, depending on what a customer might want,” said Boucher. “I create from the bare bones, everything is customized and tailor-made to a customers’ liking. It’s a personalized process and piece of art and one that you can hand down for generations.”
Visit Bare Bones Leather inside Bayview Custom Motorcycles at 1480 Industrial Way #1, in Parksville, call 250-586-9980, or see on Facebook: www.facebook.com/BareBonesLeatherCo.