Zane Tisdale's Leather & Life
The Team Roping Journal|September 2019
Although header Zane Tisdale has a lot of pride in his leatherwork, it’s a passion that shares space with a full-time job, roping and, most importantly, his growing family. —G.R. Schiavino.

Zane Tisdale, 32, grew up in Amarillo-Canyon wanting to be a cowboy. He’d been able to get his hands on a rope prior to college, but a multi-season commitment to baseball prevented him from really diving into it. What he could get his hands on, though, was leather.

“I started doing leatherwork in college—2008 or 2009, I think, is when I hand-sewed my first wallet. I wanted to have some cool leather stuff but probably couldn’t afford it. And, I’ve always been hands-on and wanting to build my own stuff. Even back in high school I took five years of welding in the ag classes and four years of workshop, so I try to build all our own furniture and things like that.”

As he continued his education in pursuit of his masters, Tisdale discovered a leather business was the perfect way to fill lots of awkward scheduling hours, not to mention make a little extra money to fund his growing need to swing a rope.

“While I was doing my masters, I worked at the BCRC—the Beef Carcass Research Center—and the meat lab. Well, the hours are sporadic—it was an hourly job and you couldn’t have a fulltime job on the side of it—so, just to supplement money and supplement probably my roping habit, that’s when it kind of transitioned.

“And, I like being creative,” Tisdale continued. “As much time as you want to put into something, you can.”

That is, until you have a newborn.

“A bunch of my customers that order the leather stuff are repeat customers and they’re very gracious. It does take me a little longer nowadays with a full-time job and having a daughter, so I’m very, very lucky.”

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