About Us

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Our Approach

Living in a western state has bred  not only a love of western culture and ideas, but a vision to produce quality items made in the U.S.A with American ingenuity and dedication. We love what we do! …..and we are blessed to do what we love.While other businesses use cookie cutter processes, or overseas labor, we are a small business that uses a direct hands- on approach for most of our products which are American and Wyoming made. Time, craftmanship and attention to detail goes into our bootjacks, our bonnets, vintage style doll dresses and our cookie presses. If you want a bootjack that stands the test of time and wear and tear, a garden sunbonnet that can take numerous washings, a cookie cutter press that you can hand down to younger generations, you'll find them here.

 

Our Story

In 1999, we started with a simple idea. Originally we started with original artwork, prints and cards, and the website was labeled Rawhide Studios after the area we lived in, Rawhide Buttes in Wyoming. A few years later, bootjacks that were created by my father, Karl, were added. A German born finish and detail carpenter, he taught us how to create, make and finish these bootjacks that he had originally designed. Over time, those two or three designs have not only been added to, but expanded on and larger shipments have been sold wholesale. The farthest place our bootjacks have gone has been to New Zealand and Australia. In 2004, we began selling bonnets that we had bought from other vendors. But because we did not have a hand in the control of style or color, we created a pattern that we tweaked and changed over time that allowed us to make standard bonnets, custom bonnets for special needs, as well as to offer distinctly beautiful and unusual material patterns. At one point, a family member insisted that we would never sell them….yet to date they remain one of our best sellers and have been sold all over the world, the farthest place being Russia and Japan. For us, selling overseas has been the exciting highlight as it says much about the interest of these unique items. We have one of the largest selections of bonnets at one of the most fair and reasonable prices and continue to sell steadily after 19 years. Over time, we decided to move back to my home state, Wyoming, where we operated a brick and mortar store for a time until circumstances and health forces us to close. At that time, 18" American Doll clothes were added, and in keeping with the western 1850's style, became a part of our historical line. Currently, we've begun adding new items such as jewelry, and coming full circle, going back to adding my art work in a downloadable kindle form.

 

Meet the Team

founder and owner of rawhide gifts and gallery

 

Jack Jacobs

Founder & Owner

Jack is a former South Dakota Farmer and a Wyoming transplant. He once expressed the interest in woodworking if he was ever unable to continue to farm. When that day came, he made the decision to move to Wyoming with his wife, Madeleine (who runs the day to day operations)  and be closer to family as they continued to work their small business. Currently you will find him driving truck for a local companay and spending a lot of time in his shop working on fullfilling product orders or thinking up new ones to add. At this point in time, he is working on using his lathe to create wooden bark bowls.

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Ron Kalamaja

Head Woodworker

The son of the German Woodworker, Karl and former Vice President ( who passed away in 2011)  who was also the original creator of our bootjacks is now the current Vice President of our company. He brings years of carpentry woodworking skills and design that aid us in our desire to give our best to our customers. Something doesn't work right? Wasn't designed correctly? Needs a change in production? Ron will find it…and he will fix it. In addition to what he does for us, he also builds custom cabinets, small items like bookshelves, frame work, unusual, quirky and beautiful end tables and coffee tables just to name a few. We would be lost without Ron and his expertise!

 

 

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Wilma Kalamaja

Our Head Seamstress

Wilma is a native Dutch Netherlander and learned her sewing craft in Holland as a child, back when some serious Home Ec was taught. To this day, she still has the book that holds her sewing samples. What makes them all the more unique is that techniques such as making button holes, sewing in zippers and blind hems were all done on paper. You made a mistake, you did it over…no ripping out seams on tissue paper. When they learned their craft, they really learned it. She brings just those skills and details to the many items she sews for us and has taught some of our employees those very same skills. We are so proud and honored to have her and would not be where we are today without Wilma and her sewing guidance.

 

For More Information…..

If you are interested in larger orders for awards ceremonies, gift exchanges, hotel items, 4-H giveaways etc, please feel free to contact us using our contact form. Inquiries for custom bonnets (larger brims, larger caps, longer neck ruffles due to health issues, longer hair etc) please contact us using the contact form or text our cell number to see if we can accomodate you.