Brettuns Village Trunks & Leather

Old Trunks, New Leather.  All from Maine.

May 2000

May 2, 2000

Hi Everybody:

Thanks for being part of
the Brettuns Village Leather Newsletter group.  We do our best to
keep you updated about our inventory in these pathetic little notes.  
It helps us keep our costs down.

Well, we still have a few
thousand square feet of each of our suede varieties in stock, and I’m tired
of crawling over them to get to other stuff in the barn, so we’ve lowered
our prices.  Cowhide suede hides are now $20 each, pigskin suede hides
are $15.  Get em while you can (before I

ship em all to India). 
Alright, relax, I was only kidding about shipping them out.  They’ll
be here when you need them.  Please need them soon.

We’re still expecting the
arrival of about 1,200 sides and whole hides of chrome tanned cowhides,
all black, in various weights.  They’ve been on the way for over a
month, should get here in the next couple of weeks.  You can bet we’ll
holler loud and clear when they arrive.

Lots of our customers have
been interested in our cookie cutter sole bends – thick leather bends (section
along the front half of the beast) that have had soles cut out from them. 
They’re sort of like cookie dough after the cookies have been cut out. 
We finally got a picture of them posted on

the Sides and Hides page,
so now you can see what they look like.  We sell them for $5 each,

plus shipping.  These
run from 12 to 18 oz, most of the pieces you can get out of them are smaller
than hand sized, a few pieces might be bigger than that, but that’s where
you’d find a brand or imperfection.

One final note – Every week
we get about 50 requests for our catalog.  Only problem is that we
don’t have a catalog, we only have our sad excuse for a website. 
I just thought I’d mention it because my fingers hurt from typing out explanations
to folks about it.  The two fingers I use for

typing are the only ones
experiencing actual pain, to be truthful.  The rest of them are just

Thanks, more news later. 
I’ll bet you’re on the edge of your seat.

Churchill Barton

Brettuns Village Leather

May 5, 2000

Hi Folks:

If this is the first
newsletter you’ve received from us here at Brettuns

Village in a while, let
me assure you that we’ve sent out dozens of them,

and each time we’ve sent
one out we’ve been selling piles of trunks,

including one exactly like
the one you’ve been searching for, and all

priced for $5 per trunk. 
We’re all really sorry if you’ve missed the

letters, maybe you should
check your e-mail a little more often.

OK, sorry about that. 
If you’ve been with us a while you’ve come to

understand that our newsletter
schedule is about as regular as your Aunt

Myrtle.  Fact is, this
is the first one in a long time.  Things have been

going bezerk around here,
in a good way.  Apparently not all e-tail is

going under, the online
market for trunks, trunk parts, and leather seems

to be cooking right along. 
In our next newsletter I’ll fill you in on our

initial public offering. 
A Maine IPO is a little different from the big

city ones.  Ours involve
mostly homebrew and bagpipe tunes, not much money

though, that’s for sure.

A couple of news items right
up front, then I’ll fill you in on some new

trunks we have in the shop.

First, we’ve started a wholesale
outlet division, using yet more space in

the barn.  We’ve been
viewed by most of the computer users in our area

(both of them) as a gateway
to vast riches on the internet.  They got this

idea because I had enough
money in my wallet a few months ago to go in the

hardware store and buy not
just fishing license and not just a hunting

license, but the ‘combination’
license.  The Village has been all

a-flutter ever since. 
Anyway, some local companies have asked us to help

them unload some unwanted
inventory.  Piece of cake, we just added a new

section to the web site
and shoe-horned some more stuff into the barn.  If

you know anybody who sells
stuff at flea markets or has a store, let them

know.  Here’s a link
over to the outlet:

(sorry – long gone)

So far the inventory consists
of these bizarre plastic wand thingers that

are known up here as ‘Indian
Towels’, so, to be in tune with the new

millenium, we have to call
them Native American Towels or just to make

things less controversial,
the Body Brush.  It’s weird, check it out.  A

local guy who really is
a brilliant real estate person apparently was a

little less of a scholar
in the financing end of things, he backed the

maker of the Body Brush,
the company folded and our pal wound up with

thousands of these things
stuffed into his hayloft.  They look like a

giant shoe horn.

The other thing we have over
there right now are men’s leather belts, very

high quality.  We’ll
soon be adding some things like pepper mills, salt

mills (for grinding table
salt from rock salt), and even some drum sticks.

Good heavens.

Let’s see, what else was
there… oh yes, we’re now taking online orders

using PayPal,it’s a nice
little system that is working very well for us.

Just follow the links from
the site.

Next, we’re working on designs
for replacement leather straps, the kind

that run from the back of
the trunk up across the top, and down the front,

with buckles on the front. 
Many old trunks had these, but the straps are

often missing or in poor
shape.  We’re experimenting with some different

types of leather (we just
happen to have a few thousand pounds of it in

the barn) to get a strap
that is functional but still looks older.  There

are other parts companies
that sell straps, but they charge way too much

for them, they look brand
new, and they aren’t cut the way the old ones

were cut.  Ours are
going to be a bit different, and quite a bit cheaper

too.  We’ll get them
on the site as soon as we have a final product.

We’re also adding a third
line of trunk handles, these will be similar to

our TH-01 standard style,
but will be longer, more like 10 inches long, to

accomodate the popular trunk
handles of later model trunks, from around

1880 on up.

Also working on replacement
hangers for wardrobe trunks, cut from several

templates that we acquired. 
These came in several sizes and styles, we

plan to have the full range
of them available, made here locally.

Camped out back the other
night with my daughters, we pitched the old tent

down against the lower raspberry
field, for those of you who have seen it.

We were snoozing away when
all of a sudden the tent shook a bit, then it

sounded like somebody was
playing the drums on the ground right next to

us, then some tree branches
came down.  I wasn’t scared at all, but the

girls were (they’re only
6 and 8, the little darlings).  Anyway, by the

time the girls got me down
from the ceiling of the tent and wrestled the

flashlight away from me
the noises had increased dramatically.  The girls

tell me there was one heck
of a bull moose standing right there next to

the tent.  I couldn’t
see it, as I had somehow gotten my head stuck in the

very bottom of my sleeping
bag.  It was an hour before I could calm the

gals down and get them back
to sleep.  They kept complaining about my

chattering teeth, the little

Now we know why our raspberry
canes keep growing shorter.  Thank goodness

the moose hasn’t gotten
a taste for swiss chard or arugula yet.  I guess

no self respecting moose
would eat those yuppie greens anyway.

So we picked up a new employee
in the trunk shop, Mark Graffam, and he’s

been really putting in the
effort.  Between the lot of us we’ve finally

managed to get caught up,
and we’ve even got some trunks on the For Sale

page for you to check out.

We’ve also got a sort of
special page with some trunks that are currently

considered WIPs (works in
progress) and some that are available ‘as-is’.

Prices on this special page
include shipping costs, if you’re interested:

Our little puppy, Jenny the
black lab, isn’t so little anymore.  She’s

really doing well, knows
her hand signals and is coming along on whistle

commands.  She’s a
strong swimmer, able to retrieve the bumpers from as

far as I can huck em out
into the pond.  About 55 yards.  Well, Amanda

says, “Sure, that’s 55 yards
just like all those trout you catch are at

least 2 feet long.” 
So maybe it’s more like 35 yards.  Would you believe

50 feet?  40? 
OK, so I drop em off the end of the dock, but she goes

right after them.

I’ve mentioned this before,
but I want to mention it again, because we’ve

recently had another couple
of incidents where customers of ours asked our

opinion on ‘Salesman Sample’
trunks that they had purchased on eBay.  We

watch eBay pretty closely
and have yet to see a true salesman sample trunk

there.  Every week
it seems there are a couple listed that way, but they

aren’t real sample trunks. 
Folks like to advertise any small trunk,

child’s trunk or otherwise,
as a salesman’s sample.  See one on eBay that

you just have to add to
your collection?  Once again, we offer our help –

just e-mail us a link to
the page and we’ll give you our opinion, no

charge.  And we won’t
bid against you either.  We don’t buy trunks on

eBay, although we do sell
some on there every so often.

That’s it for now, thanks
for sticking with us.  You’d better get the lead

out if you still want to
get up here this summer, 4th of July is gone,

that means only a couple
of weeks until the first frost.


Churchill Barton

Brettun’s Village

Auburn, Maine



May 9, 2000

Hello to our subscribers
– Spring has Sprung here in Maine, flowers are starting to bloom and we’ve
even been around the farm on the tractor. If you’ve been way up here at
this time of year you know about the special surprise that Spring brings
every year.  Ayuh, that’s right.  Black Flies.

Luckily they only stick
around a few weeks.

Then we start mosquito season.

Anyway, if you’ve been with
us awhile you’ve heard that we made a big score on chrome-tanned black
sides in a matte finish (not too shiny, not too dull).  We’ve bought
a few hundred thousand square feet and the big truck backed into the dooryard
today, so we’re ready to unload this stuff.

These sides average out
to 20 to 21 square feet each and are available in two thicknesses – 1.8
to 2.0 millimeters and 2.0 to 2.2 millimeters.  For those of you that
haven’t switched to metric in your leathercrafting this translates to thin
and a little thicker.  Just kidding.  1.8 to 2.0 mm is

the same as 4.5 to 5 oz
leather.  2.0 to 2.2 mm is the same as 5 to 5.5 oz.  Good, medium
weights suitable for many types of projects.  For those of you who
like to gauge temper (stiffness), these are considered regular temper (some
call this medium temper), which means that it isn’t as soft as garment
leather, but not as stiff as a hard shoe leather, for example.

Most of you are familiar
with how our business operates – at Brettuns Village we do one thing to
build our inventory – we buy overstocks, excess, leftovers, and the like
at the lowest prices we can, always keeping in mind the original goal that
got us into this business in the first place – find another use for perfectly
good leather so it won’t end up in the dump, and buy it at prices that

allow us to turn around
and sell it for lower prices than you can find anywhere else.  It’s

These black sides are priced
at $50 each, and that price INCLUDES SHIPPING in the continental USA. 
Beat that somewhere else, Jack.  I’m not posting these on the site
for a couple of days, so that you newsletter subscribers get first grab
at them.  There’s plenty to go around, so don’t worry about beating
any deadlines.  If you need black leather, we’ve got it.  Simple.

Thanks to those who have
asked about Jenny (our lab puppy – now up to 31 pounds).  Since the
ice left the pond a couple of weeks ago she’s been dabbling around the
edge, but I think she’s waiting for the water temp to get above 40 degrees
before she jumps all the way in.  Can’t blame her.

I’ve got to tell you – the
trout are biting like mad.  We’ve been really having a great time
with them.  The ice fisherman had a funny season, the ice wasn’t as
sturdy as they like, so their catches were reduced.  Heh, heh, us
flyflingers call that ‘good news’.  Our 8-year old caught her first
brook trout on a fly day before yesterday, it was enough to make her Dad
start blubbering in the rowboat.

Grab your gear and come give
the trout a try.  I’ll tie up a couple of proven flies for you – I’m
still looking for a beetle pattern that uses leather in it somewhere.



May 21, 2000

Thanks to everyone who has
been ordering the black sides we recently received – they seem to be selling
pretty well.  We know that some of you wanted to see them before buying
– no problem, we finally got some photos of them on the site:

Wondering if you could use
one of our fabric-backed deer hides for one of your projects?  Why
not try one out – special price for newsletter subscribers only – just
$10 per deer hide.  Shipping is $3.20 for one, $4.50 for two, $5.40
for three, $6.40 for four, or $7 flat for groups of five.  Just mention
that you saw it in that pathetic newsletter.

We got in more 72 inch laces
last week, in black, and we have them priced the same way as before – $90
per bundle of 100 laces.  Seems like a lot of money, but take a look
at what your local stores charge for a pair of boot laces 72 inches long. 
Our price looks a little better after that

exercise.  Now you
can relace all 50 pairs of your boots at one time and save a lot of money
in the process.

We recognize that we’ve been
wicked tough to reach by phone lately – please keep in mind that we’re
on the road most every day, picking up or delivering leather, so evenings
are the best time to reach us.  Also, I’m generally here at the keyboard
most mornings from 5 to 6 am, if you’re

able to speak coherently
at that hour.

Thanks-  See you next
time.  Trout sure are biting, hope it’s the same where you are.

Churchill Barton

Brettuns Village