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Veteran teaches leatherworking classes at shop in Lakeland
What started as a way to manage his nerve damage, turned into a business. "One of the recreational therapy things that they had at the VA was leatherwork," said U.S. Navy veteran Dan Tabb, who was originally taught the skill by his father. It wasn't long before he was making some quality projects. "(My wife) has the idea, 'you know we could sell this stuff, this is good." Tabb said. Tabb and his wife Stacy, who is a trained artist, began selling their art at the Lakeland Curbside Market before eventually opening a permanent location, Boondock Studios, in Lakeland, in 2017. "I look at some of the first things we sold and I’m like, people gave us money for those?" Tabb said. "And now looking at some of the things we have in the shop and it’s like wow." Tabb's shop is full of handmade leather bags, belts, jewelry and book covers. The two are even spreading their love for leatherworking by teaching classes. "We’ll teach you how to do something and then you can take it to the next level yourself," Tabb said. Some of the things students can make are zipper bags, hipster coffee mugs, and book covers. Kids can even get in on the fun while learning to make leather superhero masks. A list of classes can be found on the Boondock Studios website.