The story about the couple that makes up the Long X Trading Co.
Justin John Alps is the artist, craftsman and leather master behind each and every thing created here at the X. He began doing leatherwork in 2001 as a hobby after receiving a his late grandmother's set of old leather working tools. With each project he continued to develop a passion for not only the art, but the entire industry.
Justin began working in a small leather shop in Redmond, Oregon. Diligently studying the work of Northwest craftsmen Shane Crossley and Russsel Bustos and craftswoman Rebecca Londo. Later Justin began an apprenticeship with a master carver, designer and artist; Ty Skiver in Pendleton, Oregon.
During the time in Pendleton Justin was not only able to learn valuable tricks to the trade but was given the opportunity to build chaps for many of the PBR and NFR contestants. Over the years Justin has assisted Skiver Leather in tooling the Pendleton Roundup trophy saddles that were built by local saddle maker Randy Severe. This dynamic duo of Skiver and Alps also designed and built prototype designer cowboy boots for the world famous Lucchesse and Paul Bond Boot companies. The true heart of a cowboy was never lost as the commitment to build tack, chinks, chaps and equipment for some of the hardest working famers and ranchers in the world was always on the list of things to do.
Justin later went to work as the lead tooler and designer for Hamley's Saddle and Chap shop in Pendleton, Oregon before re-locating to North Dakota in 2014. It's there that he continued to do leather work out of a small shop in his house while performing his daily duties and tasks as the Executive Director of Saftey and compliance for an oil and gas transportation company.
It was in 2015 that Justin met Stephanie Rae and together began creating and repurposing high end custom hand bags. With Stephanie Rae's knowledge and passion for western fashion and social media the shop has been able to stay up to date on all fashion trends and leather must haves.
Stephanie Rae has forever been obsessed with accessories. This obsession was constantly being elevated as she traveled the world for a decade as a Combat Medic/ Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant specializing in burns and amputees for 11 years.
With Stephanie currently healing from bilateral ankle surgeries number eight and nine there has been a lot of time taken away from making new fun things but we are constantly in design mode and welcome any and everyone to help us create the best custom leather work possible.
Excited to have re-located back to Pendleton in December 2016 to pursue a full time leather career as well as represent and display the "Made In Pendleton" makers mark. As the Long X Trading Co continues to grow and develop into a western fashion household name associated with the quality and craftsmanship people expect from any "Made in Pendleton" product.