Ask a guy, any guy who knows Overland Sheepskin Co., and he’ll veritably croon. Voted number one for Best Men’s Clothing Store in the 2020 Best of Taos poll, Overland is as much a man cave as it is a mecca of the highest quality treasures of leather and other signature-style products.

“We have lots of new men’s merchandise,” said Taos store manager Julie Leavenworth by phone May 8. “Beautiful mens’ cotton shirts, lots of new styles – madras, stripes and plaids as well as linens; real classics. Plus our lightweight leathers, vests and jackets. Lots of shoes, Blackstone oxfords and slip-ons, and OluKai sneakers and flip-flops.

“Oh, and we have fabulous straw hats and other great men’s hats, as well as leather, suede and cloth newsboy-style and baseball caps. Everything a man needs to complete his summer wardrobe.”

As the name says it, for almost half a century Overland Sheepskin has expertly provided luxurious sheepskin and cowhide pelts for rugs, and exquisitely created jackets, fur coats, slippers, shoes, handbags, travel bags, briefcases and various other leather and wool outerwear and accessories — even the odd fox-fur teddy bear now and then.

Expert craftsmanship and a company-wide satisfaction guarantee, plus free shipping, is just what “quality” should mean and it does at Overland Sheepskin Co., because that’s how Leslie and Jim Leahey set it up in 1973, right here in Taos, before moving out into the nation and later creating an online store as well.

“Over 45 years, 16 stores, and one thriving web business later, Overland continues to flourish,” writes co-owner Roger Leahy on the website. Jim and Leslie Leahy arrived in Taos with “a bale of sheepskins, a sewing machine and a notion that if you did something right, the rest would take care of itself,” Jim’s brother Roger notes.

The fledgling operation grew quickly, and the rest of the Leahy family joined up to handle the impressive success of the new business, sited on a meadow at the base of Taos Mountain’s Pueblo Peak. They created their first catalogue in 1975 and the rest is Overland history.

“Our product line has grown from a handful of sheepskin coats to over 1,000 styles of quality sheepskin, leather and fur products all with the Overland stamp of excellence,” Roger continues. “Our small family-shop atmosphere will always remain the backbone of our business. We are pleased to offer quality, lasting products, in timeless designs and sustainable materials, with exceptional personalized service.”

Overland reopened its doors on Saturday, May 16, in accordance with state and local requirements for easing COVID-19 safety measures, per New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s public health orders.

“Overland will follow current restrictions required by state health officials,” Leavenworth added in an email May 9. “Employees and customers will be wearing masks. We will also provide hand-sanitizing at the door. We will limit numbers as needed and be practicing social distancing because there is often more one-to-one assistance finding the perfect product for each person.”

And dedicated customer service is maybe the biggest draw creating avid Overland return customers. Online reviews on Trip Advisor and Yelp include innumerable comments about the willingness and knowledgeability of the staff. With 16 stores nationwide, all staffed and ready at a phone call or email, if one store doesn’t have an item, another store inevitably will and will ship it out, often the same day.

As this Falls Church, Virginia, customer notes in October 2019 on Yelp, it really is the staff that makes all the difference:

“What a great find! It’s not just the merchandise (which is wonderful — style, quality, great range). It’s especially the staff and the company values that they reflect. The staff went out of their way to help us find what we needed (even when we were not sure exactly what that might be). Hands down the best place to get all things leather. They have every color, texture and thickness you can possibly think of. They have full cowhides in many different sizes at amazing prices, if looking for a cowhide rig, come here first, I guarantee they will have the best price and the biggest variety … Short answer, if you don’t live near by, it’s 1000 percent worth the drive. One stop shop for literally anything and everything leather.”

The Taos Overland Sheepskin Co. is located in the Overland Ranch Complex at 1405 Paseo del Pueblo Norte in El Prado. Hours of availability are 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays. For more information, see overland.com , find on Facebook or call (575) 758-8820.

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