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CuCu leather opens new business in downtown Steamboat

CuCu Leather, opening in downtown Steamboat Springs in June, will offer customers custom-made boots, Western fashions and more.
John F. Russell

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS —When CuCu Leather opens next month in downtown Steamboat Springs, it will be a homecoming for owner Margot Binetti, who will showcase her love of leatherwork and her hometown inside the new store.

“I graduated from Steamboat Springs High School and was actively involved in 4-H, which is kind of what got me into leatherwork,” Binetti said. “Leatherwork is something that I’ve always loved, so I thought I would bring it back home with me.”

CuCu Leather will take over the space on Seventh Street in the Howelsen Place building where Ohana was formerly located. Binetti will host a grand opening at her new business June 4 with plans to be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. The front part of the store will be a retail space featuring apothecary goods, Western wear, gourmet foods and more

“I was in a whole different field,” she said. “I just always loved working with my hands, doing leatherwork and getting orders from friends through college, so I’ve kind of always kept the craft in my back pocket.”

Binetti, a member of Steamboat’s Class of 2008, has been living in Palisade and working in the custom leather business for more than seven years. She also previously worked for ACZ Labs and spent time in Denver where she was studying human nutrition, dietetics and health care management.

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But she said she could not escape her love for her craft, and it’s that love that brought her back home to Steamboat.

CuCu Leather will specialize in custom-made boots, as well as flip-flops and mules. Binetti also does full saddle work, tack work and repairs as well.

“I do everything from custom belts to wallets and purses. I can do anything under the sun with leather, but we definitely push the saddlery and boot-making side,” Binetti said. “I measure my clientele to make a specific boot to fit them. So that’s kind of the biggest piece of my business.”

Margot Benetti is opening CuCu Leather in downtown Steamboat Springs.
Photo courtesy of Margot Benitti

Custom-made boots start at $1,200 for a classic high-top. Clients can pick elephant or stingray or any exotic leathers they might want.

“Water buffalo and bull hides are kind of the most common,” she said. “I do stitch tops. I can also do tool tops, and there are lots of variations on what you can do.”

Binetti said she is currently booked for custom boots through September, so new orders will not be delivered until around Christmas time.

But she said the boots are worth the wait.

“The thing about a custom pair of boots is they’ll outlast a factory boot 10 to one,” Binetti said. “You can have a pair of custom boots resoled multiple, multiple times, and you’re not going to wreck the boot — the upper. So basically the value of spending that $1,200 will get you through maybe 10 different pairs of boots.”

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.


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