Posted: April 16, 2009
Colorado Cool Stuff: The Buffalo Collection
Buffalo ranchers expand business to high-end furnishingsEric Peterson
Julie Littlefield’s family started commercially herding buffalo on their 8,000-acre Scenic Mesa Ranch in the early 1990s, and then they got into the recreation business by opening the ranch to hunters and anglers. Overnight lodges followed about five years ago.
“We needed furniture, and we had plenty of buffalo hides,” Littlefield says. She put two and two together and started producing-high end couches, loveseats, chairs and ottomans from the hide, with the help of “a ski bum from a North Carolina furniture family.”
Soon she enlisted Paonia-based Kendall Custom Braiding to add some flair to the products, and the Buffalo Collection “put us in a whole different realm,” Littlefield says. High Western style aside, she praises the soft touch of the leather. “The secret is the buffalo leather — it feels wonderful.” About $5,000 to $10,000 retail. Made by Scenic Mesa Ranch, Hotchkiss, (970) 872-6031, www.scenicmesa.com.
Denver-based writer Eric Peterson is the author of Frommer's Colorado, Frommer's Montana & Wyoming, Frommer's Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks and the Ramble series of guidebooks, featuring first-person travelogues covering everything from atomic landmarks in New Mexico to celebrity gone wrong in Hollywood. Peterson has also recently written about backpacking in Yosemite, cross-country skiing in Yellowstone and downhill skiing in Colorado for such publications as Denver's Westword and The New York Daily News. He can be reached at Eptcb126@msn.com