It has happened more than once.
Someone sees a person with a gun entering DeBerge Saddlery and Western Wear and calls police.
“They come and tell me they know what happened, but they want to come check on me anyway,” said the store’s owner, Tamera Bloomberg. “I appreciate that.”
“But,” she added, “how am I supposed to make a holster for a customer if I don’t see their weapon?”
Bloomberg said she makes and sells “a whole lot of holsters,” at her shop on Route 66 in Williams, but she does not stop there.
DeBerge’s is the real deal when it comes to Western clothing and related gear such as hand tooled holsters, knife sheaths and belts. Her saddles have been bought by people from as far away as South Africa.
The Western clothing runs the gamut – from “core cowboy” to quite elaborate.
Footwear is huge, from cowboy boots to moccasins to sandals. Hats are popular items as well. The classic Stetson is a great seller and the store offers a variety of crushable hats. Purses are customer favorites, too, and a good set of chaps can also be purchased at the shop.
“We have customers from all over the world because of the location on Route 66 and the Grand Canyon attracts people from all over the world,” Bloomberg said. “Some read about us. Some stumble upon us. We are shipping to Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Germany and Italy. I shipped one of my saddles to South Africa.”
She recently expanded to a larger building down the street. She said she is operating out of two stores while waiting for her lease to expire on her current shop.
“I’m trying to get people to understand there is something cool down the street,” she said. “It’s a big, beautiful building with lots of open air.”
Bloomberg got into her current occupation in 2007.
“I did buy an existing business,” she said. Former owner Ray DeBerge wanted to retire, so Bloomberg and her late fiancé bought it from him. Unfortunately, a year and a half later, her fiancé passed away, which left her as the sole owner.
“I recalled being afraid. I think I felt I had to do this,” she said.
DeBerge helped her finish the orders he had taken and then helped her with continued training and support.
Bloomberg is from Minnesota, where she attended Minneapolis College of Art and Design and in 1993 earned her degree in art, film and photography. Her first jobs were as a camera agent shooting commercials. Then she moved on to music videos and feature films such as “Drop Dead Georgeous,” and “Sugar and Spice.”
But then she discovered the wide-open spaces of Northern Arizona. “I had vacationed in Arizona and had passed through Flagstaff on one of my road trips and discovered open forest land where you could hike or ride,” she said. “Back east, land is privately owned and unless you know the owner and could make an arrangement, you had to pay to go to a park.”
The move was a good one. She has become quite successful. Now she has a two-month wait for her leather goods.
“I do make a few saddles a year and I do a lot of saddle bags and people come in for all kinds of repairs like saddles that need repair,” she said.
Currently, she has a staff of six. The shop, at 316 Route 66, is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. To learn more, call 928-635-4013. FBN