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West Fargo's Ivory Leathers shop to close

Owner of longtime metro-area seller of motorcycle leathers and accessories plans to sell out her stock and move the sewing and repair part of the business to her home.

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Ruth Schepp, owner of Ivory Leathers, confirmed Monday, March 22, 2021, that she will close Ivory Leathers in West Fargo. Schepp said a clearance sale of the motorcycle leathers and accessories will start in early April and continue through the end of June. (Helmut Schmidt / The Forum)

WEST FARGO — Ivory Leathers, a longtime seller of tough clothing and accessories for lovers of motorcycle riding, will be locking up its doors by the end of June.

Owner Ruth Schepp said she recently decided that closing out the knees-in-the-breeze clothing and accessories side of the business at 901 Main Ave. was her best move as she motors toward retirement.

"Nobody ever came along with a suitcase full of money," she joked Monday, March 22, of her initial attempt to sell the business.

She plans to rev up her going-out-of-business sale April 5, and run it through the end of June. July is the final month of her lease, which she'll use to move her leather repair and sewing equipment to her home in Gardner, N..D.

Schepp started Ivory Leathers in 1992. It's been next to the Casey's convenience store for 18 years. She's now looking forward to retiring, cutting out the commute, and doing what she loves most - sewing.

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Ivory Leathers at 901 Main Ave., West Fargo, will be closing at the end of June, owner Ruth Schepp said Monday, March 22, 2021. (Helmut Schmidt / The Forum)

"I really want to work less and enjoy some of my time," Schepp said. "I'm going to have a nice, big sewing room in my house."

She said she'll keep the Ivory Leathers name for her home-based sewing and repair endeavor.

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She came up with the name Ivory Leathers after she and a girlfriend went to the annual Sturgis, S.D., motorcycle rally. On the ride home, she thought about what she had seen. She didn’t want to wear black leathers and wanted a different color. White was too bright. Then she decided the leathers should be ivory. That’s when she knew she had a winner.
Ivory Leathers moved to a couple of locations in Fargo and West Fargo, before settling in 2003 at 901 Main Ave.

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Ruth Schepp keeps this 2015 portrait of her on her trike in her Ivory Leathers shop at 901 Main Ave. E., West Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

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Schepp looks fondly on the interactions she's had with people over the many years running the shop.

"I'm going to miss the camaraderie with my customers, the interaction, the fun and the laughter," she said.

At the same time, Schepp looks forward to more time to tool around with her "trike" motorcycle. A favorite picture of her sitting with her hands on the handlebars sits behind the check-out counter.

"I haven't had enough time to spend on it," she said.

Helmut Schmidt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead's business news team. Readers can reach him by email at hschmidt@forumcomm.com, or by calling (701) 241-5583.
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