Established in 1948, Owen Barry are manufacturers of sheepskin, leather and cowhide lifestyle products, clothing, and accessories.

CINDI: ‘ It all began when my Great Grandparents came over to Somerset from Ireland at the end of the 1800’s. It was at the time of the potato famine and there was a rumour that they were being chased by the Garda Siochana for cattle rustling. Ironic that they set up in England tanning leather! My Great Grandparents were a very loving couple and as a consequence had 12 children, 6 girls and 6 boys. My Grandfather was the eldest and with five siblings in tow, ran the tannery here in Street until the start of WW2. Leather has always been in the family and my father Owen was a master glove cutter after training in Yeovil. Ever since then our raison d’etre has been the manufacture of high-quality leather products. All the leather we use at Owen Barry is a by-product of the food industry and we’re proud to be environmentally conscious – we use everything but the squeak! Any off-cuts are repurposed and made into smaller products and we do not throw anything away which works on both an economical and environmental level.

When I was at school I didn’t think I’d be the one to come in to the business, I used to do odd jobs here after school, brushing up - that kind of thing, but my dream was always to go to catering college. Then, one day, a member of staff went on maternity leave and my father asked me to step in and help. As a sense of responsibility and necessity I got stuck in and the more I did, I more I had to do and before I knew it, I was fully ingrained here. The work here captures my creative side – though I still love cooking, it is a passion of mine!

We have a great team here and so many of the family are involved, Chas’s Dad, Rick oversees ecommerce, packing and despatching, Chas’ partner, Jack is head of finance and my partner, Brett is on design, development and sampling. We all know our roles and work for the greater good. Our next aim is to raise our profile locally, we’ve been here for so many generations and yet our brand is better known in Japan than it is here!

Great British Life: Cindi and Chas BarnstableCindi and Chas Barnstable (Image: David Titchener)

CHAS: Mine’s a similar story to Mum’s really. I was in retail whilst studying and then one day Owen Barry was so busy that Mum asked me to come and help. I said, if I join, I’ll never leave! And true to my word, I never have! The brand means so much to me, I love to see the brand at trade shows and seeing how successful it is abroad in Japan, South Korea and the States. The value of British Made is worth so much more abroad; they appreciate the elegance, and recognise the talent that goes into our products and because of that the customers are always so pleased to see us. We wish it wasn’t such a hard sell to get British people to embrace British products. Our wish now is for local people in Somerset to really know us and invest in a quality product. Buy once - all of our products have a lifetime guarantee. As the 5th generation to Owen Barry I like to think of myself as a custodian of the business and I’m keen to work towards our B-Corp status. We are proud of our Somerset heritage and the fact that everything is made here in Street is important to us – we certainly don’t want to send our products overseas for production. We’re proud of our team too; they are the backbone of Owen Barry and we will always continue to employ locally. Some might think that’s lazy but to us it’s really important to keep everything local. It’s this knowledge, skill and loyalty that makes us who we are, that’s the key to Owen Barry’s success.


Cindi on Chas: She uses one of our sheepskin hot water bottles everyday - summer or winter. She is the sheepskin queen!

Chas on Cindi: If she had the chance she would be sitting on a bench designing new products all day long. We have to keep her focused on the task in hand!



LOCATION: No. 3, The Tanyard, Leigh Road, Street, Somerset, BA16 0HD


Monday – Friday 10-5pm

01458 442858


Owen Barry are offering Somerset Life readers an exclusive discount (in-store and online) Quote Somersetlife for 10% off at checkout for any spend over £50 AND receive a free gift worth £20

* T&Cs apply. Expiries 31/05/2024 (not to be used in conjunction with any other offer)