Taking the top prize: Dormie Workshop designs special leather belts for overall winners

Alex, Jeff, and Todd Bishop of Dormie Workshop are creating custom leather belts for the overall winners at Helly Hansen Chester Race Week 2021. Photo: Contributed.

The overall winners at Helly Hansen Chester Race Week are in for a surprise on award nights. This year, one of the event sponsors, Dormie Workshop, which designs and creates custom leather golf headcovers, will be creating one-of-a-kind leather belts for the overall winners. The belts are just like those for winners at any championship sport, including professional wrestling. Todd Bishop, who started and runs the company with his brothers, Jeff and Alex, says the belts will allow overall winners to “showboat their win.” 

“There’s the sheer entertainment value of the way professional wrestlers have always cherished those belts,” Bishop says. “They make such a big deal about it. It allows people to come out of their shell. Everyone has a little bit of a professional wrestler in them. It’s a way for some people to acknowledge their childhood dream or fantasy of actually winning one of these belts.” 

Bishop says he and Jeff, who are both Canada PGA golfers, pitched the idea of the belts to organizers of Helly Hansen Chester Race Week. These aren’t the first belts they created. In fact, they created similar belts for other golf events before, including major golf events. 

Dormie Workshop and the organizers of Helly Hansen Chester Race Week worked on the belt’s design, which includes a really stylized version of the Helly Hansen logo in two-tone colours.  

The belts are made from very thick belt leather, which is hand cut from a hide. While a typical belt is an inch or two wide, these prize belts are 24 inches wide in some parts of the design. The plates on the belt are riveted on by hand and all the artwork is created by laser.  

One of the custom leather golf headcovers from Dormie Workshop. Photo: Contributed

Dormie Workshop makes all sorts of products, including those golf headcovers with logos such as the NHL or custom designs. They also make jackets, sweaters, hats, a line of golf accessories, and much more. 

Bishop says the company is now redesigning their golf bags, which is a leather bag with a single strap. It’s small and lightweight and much like original golf bags.  

“It’s a handmade piece that should stand the test of time,” Bishop. “We have some ideas to make this old-school bag new school and very fun.”  

The company employs 10 graduates from NSCAD who work on the designs. Bishop says they “elevate the talent” on the designs of the products. 

While this is the first time Dormie Workshop has been involved in Helly Hansen Chester Race Week, the Bishop brothers are no strangers to sailing.  

“We grew up sailing and we have family in Chester,” Bishop says. “I actually raced at Chester Race Week. I know the feeling of being out there and all the rules and the parties afterward. We are really drawn to that. It was a natural fit for us to look into sailing. If we were, Chester Race Week was the obvious choice.” 

As for those prize belts, Bishop says he’s looking forward to seeing how the overall winners react.  

“Hopefully it’s a crowning achievement and they can get some photos of it,” Bishop says. “It’ll be a great memory they can look back and reflect on and have a good laugh about.”  

To learn more about Dormie Workshop and its products, visit https://dormieworkshop.com.