Boulder Creek Saddle Shop started as the dream of retired Alaska State Trooper Charles Lamica. Charles does much of the leather work in the shop while his wife, retired trial attorney Pamela Lamica, does boot repair and takes care of the business and administrative side of the shop. When you stop in at the shop you'll probably be greeted by Annie, a little flop-mop of a doggie. She's the shop's official greeter. You can read more about each of them below.
Owning and operating Boulder Creek Saddle Shop is a second career for Charles Lamica. In his first career he served as an Alaska State Trooper for more than 22 years. Between 1981 and 2003 Charles worked in a variety of assignments and locations. He was a patrol trooper in Fairbanks, a “Bush Trooper” in a remote village, a staff instructor at the State Trooper Training Academy in Sitka, the State Wide Search And Rescue Coordinator, and the Deputy Commander at the Training Academy. He was a member of AST’s Special Emergency Response Team (SERT), a diver on AST’s Tactical Dive Team, a cadet leader for a Civil Air Patrol squadron, and a member of the Juneau Mountain Rescue team. During his career, Charles received four awards for Outstanding Trooper Of The Year, as well as awards for valor and meritorious service.
Charles was a Wilderness Survival Instructor for the Alaska State Troopers. His work teaching wilderness survival to Trooper Recruits has been documented on the History Channel and the National Geographic Channel.
Charles retired from the Alaska State Troopers in 2003 and moved to northeast Washington to be closer to his family. From 2012 through 2014 Charles worked as a Forest Warden with the Washington Department of Natural Resources.
Charles' training as a saddle maker began in 2007 when he met Bill Bacon, a saddle maker who lived near Kettle Falls, Washington. Bill was 82 years old at the time, and agreed to teach Charles how to make saddles. Charles spent three or four days a week, for five months, at Bill’s small log cabin saddle shop learning how to make good, sturdy, dependable saddles. Sadly, Bill Bacon has since passed away but Charles is proud to be able to carry on many of the skills and techniques he learned from Bill.
Boulder Creek Saddle Shop began as a small hobby in the basement of Charles’ home. The shop is named for the creek which flows through Charles’ property. For several years Charles made saddles, holsters, knife sheaths, chaps, and other gear for his friends and family. He often dreamed of someday owning a real shop, but he was reluctant to move forward with towards that goal because he had no experience in business management.
But, then came Pamela!
Charles and Pamela were married in October 2014. Pamela, a retired trial attorney from West Virginia, has owned and operated a number of businesses. It was she who convinced Charles to open Boulder Creek Saddle Shop. In January of 2015 they leased a small building in Kettle Falls and two months later, after a lot of hard work, they opened their doors to the public. Within a few months it was obvious that building was too small for their needs, so in October of 2015 they bought their current building located at 235 East 3rd Street in Kettle Falls.
The new Boulder Creek Saddle Shop is many times larger than the little hobby leather shop Charles had in his basement. Charles often thinks about the life journey that led him from being a young patrol trooper in Alaska to becoming the owner and craftsman of a thriving leather shop. Most of the experiences in between were good, some were tragic, but he thanks the Lord for all of them.
Business Manager and Apprentice Leatherworker
Pamela was born and raised in Fairmont, West Virginia. She is one of the most positive and upbeat people you will ever meet. Always enjoying a challenge, Pamela has had a number of careers through the years. In 1979 she earned an Associate of Science degree, with honors, at Fairmont State College. She used this education to become a Medical Laboratory Technician. In 1985 she received a Bachelor of Arts degree, with honors, at the same school. Although being a “Med Tech” had many challenges, Pamela wanted to do more. She went back to school, this time at West Virginia University in Morgantown, and earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration in 1989.
Upon receiving her Master’s degree, Pamela began working in hospital administration. She worked at a number of hospitals and health care centers as an administrator, Program Operation Analyst, Public Affairs Coordinator, and Medical Staff Service Coordinator.
As a hospital administrator, Pamela worked closely with a number of attorneys. It wasn’t long before she decided she wanted to join the ranks of the legal profession. She again went back to school at West Virginia University, College of Law, and in 1995 graduated as a Doctor of Jurisprudence. In 1996 she opened her own office in Fairmont, focusing on Family Law, Business Law, and Criminal Law.
In early 2014 Charles and Pamela met and discovered they had a “connection.” They quickly realized their long-distance relationship (he was in Washington, she was in West Virginia) was not going to satisfy their desire to be together, so in October 2014 they were married and Pamela moved to Washington.
Charles had often talked to Pamela about his dream of someday opening a saddle shop. In January 2015 she convinced him to act on his dream and Boulder Creek Saddle Shop became a reality! Pamela serves as the shop’s Business Manager and, when her busy schedule allows, also does a bit of Apprentice work. In November of 2015 she expanded the business by opening Boulder Creek Consignment Shop to take in and sell used tack and western gear.
Anyone who knows Pamela knows she’s just a little bit quirky. Her most recent personal goal is to own and train a zebra! She’s serious, and Charles fully expects to come home someday to find a “horse in striped pajamas” in their corrals.