For mother-daughter duo Sally Borzillo and Molly Monahan, operating Saleigh Mountain Co.—their shoe repair and leather goods shop in Hermann, Missouri—offers an outlet for creativity, craftsmanship, and superior customer service.

Molly’s shoe-repair skills are in high demand.

By Sandy Selby

Every morning when Molly Monahan opens the door to her shop, she takes a deep breath. She never tires of the scent of leather that greets her.

“It’s one of my favorite smells to this day—leather and Kiwi shoe polish,” she says. “Mom and Dad had a shop when I was a kid. Dad would fix shoes on the side and Mom would make things for people. I have good memories.” 

Molly and her mother, Sally Borzillo, are the leather artisans behind Saleigh Mountain Co., a shoe repair and leather goods shop in Hermann. Molly’s father, Mark, is employed as an engineer but sometimes helps at the shop. “He does some of my sole stitching for me,” Molly says, “and he is kind of our in-house ‘machine guy.’ If a sewing machine is messing up, he can always fix it.” 

The women fill separate niches in the business. Molly is the shoe repair expert and even works on orthopedic lifts. Although shoe repair shops are becoming more difficult to find—“There are way fewer than there once were,” Molly says—Saleigh Mountain enjoys a steady business from people who invest in quality shoes and want to keep them in top condition. 

Sally imbues her work with craftsmanship and creativity.

Sally, whose name lends itself to the alternatively spelled company name, is known for making purses and other fine leather items. Her journey to a leather shop in Hermann began in a barn. “We had horses when I was growing up, and there was always stuff to fix.” 

When Sally left home at age 17, she took a few leather tools with her. “I started making little pouches and selling them, then ended up down in Berkeley, California, and apprenticed to a guy whose grandpa was a carriage maker in San Francisco back in the day. He let me set up a table over in the corner of the shop. I’d be working, and if I had a question, I turned around and asked.” For Sally, it was a master class in the art of leather-working. 

Tote bags and belts are among the shop’s top sellers, but lately Sally has been making sling bags that are so popular, she hasn’t had a chance to put one on display in the shop. “I’ve sold every one I’ve made,” she says. 

Molly, too, has flexed her creative muscle. “I have made several pairs of sandals,” she says, “and I would like to make cowboy boots, but there’s a lot more to that than making a sandal.” As a mother of four children, Molly doesn’t have a lot of time available to hone her boot-making skills. “Sandal-making is much more in reach. It’s hard to find a nice leather sandal.” 

Customers at Saleigh Mountain Co. in Hermann can browse through items on hand, or order a custom-made piece.

Sally and Molly source their tanned leathers from American suppliers—their first choice—and others in Brazil and Argentina. Quality is everything to this team, and Molly is particularly annoyed when items are marketed as being made of leather when they are not. “They’re totally fake. People are being lied to and they don’t even know it. We show them examples of what we have in our store. It’s shocking to people.” 

With the quality and popularity of its products, Saleigh Mountain has the opportunity to grow, but Molly and Sally don’t believe bigger is necessarily better. “We want to be able to treat our customers as we always have,” Molly says. “People like coming in and seeing Mama and talking to us, and if somebody wants to order a bag, they can talk to the person who is going to make it. There are a lot of false things out there. We try to keep things real and honest.” 

All photos courtesy of Visit Hermann.

Visit Saleigh Mountain Co. in Hermann at 124 East Fourth Street, or online at You will find a selection of their handcrafted leather goods at the Missouri Life Mercantile in Rocheport or at

Article originally published in the May 2024 issue of Missouri Life.