Leather goods have existed, in one form or another, for thousands of years. Staples we use on a daily basis, like wallets and belts, haven’t changed much, save for the inclusion of credit card slots in billfolds. That said, producing leather goods is a traditional craft with global history. America, in particular, is home to many high-volume leather goods brands. But it’s in the small-batch producers where the diversity can be found. From coast to coast, this cross-section represents the best small-batch leather goods producers in the States.
Ashland Leather Co.
Chicago-based Ashland Leather Co. was founded by two tannery workers with over twenty years combined experience. All of its products are cut from Horween Leather (a Chicago institution) and showcase minimalist designs. The brand’s shell cordovan bifolds, which start at $200, come in a range of colors and features six card slots.
Corter Leather is a solar-powered leather goods company located on Cape Cod. All stitching is done by hand and most all metal trimmings are produced in either California or Georgia. The brand’s standard utility belt features solid brass hardware and a stitch-free design. It’s available in vegetable tanned harness leather, latigo, and english bridle leather.
Craft and Lore
Idaho-based Craft and Lore was founded in 2014 and offers wallets, belts, bags and more. The brand offers a large leather Dopp kit with a solid brass YKK zipper that will develop a beautiful patina after years of use.
Ewing Dry Goods
Founded in Alaska and now based in Washington, Ewing Dry Goods makes a point to use American-made-and-raised products whenever possible (if not, Dan Ewing sources from countries with labor laws and fair wages for their workers). The brand’s Gentleman’s Billfold has a waitlist, and for good reason. This rugged snap-closure wallet is cut from seven-ounce Horween Chromexcel leather and features a three-ounce natural vegetable-tanned interior and six card pockets.
Founded in 2008, Hollows Leather offers belts, wallets and more. The brand’s classic Wayward Sister Keychain was designed in conjunction with Cat Bates and features an American-made solid brass clasp, a Japanese-made brass stud closure and either English or American leather.
Kika NY offers belts, sandals, bags and more. The Postal No. 1 backpack is a stand-out piece, cut from water-resistant vegetable-tanned Italian leather. The solid brass closure is sourced from a small foundry in England and the main compartment holds a 13-inch laptop and other necessities.
Leather Works Minnesota
The majority of Leather Works Minnesota’s leather comes from Red Wing’s S.B. Foot Tanning Co. If you need a minimalist wallet for your cards or cash, the brand’s understated Business Card Holder has two pockets and costs just $38.
Washington-based Mack Provisions takes its approach to leather goods from the baseball diamond and repurposes vintage leather baseball gloves into accessories like wallets, key fobs and more. The nature of the process means every piece is unique with its own history and patina. Not only that, but every piece is made by the founder, KC Mack, himself.
Started in 2009 in Monterey Park, California, Chester Mox crafts fine leather goods with a dressy appeal. Sourcing leathers from around the globe, the leather goods brand produces the gamut of classic leather goods using traditional saddle stitching techniques. Each premium piece is worth monogramming, but its California Tote Bag is a standout.
From a Queens, New York apartment building basement, Andrew McAteer not only upkeeps the building as its superintendent, but also makes beautiful leather goods ranging from full-grain leather tool boxes to leather game rolls and even shoes.
Pigeon Tree Crafting
Denver-based brand Pigeon Tree Crafting offers a wide range of premium leather goods from beefy trucker wallets to industrial copper and leather magazine racks to indigo-dipped wallets and belts. For the guy who enjoys a wabi-sabi-denimhead lifestyle, Pigeon Tree Crafting should be a brand to note.
Lotuff aims to bring luxury leather goods to the market via its New England atelier. With a studio of skilled leather artisans, Lotuff specializes in briefcases and bags but also produces top-tier small leather goods. Its Leather Zip-Top Briefcase is one of the most elegant around and comes in a range of leather options, each of which will make you look good in front of your boss.