Here's The Story
The Leather Shop is one of those rare companies that esteems quality above all else. Motivated by a mission to create the finest and toughest leather goods in the world, The Leather Shop is run by a collaboration of innovative and creative leather craftsmen. The Leather Shop’s head craftsman, Mark, is a fourth generation leather craftsman. Both his dad and his grandpa were leather craftsmen, so he grew up surrounded by the rich, tobacco smell of leather and the sound of clanking tools. As a young artist, Mark wanted to carry his paints and his camera everywhere but couldn’t find the right bag. It took him months of hard work, hand-cutting and stitching everything to create the perfect bag — and he’s been refining the process for his handmade Americana goods ever since.
The Leather Shop prides itself on challenging themselves to do things that no one else has done, or wants to do, and to do it better and stand out. Their modus operandi is to develop and create dozens of prototypes before finding the perfect design. This weeding out process results in a product that can last the test of time and that can be handed down from generation to generation.
Another effort that is important to The Leather Shop is to be as eco-friendly as possible, from the tanneries that their leather comes from, to the dyes used for staining that leather. When choosing leather, there are a multitude of options from chrome tanned, aluminum tanned, brain tanned, and vegetable tanned leather. Chemical tanning (chrome and aluminum) is a much quicker and cheaper process (taking as little as a day to tan a hide) but it sacrifices the quality of the product and results in a by product that is more harmful to the environment. Vegetable tanning on the other hand can take up to several months to tan a hide, but the final product is vastly superior. It is an eco-friendly process that tans leather naturally with materials derived from tree bark and plants. Vegetable tanned leather has a firmer hand and has the ability to patina over time, resulting in a product that looks better as it ages.
The Leather Shop obtains its leather from two of the oldest and most renowned tanneries in the United States, The Horween Leather Company of Chicago and Hermann Oak of St. Louis. In addition to choosing vegetable tanned hides, The Leather Shop uses only the full grain bends of a hide. Bends are the densest part of a hide whose firm fibers give it increased durability. Full grain leather has not been altered or buffed to remove any imperfections. Unlike “genuine” leather, full grain leather is truly the most genuine of leathers and is the hide’s best, strongest and most durable layer. Owning a good from The Leather Shop means you’re investing in a product that is going to last a lifetime, and that your kids will enjoy long after you’re gone.