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Introducing National Leather Works

April 03, 2018


My wife and I recently made the decision to leave the city life and try out rural living; one, for our sanity and secondly, and more importantly, to give our young kids a chance to have a childhood that could be more connected to nature. In short we wanted to give them the same ability to run out into the backyard without asking that we had, and access to mud and bugs that didn't require planning and permission. We settled on Kentucky, my home state, and about 6 months ago we were perusing the country-side getting a feel for small communities around the southern Kentucky area where a lot of our friends reside, and we stumbled upon the small town of Auburn. The town center is a typical southern 1800's one street city strip with the entire downtown consisting of only a few criss-crossed streets. The Main Street has definitely seen busier days, with only a handful of open establishments with historic architecture in varying stages of disrepair. What immediately stands out in stark contrast to the energy of the rest of the strip is a historic working leather shop located right in the middle of downtown still in operation, seemingly buzzing along with employees coming in and out. 

Since we started National last year, we've been investigating producing leather goods. Leather as a medium is long lasting, beautiful and to us is just an essential building block of fashion and utility. So immediately my spidey senses were firing urging me to learn more about Auburn Leather. Over the coming months we befriended the team there; really good people with an eye for perfection and quality in leather whose leadership has been family dating back to 1863, truly remarkable folks. We've been spitballing the type of leather, color of tan and style and build of our goods for the last couple months and we're super happy to say our first leather line is complete and we've got a short run of our goods ready for sale. 

All of our leather items have a minimalist nature about them. Utility along with encouraging you to trim back what you carry has definitely been the focus of the design and build. All of the parts are cut from hand-picked, full-grain American leather and tanned onsite in Kentucky, completely sourced and handmade in the USA. Each piece in our collection is hand serialized by the craftsman who creates it and this rich brown Latigo Leather will produce a beautiful and darker natural patina with age.

With the nature of working with leather coupled with the number of leather items we're starting with, this has definitely been our most ambitious project to-date, and we really hope you enjoy them. If it goes well we hope to dive farther into leather to produce possibly more intricate and fine pieces in the future.