Happy Friday! It's time for another family feature spotlight and this week we have Brookes & Hyde Leather Goods from Cincinnati, Ohio. Learn more about the time and effort that goes into the creation of these high quality, leather accessories!
Q: What's the story behind your business, and how did you get started?
A: Brookes & Hyde Leather Goods all started as my senior thesis in college. I went to the University of Cincinnati and studied Industrial Design in the DAAP program. I landed an internship in Chicago at a company that basically owns the market on men’s accessory design. I was designing for big named brands such as Dockers, Levi’s and Columbia. However, everything I was designing was being shipped overseas to be made and eventually mass produced. I ended up loving my time there and the job I was doing that I came back for a second internship during my final year of school. It was during my second internship that I told my team I was doing my senior thesis on creating my own brand and product line of men’s accessories. It was then that I got to go and work with the company’s sample maker. With over 20 years of experience in handcrafted leather goods, she taught me everything from sewing to skiing to treating the edges with the right materials. She taught me the entire process of taking a full hide of leather and turning it into the products that I now offer for my brand. While in Chicago, I got to tour Horween Tannery, who I currently source all of my leather from. Horween Tannery is one of the oldest and most well known leather tannery not just just in America, but in the world. They are highly renowned for having some of the world’s best leather. After touring the tannery and seeing how much history they have and the process they go through to create the leathers they offer, I was sold on sourcing all of my material from them. My final semester rolled around and I kept getting such great feedback from the products I was making, and having already fell in love with the art and craft of handmade goods, I decided to ditch the corporate world jobs and sought the entrepreneurial route. Once I graduated I went straight into planning mode, eventually launched the business in December of 2014. I currently work out of my parent’s garage where I manufacture all of the brand’s products. I don’t outsource any of my manufacturing because I believe you lose that sense of character and uniqueness that often comes with handcrafted leather goods. I want to grow the brand as much as possible to be one of the next big brands into today’s industry, while still keeping the core values that I started the business on.
Q: What makes your products unique?
A: My products are unique in the sense that there is a story behind each product that is made. I think people give more into the sense that they know where the product is coming from and who is making it over mass produced goods in China. I try to incorporate all of my passions into the brand and products that I make. I want the brand and products to be a reflection of our everyday passions that we love. For example, I love craft beer and have chosen the color names of the leather I use based off different craft beer colors. I think incorporating my everyday passions into my products makes them unique in the sense that people can relate to them. As I grow, I plan on hiring people that will help shape the brands image and incorporating our coworkers passions into our products as well. I also emboss “handcrafted in Cincinnati, OH USA” into every product I make. I love Cincinnati, and I think this city has such a rich history of brands and companies that have started here, grown, and made the city what it is today. I want to reflect the fact that this is a Cincinnati brand and that I source all of my materials in the USA. I love incorporating history into the brand from Cincinnati to Horween Tannery. I believe it just adds to the uniqueness of the brand.
Q: What do you like about being part of the Celebrate Local family?
A: I like being part of the Celebrate Local family because I love the uniqueness of the products that are offered in their stores. Celebrate Local gives artists a different outlet to sell their goods and gives each person a chance to grow their brand and brand awareness through each person that shops there. Growing a brand is extremely difficult in my opinion. In today’s society, I think that the market is over-saturated with so many different brands. I think that Celebrate Local offers smaller brands a chance for people to see just what they stand for and gives them a chance to grow and stand out in a market where it can be difficult to stand out.
You can find Brookes & Hyde Leather Goods at our Liberty Center retail store location and in our online store!