Ten Lessons Learned With North Star Leather

Loving this blog series. Here’s a post about our company.

Leathercraft Lessons from the World's Best

What is your name, your leather craft business, and where are you located?

Mike Batson our business is called North Star Leather, we’re located in the very rural town of Ruby, South Carolina.


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What types of leather goods do you make, or what is your role in the leather craft business?

All sorts of small leather goods: Wallets, Checkbooks, ID Cases, pouches, coin purses, handbags- over 150 individual “stock” items not counting special items for specific customers. We’re 90% wholesale and much of our business comes from private label manufacturing. Besides our own line, we produce lots of items as swag, promotional, or classy packaging (ie embossed leather pouches, keychains, bracelets, etc).

We also do all sorts of cut components and such (leather backing for uniforms, flag tabs,etc). I do bracelet and keychain blanks in natural veg that other crafters finish. We do leather patches for a lot of companies…

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Pricing: Are you for real?

This post is going to be a little different from my standard descriptions of leather and leather qualities; it's post is intended to explain why some of my wallets and other items are substantially cheaper than other real leather products made in USA.  This will be my ready-made response for the 2-3 emails a year… Continue reading Pricing: Are you for real?

The “Grades of Leather” hierarchy you’ve probably read about is a Myth

  You've probably seen them around, articles that talk about the 4 grades or tiers of leather; from best to worst: Full Grain, Top Grain, Genuine and Bonded.  You'll find them on fashion major blogs, in one of the most repeated Reddit TIL posts of all time, and in general comments whenever someone asks a… Continue reading The “Grades of Leather” hierarchy you’ve probably read about is a Myth

Vegetable Tanned Leather: Much more variety than you think.

If you're like most people, when you hear the words "vegetable tanned leather", a specific picture pops into your mind (unless you're like the confused/disappointed people who call me every couple months who read "veg-tan leather" as "vegan leather").  Most people I talk to, even many who work with leather, think that veg-tan is that… Continue reading Vegetable Tanned Leather: Much more variety than you think.

Hey man! Where do you get your leather?

Easy... From cows.  The end....             Actually this is one of my most frequently asked questions...but the answer isn't always simple because it depends greatly on who's asking and why.  Sometimes the question is from someone wants to get into leathercraft so they know where to buy.  Sometimes they want… Continue reading Hey man! Where do you get your leather?

Top Grain Leather: Full Grain’s under-rated and misunderstood little brother

As I started to research this post I realized, that as far as the internet is concerned, "top grain leather" was a term without many and sometimes contradictory definitions.   I looked through at least ten "leather glossaries" from reputable sites and found that many lists of "leather terms"  define top grain as leather that… Continue reading Top Grain Leather: Full Grain’s under-rated and misunderstood little brother