By Garland Pollard
There is a large amount of room in the marketplace for small, regional, handcrafted fashion and craft brands. One of the many surviving leather companies is J.W. Hulme of St. Paul, Minnesota. They make excellent leather goods, including bags, briefcases and wallets; it’s a luxury approach with a simpler, less fashion look.
The company is a turnaround success story; CEO Jen Guarino rescued the company just after it lost a major wholesale contract to a factory in China; Forbes has an excellent story HERE.
Hulme is one of many hundreds and hundreds of American leather brands; few have survived. To name a VERY few, they include A.F. Gallon, Gokey’s, Pfister & Vogel, Moser Leather.
Hulme actually makes their leather goods, which helps them stand out from brands that have survived merely on licensing.
Guarino is supportive of American brands, and has also put together a group called the The Maker’s Coalition, which aims to gather up American craft manufacturers into a trade group.