About Andrew McAteer: Owner of An American Leather Company
Design. Craftsmanship. Ingenuity. Although I didn’t always know I’d be
the owner of an American leather company, the importance of true
craftsmanship was instilled in me from an early age. I’m proudly a
fifth-generation New York tradesman with a long history of settling
for nothing but the best. And, if I couldn't find what I was looking
for, I made it myself.
In the Beginning
I grew up in a house that was built in 1845. It was timber framed, and
it's massive joints spoke to me of it's history. Later, my parents got
an old wooden sailboat. It, like the house, needed work, and my father
spent his weekends tirelessly restoring and repairing them both.
Meanwhile, my mother sewed curtains, repainted and reupholstered
furniture, and religiously tended her large garden. My parents truly
made our house a home.
I enjoyed my childhood and working alongside my father in the barn
surrounded by tools for various projects. Eventually, I began using
those very same tools to occupy my time experimenting on hobbies of my
The Road Leatherwork
After high school, I opted to spend some time traveling throughout
Europe. Once, when my shoes wore out, I watched a cobbler methodically
restore them to better than new. Whenever I could, I’d make a point to
see things being crafted. Leather work fascinated me especially.
As I traveled, I could never really find the items I wanted. Leather
bags always seemed to be lacking the features I wanted. Or, I couldn’t
get the proper weight distribution from a backpack. Over several
years, I took note from European craftsmen and began trying an
old-school approach to getting things done.
An Eye for Detail
When I returned to the states, I got an apprenticeship with a
carpenters union in Vermont, and soon after began working in cabinet
making shops and doing antiques restoration. It was there I learned
traditional furniture-making techniques and the value of good, solid
Putting the Pieces Together
With the knowledge and readiness to work with different materials, I
starting making my own furniture focusing on simple, thoughtful
designs. I was approached by a made-to-order campaign furniture maker
in New York and quickly jumped on the opportunity. There, I began
working with high-quality leather and canvas.
Over time, my experience grew and I felt comfortable frequently
crafting bespoke items of all sorts. Creating custom leather work set
the stage for my future business. It reminded me of the leather
craftsman I encountered in Europe whom I often channeled as I worked.
That’s when I knew I’d found my true calling.
Becoming a Leather Craftsman
I started to create my own belts and bags. Through trial and error I
incorporated the features that I’d always wanted while traveling. I
tried several styles of leather travel bags until I got the weight
distribution right. I added hidden pockets here and there. I tested
different techniques and how well they’d hold up with long-term use.
Each trial became a passion, an obsession, until I got it right.
Once I perfected a few solid items, I began stopping in various shops
and offering my wares. I started to get a few orders which eventually
allowed me a budget to craft enough ready-made goods for distribution.
These quickly sold when people saw the quality.
I’d found my passion and was determined to have a studio of my own.
Over time, I saved up and acquired items along the way. First the hand
tools, then an industrial sewing machine, then another. I got one
piece at a time until I had enough machines and equipment to produce
all of my items in-house. Currently, all manufacturing is done
on-premises in my studio.
My Promise to You
When you purchase from me, you’ll receive well-made items crafted with
the utmost attention to the smallest detail. I source only the highest
quality materials for each and every product I sell. Whether you’re
interested in a bag, belt, shoes, or wallet, you can be assured it’s
made with passion and pride.
Choose an American Leather company that’s proven to be simple,
cost-effective, and built-to-last. I’m continuously designing and
improving upon the items we use on a daily basis. Be sure to check
back often to see what I’ll come up with next.