About Andrew McAteer: Owner of An American Leather Company

 

Although I didn’t always know I’d be the owner of an American leather company, the importance of truecraftsmanship was instilled in me from an early age. I’m proudly afifth-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.

I grew up in a house that was built in 1845. It was timber framed, andit'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 trulymade our house a home. I enjoyed my childhood and working alongside my father in the bar surrounded by old tools. Eventually, I began using those tools to occupy my time experimenting on hobbies of my own.

After high school, I opted to spend some time traveling through 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’tget 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.


When I returned, 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 craftsmanship.


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.

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 iindustrial  sewing machine, then another. I got one piece at a time until I had enough achines and equipment to produce all of my items in-house. Currently, all manufacturing is done on-premises in my studio.

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.