seeds of Old School Leather Company were planted in the early 1970s.
After becoming pregnant with my younger sister, my mom received a Tandy
Leathercraft kit from dad. The kit was to "give mom something to
do" while she was stuck in the house. Both mom and dad got much
use from the deluxe starter kit. In fact, the "kit-in-a-box"
evolved into a workbench in the garage and Custom Leathercraft was born.
It was not long after that mom and dad were personalizing Name Bracelets
for every kid in my school at the Dog Patch Daze Scott Lake Elementary
Mom and dad moved along
to develop their own style and to display their fine goods at some of
the premier art and craft festivals in Florida and along the East Coast.
Dad eventually quit his corporate lifestyle at IBM and Custom Leathercraft
became a full-time venture. Meanwhile, some things remained the same.
Every item made was cut, tooled, and dyed by hand.
Meanwhile, I, Scott Cortelyou
was graduating from college in the early 90s without a clue what to
do and no motivation to do it. After a few years of dead-end jobs, I
met the inspiration in my life; a free spirit named Jami and her little
boy Gaige. I noticed Jami for the first time from far across the room
at a bar in Ybor City (yes! it is possible to find love in a bar!) After
a long friendship, we quickly fell in love and in January 1995, we decided
to make a fresh start in Washington state. Our 1978 Plymouth Volare
Station Wagon made it to Tucson, Arizona before losing third gear. While
we were "stuck," Jami's birthday came up. We were living on
a wing and a prayer with nothing to spare. Our first Christmas together,
my favorite gift from Jami was a macrame hemp necklace she handmade.
So, I spent a couple bucks on a 4oz. bottle of Fiebing's leather dye
and went to work on a handmade gift. I had a little scrap, a few carving
tools, and a few Craftool 3D stamps thanks to mom and dad's encouragement
to do SOMETHING. I made Jami a belt decorated with a simple geometric
design and the Zodiac signs for Gaige, Jami, and me. The "special"
aspect of this gift was that I left a blank space to be filled with
the astrological sign of the baby we planned to have some day. The belt
was fastened with a tooled mushroom buckle. It was very rough and unfinished
looking, but Jami loved it. She was also intrigued with the concept
of leatherworking. I showed her the little I knew, and within a week
we had stick barrettes and bic light covers for sale on the sidewalks
of downtown Tucson. Our work has been in a constant state of evolution
since then. Jami's belt was finally finished when our second son, Jayan,
was born in August 2000.
we display our goods at some of the most prestigious art and craft festivals
in Florida, Georgia, and Pennsylvania as well as here on our web site.
We hope you enjoy your visit here and will appreciate the degree of love,
pride, and craftsmanship that we insert into all our fine, handmade leather