What started as a hobby, quickly turned into a full-blown business for Don Jackson, founder of Smith and Lee Handmade.
According to Don, he simply needed a new wallet to carry his essential cards and some cash, but was unimpressed with the current items on the market. He believes that a wallet should last a lifetime, not just a few years. So, he made a few calls, got his hands on some cowhide and created his first wallet. He uploaded photos of the wallet to Facebook to share with his friends and family and here we are today.
Why exotics? Don says that he not only wanted to create leather goods that were built to last but would also give a person a sense of pride and individuality. Due to the nature of exotic leather, no item from the same exotic hide could be the same. This means that your alligator wallet will never be the same as another alligator wallet due to the nature of the alligator’s life. This provides extreme uniqueness to each item.
True pricing Model. According to Don, major companies and conglomerates overcharge for their leather goods. He, like them, purchases his exotic leather hides from tanneries all across the world. Most of these tanneries supply some of the major fashion houses such as Gucci, Prada, LV and Hermes. No one should have to pay $1,300 for a wallet when the TRUE PRICE for it is only $150. He understands that a true pricing model won’t make him rich, but as he puts it “I don’t want to be rich, I just want to make quality leather goods at a price that respects consumers.”
As Smith and Lee Handmade continues to grow, Don plans to continue making lifetime products at affordable prices.
There is currently no plan to open a brick and mortar store, however who knows what the future holds…