Dragonthorn Leatherworks was formed over six years ago in Lewisville, NC. I had been dabbling with leather for quite a few years, primarily for personal use. You know, the odd sheath or key-chain here or there. I went the standard gambit like most do, kits, standard needle and thread, old leather coats. Pretty much anything I could find to figure out how it was done. I was teenager in Seattle when I found my fist Tandy Leather Store. Man, I was in heaven. The smell when I walked into the store made me weak in the knees.
Fast forward quite a few years to my management of a knife shop in Clemmons, NC owned by a good friend of mine. The knife store is gone now but it gave me the opportunity to work with knives, swords, etc. We were actually one of the first stores to carry the line of replica swords from the Lord of the Rings (LOTR) movies that were getting ready to be released. I’ve got a few really interesting stories concerning all of that and will probably post a few blogs in the future about the adventures. Anyway, the world went Lord of the Rings crazy and the forums we sponsored began receiving requests for LOTR leather goods. We designed a few and had them manufactured by various commercial leathercrafters but they just never were quite like we wanted. So … you know where this is going… we decided to make them ourselves.
Lot of equipment to buy, leather to purchase and techniques to develop. We were very successful with this effort. Unfortunately the time that it took to do this properly started taking time away from the running of the store so we ramped it down. About this time we made friends with a couple of custom knife makers who wanted us to carry their items in the shop. Being custom knife makers their focus is on, well … knives. One of the knife-makers had a few sheaths that another guy made but wanted some for the new knives we were going to display. One thing led to another and the knife shop ended up in the knife sheath business. The knife shop store owner split the profits with me and off we went. Pretty good match actually. It’s not always really busy in a retail store so when I was not selling knives, keeping up with inventory, etc, etc I made knife sheaths. Worked out well. Store full of knives for models, plenty of customers … you get the picture.
Fast forward again … I needed to make a bit more money so decided to go out on my own. Got a small business loan and bought my own equipment (you’d be amazed at what professional leathercrafting equipment and tools cost; not to mention the cost of the leather itself). Set everything up in the garage and marketed my butt off. Traveled central North Carolina going to knife shops, gun shops, archery stores, gun and knife shows, anywhere I could show my wares. At night and really early in the morning I’d do my leatherwork.
Things picked up pretty well, decided I needed a brand, website, logo, etc. Have always liked Dragons so here we are. I kept the old website for 6 years. Went from page nine hundred and something to page one on the major search engines and burnt out quickly. Took a break, moved my shop into a 15 x 25 climate controlled building and here I am. Back again and making some really cool stuff. Put up this new website as the old one was getting really dated.
There you have it. Short (kinda) history of Dragonthorn Leatherworks!