March 17, 2017 – Happy Saint Patrick’s day! More, and good, changes coming to Dragonthorn Leatherworks shortly. Our staff is getting ready to increase with a bit of “inside” assist. For some time now I have been a one man shop. I do all of the custom leatherwork, keep up with the webpage, answer emails and phone calls and about everything else that a top notch custom leather company does. Sooo, time to change that around a bit. Shortly I will have an individual to help with all of the back end stuff (accounting, web, emails, etc). This will of course allow me to concentrate on design and construction of the items that you all have to come enjoy from Dragonthorn Leatherworks.
In addition I am going to be working on our “contact us” page and methods over the next few days. If you need to get a hold of us and the “contact us” page is not working correctly please email: email@example.com. Ill have the correct “contact us” page up shortly. Stand by…. more info coming!
February 22, 2017 – “So”, they ask. “How long will it take you to make (fill in the item here)?” “Looking at about 10 weeks out”, I respond. “WHAT!, how can it take that long”… and so the story goes. It does not actually take 10 weeks to make any given product (depending on what it is). The answer is really quite simple, I am really really slammed. At any given moment I usually have 3-4 projects on the bench and 3-4 paid for and in the queue. Unfortunately (not really), I am a perfectionist. In addition, as all we do is custom leatherwork, there is quite a bit of planning, design and communication between us and our customers. It all takes time. If any of you have additional elves, gremlins, etc. that can help me in the shop do please send them my way. Bear in mind that it’s going to take a while to train them in my way of doing things. Any Elves that have prior experience with Santa will have preference. Or perhaps with that little ole’ shoemaker from the old country. Until then, I am in the shop plugging away and doing my best to stay “caught up”. DH
January 30, 2017 – Well, another year. Am I still here? Yep. Am I still buried? Yep. Will it ever change? Probably not, however… I am getting ready to make a few changes in my life to give me a good bit more time on leatherwork. I have to say that since moving to the High Country of North Carolina my view on life has changed a good bit. Once you hit over a kilometer in altitude, live in a nice two bedroom cabin with a great fireplace and wonderful companionship (a fantastic girlfriend and two crazy cats for company) things just tend to mellow a bit. Summers never get stupidly hot and winters?, well, I am over a kilometer up, tend to get a bit chilly (that’s where the fireplace, my girlfriend and the cats come in). Planning a new shop on the property at the moment. My shop is currently split between the garage (for dusty work) and the space over it for the clean and major work. Looking forward to spending my days working on leather, listening to good blues and just generally enjoying the Appalachian Mountains. Stay tuned, I’m not going anywhere… DH
November 12, 2016 – Please Read This – First off an apology. I really don’t mean to shout. It’s starting to get a bit crazy again in the shop. Temps are down, weather is turning very wintery and I do now believe that just about everyone has now found my website. Still doing well on the search engines and other review sites concerning my work and it is most certainly showing. I am doing all I can to keep up with the phone calls and emails but starting to slip a bit. As general info, I actually spend almost as much time communicating with current and prospective customers as well as project design work as I do actually building the custom items that you all wish to have. Unfortunately, I am only one guy (with help occasionally). So… this email is a request for patience and understanding. I will continue to take new projects but they may take a bit to complete. When I started Dragonthorn Leatherworks some 15 years ago my lead time was in the 1-2 week range. That has now stretched into 10-12 weeks depending on the project. Has the quality of the leatherwork increased along with that? Oh, most assuredly. Dragonthorn Leatherworks remains one of the top 5 custom leatherwork companies world-wide. What that means of course is nothing but high quality work and of course longer lead times to get it to you. So, I am still here, but buried under mounds of leather hides… DH
September 12, 2016 – Man, has it really been since April that I have done an update? I am guilty, guilty, guilty! We are now “slowly” taking work back on but it’s coming so hard and so fast that it is a challenge to keep up with everything. We are also starting to get quite a few international orders in. I can only say that our popularity has to be due to the quality of work that we put out. If I have not gotten back to you quick enough, all I can do is apologize. We are now number 1 on Google, Number 1 on Bing and climbing quickly on Yahoo (Lordy knows where we are on every other browser and search engine). Due to the amount of emails that I receive daily I have had to activate a pretty strong email spam filter. If it catches your email I’m sorry. I try and check it pretty closely every few days. In addition, instead of creating a new webpage I am going to hold off and spend the time finishing your projects and taking on as many more as I can. What I really need to do is to build a new shop…. That, of course, takes money. Trying to get there. The weather here in the North Carolina mountains is finally turning a bit cooler which helps and the snows are coming. One advantage of having my shop at my house is that I do not have much of a commute (even with 2 feet of snow and 7 degree weather which we expect this winter. I know all of this is a bit choppy but am trying to keep you all updated. Bear with me if you can, the current ride is a hairy one… DH
April 11. 2016 – Apologies as I have been a bit remiss in keeping the news page up and updated properly. My apprentice Daniel and his wife Sarah now have a new baby boy named Fletcher. Suffice to say that with Daniels wife’s pregnancy and the wait for the arrival of Fletcher, things have gotten a bit backed up. So, and with a good bit of sadness, I have to advise all new prospective customers that our current lead time has stretched into 4-5 months. With that said I cannot in my right mind keep taking on projects until such time as I have all of the order backlog taken care of. To all of our customers that currently have projects paid for, we do this so that we can get your projects finished on a more timely basis. To those wishing to have the best in custom leatherwork, we apologize. Basically, if we keep running ourselves into the ground trying to keep up it is not going to be good for anybody. I/we, need to take this time to finish current projects, build a new web page and still be able to keep up with emails from customers that absolutely “must have” a Dragonthorn Leatherworks custom piece. Hopefully we will soon be able to make a post here on the News site that says “All caught up, open the flood gates”…. Stand by and thanks for all of your support. Back as soon as we can,. DH
January 10, 2016 – Friends, Roman’s, countrymen, lend me your ears… wait, wait, I seem to be reading too much… Whew, not sure exactly what has happened over the past two weeks but I am now getting an average of 20 emails a day requesting info and/or custom leather items. If I could give simple and quick email responses all would be better. Unfortunately, due to the nature of custom leatherwork and our own integrity, answering the emails takes time and thought. I cannot just blow off a customer with minor comments and little attention to detail. Because of this the challenge in balancing the actual leatherwork design, engineering and construction along with answering customers inquiries and questions as well as keeping up the web site (and actually building a new one) is difficult at best. All I can say is that we are doing our best to keep up with everything. Would I love to hire 5 more staff and really blow the “custom leather” thing out of the market?… hmmm, not sure. We create our products out of love for the craft and the thrill we get when a customer receives a Dragonthorn Leatherworks product and communicates back… Wow! This is a really nice piece… One customer in the past used the word “bespoke” to define our quality and skill set. (click on “News” above to read more). After looking up the Websters definition, ” an adjective for anything commissioned to a particular specification”, I realized that it actually means something crafted in an old school manner, high quality, extreme attention to detail, an heirloom piece. Yep, that’s what we do. So, we will keep muddling along and do our best to keep up with everything. Most times we succeed, sometimes we slip. Not because we don’t care, we just simply get a bit overwhelmed at times. DH
January 8, 2016 – Man, another year done and dusted. I always enjoy the New Year as I get to take a short (and I do mean short) break after the craziness of the Christmas rush. Got to clean a bunch of stuff off the bench, give the shop a good going over and my annual maintenance of equipment. Was hoping for a bit of snow at Christmas here in Boone, NC but Father Christmas did not cooperate. I know that the Ski slopes didn’t have a great year this year. By now we usually have already had a good 5-10 excellent snow falls. So far this year just a lot of rain. Kinda scary, mother nature has a way of catching up. We’ll see, could have some nice days of heavy snow and afternoons in front of the fire place with a good Bourbon before too long… Happy New Year Yall! DH and the team at Dragonthorn Leatherworks.
December 8, 2015 – Quick bit. Having some difficulties with my standard contact page. I have established a gmail address for you to communicate with us. You can find it on our “Contact Us” page located here. Again, apologies. Sometimes web pages and back end servers get a mind of their own… DH
November 29, 2015 – Success, success, success!?? We’ll, maybe…. Contrary to popular belief, this “Santa” does not have hundreds of little Elves working in the background grinding out custom leather work orders… It’s actually just me and my assistant Daniel. Alas, at this time of year things get a bit crazy and we get seriously behind. Not just on orders but in communicating as well. I have done my best this morning to get back to anyone that has sent us an email or a post. If I have missed you please accept our apologies and “check back in”. Currently my project lead time stretches into 2016. We are working as hard as we can (and not killing ourselves) to get the orders out and catch up on everything else. As I have said in the past, the good thing about custom leatherwork is that you get exactly what you want…, the bad is that it takes a while. Hope all will forgive and from this Santa and his single Elf “Happy Holidays and have a Happy New Year”… Whew…!! DH
September 9, 2015 – With success comes challenges. As of this morning Dragonthorn Leatherworks is rated number one for “custom leatherwork” and “custom leather work” on Google. I need to start paying attention to Bing and Yahoo ratings but I’m good where we are for now (who wouldn’t be?). It’s not that we don’t have enough customers, we just need to find a way to squeeze more hours into the day. Our lead time has now increased to 15-20 weeks, wow! … never thought that would happen. In addition leather prices have gone up yet again. I am going to do my best to hold prices where they are as long as I can but cannot promise anything. You may have read somewhere on this website that I started doing custom leatherwork professionally while I was running a knife shop (shout out to the knife shop orphans!). I have to say, my work then was good, the work we put out now is a different level even if I do say so myself. I must again reiterate.. we will never cut corners on our work for the sake of getting more out or to get it out quicker. We do what we do and we do it very well indeed. We are also going to start concentrating on the smaller PCS stuff for Everyday Carry (EDC). We will by all means consider any leatherwork you may have so let us know what you are thinking and we’ll see what we can do. Well, times a wasting… back to the shop. Have a good one… DH
July 27, 2015 – I’ve written about my assistant a couple of times in the past. Thought it was about time he introduced himself, so… My name’s Daniel Wright, I moved to the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina in 2013 for a separate leather crafting job. As the world turns people are laid off of work and I was left to my own devices as far as leather working goes. After a series of seriously strange events, I ended up apprenticing under Dave and have since exponentially increased my knowledge and skill. Every day I look forward to working in the shop with Dave crafting any and all pieces that your heart desires. For this opportunity and your support I thank everyone involved past, present, and future with Dragonthorn Leatherworks. Thank you, Daniel Wright (ps from Dave… don’t tell the kid I said this but he’s good, really really good…)
June 9, 2015 – They say that “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. I may soon be realizing that as a company in China appears to be getting ready to register dragonleather.com.cn, .net.cn, .org.cn and dragonleather.asia. The domain registration company in China was very professional about it and contacted me offering an opportunity to register these domain names before having to sell them to Huada Ltd. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I am not prepared to play the “snap up all of the domains game” to protect my brand. I suspect that once I start that game it would be a slippery slope from that point forward. I firmly believe that Dragonthorn Leatherworks reputation and custom work ethic will assist in protecting my business. Like I said above, if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then it appears I will soon be seriously flattered. I have contacted Huada Ltd. and asked what they will be manufacturing and of course received no response. So, be aware and make sure that when you purchase an item from Dragonthorn Leatherworks (dragonleather.net) that you are actually receiving a handmade custom product from my shop. Wish us luck and if you start seeing anything strange let me know… DH
May 19, 2015 – OK, Daniel (my apprentice) and I have completed and shipped a good bit over half of the project backlog. Working diligently on the remainder. For those of you that have contacted me about future projects rest assured that I have not deleted your emails and am slowly working through them to begin the order process. I do hope you understand that I must concentrate on the backlogged projects first as those customers have been patiently waiting for their orders to be completed. Who would have thought that custom leatherwork from Dragonthorn would be so popular? Like I’ve said before, good problem to have. Now have the heavy equipment (saws, big sanders, etc.) all setup so the shop is now 100%. For those of you that have moved before you have an idea of what it takes. For those of you that have moved a home AND a shop you most certainly get it. Well, back to work… more leather dust to create! DH
April 30, 2015 – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly… The good? Shops at least up enough so I can start clearing the backlog of projects (in process). The bad? I have a backlog of projects. The ugly? Current lead time on new projects is about 8-10 weeks. Having plenty of customers with projects is a really good thing for a business. What I really hate is that I can’t accomplish a project in a day so that I can turn around the custom projects really quickly. This is the true difference in custom leather work vs. production leather work. In production you make the same things, with minor variations, on a consistent basis. Hence a much quicker production time. Custom work is much much different. Each project is different and in most cases is not even close to the last one. There is quite a bit of communication with the customer to determine exactly what is wanted as well as the required communication to supply the drawings so that the customer can actually see what is being developed and to confirm that I’ve got it right. Takes time, lots of time. (Read More) Fortunately I have an assistant starting on Monday to help clear this backlog and to assist in working on new projects. What I can ask for is patience. I will not cut corners on a project to move it through faster. My customers come to me because they have a vision and want that vision created professionally and with very high quality. I am working hard to keep up with email communications but alas, that takes time away from the project bench. What I can assure all of you is that it is, in fact, getting better. Slowly, but better. Dragonthorn Leatherworks is now one of the top 5 custom leather shops globally and I am very excited about that. Not so excited about the heartache and anguish in the delays I have at the moment. We’ll pull through this and get faster, honest… DH
April 23, 2015 – Man, I don’t ever want to move again… Finally, FINALLY, have the house in order and have the shop setup so I can get back to work. My old shop was in one building out behind the house in Greensboro. The new shop is on two levels. Level 2) Heated space over the garage is the dust free shop (mainly) and houses all of my cutting, sewing and finishing areas. Level 1) is one half of the garage and will contain my “dusty” tools… sanders, saws, drill presses, etc. and the dying area. Not heated but don’t plan on spending an inordinate amount of time in it. During the summer it will be great! Open the double garage doors and let the cool mountain breeze waft over… oh, never mind… During the winter… brrrrrrr. Will be spending most of my time in the heated finishing shop over the garage. Thank goodness my girlfriend approves (she actually came up with the idea) although I have pretty much taken over the library. Have an office nook upstairs for my PC (three screens are just so cool) and a reading spot for my girlfriend. Next project, the garage…. Oh damn… DH
April 15, 2015 – Howdy!, moving day has come and passed. Now in the house in Boone, NC in the beautiful North Carolina mountains. I tell you, the past week has been hell! Packing, loading, unloading. This is my 37th move of my life (long story, I’ll fill you in later… Dad transferred us a lot and I did the same while in the international logistics industry). Today is rest day and planning the shop setup. Everything’s here now just have to get it back in order so I can get back on projects. For those of you that have active projects with me I apologize for the delay due to the shop move but it’s going to be sooooo much better here. Also note that my cellphone number is not currently operating here but should be by the end of the day (fingers crossed). Now that I have stable internet I will be checking emails more regularly. It was kinda tough trying to operate on a smartphone screen. So, enough of that… back to getting things straight so I can get back to leatherwork. Take care. DH
March 26, 2015 – Well, moving day is shortly approaching. Will be moving the shop the weekend of April 10th to Boone, NC. My girlfriend has owned a house in Boone for about 20 years now. Decided it was time to remodel it and move myself up. She’s moving to Rowan County, NC where she holds a job with the Economic Development group. We’ll see each other on the weekends. Don’t think I’ll be too terribly lonely as I have much leatherwork to do! My shop will be on two levels. Downstairs is all of the noisy dusty equipment sanders, saws, drill press, etc.) Upstairs will be the finishing, cutting and creation room. Winters will be a bit chilly but summers?… oh my! I’ll be down for about a week making the move and re-setting the shop back up. All of you that have active projects with me don’t worry. I’m hauling butt now and will get back on it all once set up. Those of you that are considering a project best let me get you in the queue now. Any delay just means that someone else gets in the queue ahead of you. I’ll give you all another update once I get up there. Take care… Mountains here I come! DH
February 18, 2015 – Man, who would have thought that cold weather could cripple the south like it did. I know, I know, you’ve got it much worse up north and out west and more used to it. My shop is an outbuilding out behind the house and after returning from Boone, NC (where we are rebuilding a house… was -8 degrees in Boone by the way) I learned that my central heat and air in the shop died! Bummer! Trying to get it fixed but all Heat and Air techs were busy fixing heating issues for houses with people in them and not really important stuff like leather shops! ; ). Finally got a couple of space heaters and now have the shop temperature at 70 degrees. As info, it’s not just the matter of me freezing my butt off but as well the fact that you just cant work leather properly when its too cold. Just checked the shop and temps good, leathers pliable. Killed my production for a couple of days but back on it now… DH
January 24, 2015 – Bit of news, Dragonthorn Leatherworks shop will be moving in the future. My girlfriend has accepted a new job in Salisbury, NC with the Rowan County Economic Development Partnership. As such my shop will eventually have a permanent move to Salisbury along with her. As we still have a house in the NC mountains in Boone (under renovation), I will more than likely move the shop to Boone until the Boone house is sold and we purchase our house in Salisbury. Anybody looking for a really cool house in the NC mountains let me know. As my business can be operated from any location (as long as I have a shop and a post office) I do not expect any disruption in services except for a two week period for the move and shop setup. This is all good stuff as my shop will be bigger and more comfortable. After all, I do spend a whole lot of time in the shop. Wish us luck and keep the orders coming. DH
December 20, 2014 – Whew buddy! This is one tired little Santa’s Leather Elf! Many of you may not know it but Christmas season in the custom leather business starts in July and goes full tilt until about now… Been a good year. Doing this full time now as I got really fed up with the corporate BS world! For those of you that have orders placed, no worries… on them now. Taking a few days off New Years week to re-kindle the batteries but will be checking emails and doing leather project design work at our house in the mountains of North Carolina. Of course I’ll be sitting in front of a fireplace with snow outside and a good Bourbon in hand but otherwise… still working on your stuff. Thanks to all that have made DragonThorn Leatherworks successful. Another year coming up with more stuff to do! Ho Ho Ho… DH
October 24, 2014 – Server Crash! (UPDATE) … All back up and normal now. Apologies to those that were trying to visit the site and communicate via email. DH
October 8, 2014 – A short bit about communicating with Dragonthorn Leatherworks; first, we are really busy. Custom leatherwork orders and inquiries continue to arrive in my inbox daily. I do my best to answer inquiries and all emails within 48 hours. If you have not heard from me within that time please send me a reminder or call me at 336-655-6233. If I do not answer the phone do please leave a voice mail. My goal is to offer the most innovative and highest quality custom leather products available. Alas, to do so I need to spend as much time in the shop as possible. Custom leatherwork is part art, part design and part high craftsmanship… it takes time to do it right. DH
September 22, 2014 – LOOKING FOR A “CUSTOM LEATHER WORK APPRENTICE”; OK, I admit it, I am so slammed. Shifted from doing all of this part time to full time. Thought that would give me the time to work on various projects and get them done quicker. Only problem is that I now have even more projects!? I know, good problem to have. Here’s the deal… I am located in the Piedmont Triad Area of North Carolina. The shop is specifically in Greensboro, NC. Need someone interested in learning the art of custom leathercraft. Part time, full time let’s talk. One heck of an opportunity for somebody. I’ve even been thinking about how we could do this long distance but have not come up with any decent ideas yet. If you are interested send me an email. You can reach me from the contact page from the menu bar or by clicking here. Lets chat. DH
January 19, 2014 – Not keeping up with the news as well as I’d like to. Many more products on the bench and have about caught up with the backlog. Now, don’t think that this means I have nothing to do. More inquiries and orders coming in weekly. Trying to find the proper balance between product development, the leatherwork itself and keeping up with the website. Have decided to spend the appropriate amount of time on the Facebook page and have setup a Google+ Business page as well. May look at LinkedIn, not sure yet. Can’t physically have a presence on every bit of social network out there but trying to get a bit better. We have started a new line called “Dragon Smoke”. It consists of a lighter weight and more minimal set of products. You can view the first piece here and a blog post about it and a few of my thoughts here. Stay tuned, I continue to ramp things up a bit… DH
December 25, 2013 – Happy Holidays everyone! I must admit that this little elf is pretty knackered! No time to take off, must work, work, work! More to do, projects to finish. I would be remiss however if I did not mention that for all of you that received some really cool stuff for Christmas you may want to consider a custom leather something to carry it in and made by that little old leathersmith…me! Well, nuff for now. Time to enjoy at least one day off! DH
December 14, 2013 – OK! New page is up and apparently working perfectly. For those of you that visit my site regularly you really shouldn’t see any changes except that the page should be faster and more robust now. Why is this important and why should I bother to tell you all of this? Well, you, the users, should experience a pleasant visit to any website. The page should load reasonably fast, be easy to navigate and get you where you click to go. It should also be indexed properly by Google, Bing and most other search engines so you can find the stuff you are looking for. Any leathersmith worth his salt really should spend the required time on his/her website for the benefit of the users (read “customers”). Many don’t and many just don’t have the time. I most certainly understand this but believe that the web interface that a customer uses should reflect the type of work that they can expect when contracting a custom leathersmith to create a personal, and daily usable, work of art. I do hope that you all agree as well. DH
November 18, 2013 – Now booked solid for Christmas orders! Santa’s little elf now spends all possible time in the shop completing orders already taken. If you have something that you would like to give that special someone for Christmas may I suggest a “Gift Certificate”? The advantage of gift certificates is that your gift recipient can be fully immersed in the custom leather experience! How much better does it get? You pay for the item and they get to be involved in the design of it! Read more about Dragonthorn Leatherworks Gift Certificates here. We are still taking orders for custom leather products but delivery before Christmas would be difficult to impossible at best. I hate it but we’ve gotten quite popular amongst those that appreciate the fine art of professional leathercrafting.
October 27,2013 – Flying full tilt now! I am sure that a portion of it is due to the holidays fast approaching but I also like to think that it’s as well due to my work being more broadly accepted. Custom work is tough to do as an ongoing business. Consistent communication on the web with prospective customers, consistent communication with current customers and their projects (I do a lot of that) and many many hours in the shop designing, creating and trying out new ideas is all part of the custom leatherwork experience (from the leathersmiths point of view). From the customers side I can only guess! Most are very impressed with the level of communication they receive from us. Some wonder if we are just sitting around partying (I can assure you we are not, although we do need a break from time to time).
October 16, 2013 – I would like this opportunity to better explain lead times. Currently we are sitting at 8-12 weeks and it has been pretty consistent at that for a couple of month now. An 8-12 week lead time does not mean that you will not receive your order timely, it simply means that we are really really busy! I’ve got 15 orders “on the bench” now. Meaning that Ive got 15 orders to work on. I normally work on 3-5 at a time with the others in the design and communication process. With all of the design work, communication, dyeing, gluing, waiting on things to dry, waiting on special leather orders, supplies or parts would drive a normal man nuts! Fortunately I am not “normal”. Not crazy, just not run of the mill. My daughter is learning the ropes now and I can assure you that she has a completely different understanding of what Dad does and why it can take a bit to finish a project once you’ve started.
October 15, 2013 – If I can make all of this work right (our webpage) I hope to keep you updated from time to time as to whats happening in the Dragonthorn Leatherwork shop. I would do this as a blog but my web creation software will only allow “pages” and not “posts” to show up at this location on my main page. Speaking of webpages, that is a completely different and time consuming part of the custom leather business. I figure if we don’t have a decent webpage that actually looks professional then it will be a bit harder to trust us with your custom project. I hope we are right and that you agree. Well, enough for now… back to the shop. DH