The other day I was perusing isles in a well known department store and saw belts on sale for $12. I understand the nature and economics of low prices, but man did that one shock me. How can a belt be made, shipped, shelved and sold at that price?
Large scale manufacturers are getting really good at what they do. The supply chain is a science of economy cutting out unnecessary logistics and expenses. Adding to that, raw materials are bought by the container load so the price point is much lower than it would be if they were being bought in smaller quantities. We won't even get into the labor issues at some of the overseas manufacturing plants.
The world is seeing an uptick in small hand made businesses. There tends to be better value in a quality handmade item. You might pay a higher price, but in terms of longevity the cost can be lower. This picture shows a belt I just finished up. There are several hours of work into the tooling and finish as well as quality materials. I used a solid piece of 10 oz Herman Oak with a 3-4 oz liner on the inside. Materials alone are likely more expensive than most belts you'd see on store shelves.
The second belt is a brand name I found at a thrift store with a buckle that I'm going to repurpose. This belt had a really nice heaviness to it and waxy quality feel to the front. As you can see from the cross section, there are two layers of foam in the middle, one for strength and the other obviously intended to make the outer layer seem thicker and softer than it actually was. His has a stamp indicating it was made in Taiwan. From the picture you can see the front of the store bought belt is wrinkling due to the thinness of the front leather. The belt is made to appear like it was made from a quality harness leather. It looks great in the store but how long will it truly hold up your pants?
I thought I would make a list of a few benefits you get from buying a belt from Rocking J Leatherworks.
- You get to pick the materials. We can even work off the budget you have in mind, although it should be a bit more than $12.
- We can customize and personalize. You won't find a duplicate of a belt bought from us, they are all unique if only due to the character of the hide used. We can stamp initials, brands, company logos, sky is the limit.
-Custom leather makes great gifts. There is something to be said for a completely unique gift, especially if the the recipient gets to pick their own design and colors.
-We expect our leather to last for ever. Properly cared for your custom Rocking J gear will last a long time. You'll get tired of looking at it before it wears out. My dads old leather wallet was kept as a keepsake with his things when he passed away. I believe it was assembled and tooled at the State Prison by the inmates. If your leather does happen to break, send it back we'll fix it free of charge.
-Your money spent at a small business literally goes to put food on a family's table, not to fuel for a phallic rocket that carries high society into space.
If you've read this far, thank you for supporting small businesses and I hope this is helpful in your future belt buying decisions. Check out the link below for custom options on our Herman Oak leather belts. Happy belting!