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Sourcing Custom Leather Goods Hardware

March 10, 2016

Sourcing Custom Leather Goods Hardware

I've always been a firm believer that beauty can be seen in the details.  When designing my line of leather goods, I've always wanted to incorporate a little bit extra. From sourcing the finest quality leathers, and ensuring above all else that quality came first. 

When discussing this with other leather workers, they also remarked that they wished there was an economical way of sourcing custom hardware. 

With this in mind, I set out to find a custom hardware manufacturer that produced quality hardware that would work well with my product line.

I spent a good deal of time searching for a manufacturer domestically that could produce the rings snaps and button snaps that I was looking for. I found one, and it appeared they required a very large minimum order quantity (approximately 10,000). I sent them several emails to which they did not respond. I continued to search for a manufacturer in the US, but was unable to locate any others, 

This lead me to look at metal manufacturers in China. In my research I came across a number of potential leads. After narrowing it down to the top 3 that seemed to product a quality, well made product, I emailed them to see about order quanitites, and samples. 

Of the three that I emailed, all three responded that they would dispatch samples, and gave me initial pricing and minimum order quantities (pricing is quite negotiable in China as I would find out later). 

After waiting around 2-3 weeks I had all the samples in hand, and they were all more or less identical. I set them in scrap leather and tested all of them. I made a few keychains and set off to see which one was the best (fitment, finish quality, snap hold). 

After a couple weeks of testing, I had a winner. One of them had some worn finish and the other didn't hold well when snapped, so I had a clear winner. 

I then engaged the manufacturer of the best snap to produce them for me. They emailed back that their initial pricing was not correct, and that to build a long lasting relationship they would lower the pricing (I didn't even ask for a discount, but this was encouraging). 

They required a minium order of 2,000, which was more that I had initially wanted, but the pricing was quite good, so we proceeded. 

They asked for the custom logo that I wanted, and said that .jpg or .pdf was acceptable for the file. 

After sending the logo, they replied with a proof for me to critique. 

 Everything appeared as I intended, so I placed the order and waited. Approximately 5 days later, they sent me a photo of the finished product, and I paid for shipping. 

Shipping was albeit a bit expensive, but the snaps arrived here with 5 days of them shipping them out. 

Overall, I'm quite pleased with how they turned out, and believe they offer a nice custom detail to my product line. 

If your'e interested in knowing the manufacturer, I'll be happy to share the information via email. 

Finished Product: