What: Handmade leather accessories, such as watch bands, dog collars and leashes, cases and bags, wallets, belts and key chains.
Who: Kerri and Joel Mills grew up in small towns in South Carolina, meeting later as graphic design students at Winthrop University. Each of their families encouraged them to spend free time outside, building forts, playing in creeks and camping. They were taught from an early age how to hammer a nail and saw a piece of wood. Both had an innate curiosity in tinkering and making things. After they were married, they tried out many hobbies. They chose leather products because they liked the idea of making and selling high-quality, simply designed leather items for a fair price.
On the name: Choice Cuts Industries refers, say the Millses to old-school butchers, and is “a nod to the animals that provide the leather, and traditional craftsmanship.”
On starting a business: “It has to be something that lights your fire. If you are passionate about it, you can bet others will be too.”
Target audience: “We’ve found a great following within the watch collecting community. Generally, we think people who have a more practical aesthetic and appreciate quality materials and craftsmanship are drawn to our brand.”
Find more CLT Made goods by searching the Observer website for that title, or on the “CLT Made” Pinterest page.