ABOUT Daniel D. Jones company


My wife and I started working in leather crafts in the town of Tullahoma, TN, in 1973.  First, it was a hobby, and then grew into a business with the establishment of our first store, Highland Handicrafts.  That was followed by Leather 'n' Things, which was recognized by the Tennessee Arts Commission.  


During the mid-1970’s we became members of the Tennessee Artist's and Craftsmen's Association, and the Northeast Alabama Craftsmen's Association.  We showed and sold our work at several art and craft shows, Thresherman's Bees, Mule Days, Renaissance festivals, art shows, and craft fairs in Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, and one in Kansas.


Art & Craft show participation during the ‘70s


TN: Tullahoma, Manchester, Adams, Shelbyville, McMinnville, Monteagle, Crossville, Sewanee, Franklin, Gatlinburg, Louden, Nashville, Chattanooga, Memphis, and others.  

KY: Land between the Lakes.  

GA: Dalton and others.  

FL: Tampa, Fort Pierce, and Naples.  

AL: Horse Pens 40 at Steele, Huntsville, and others.  

KS: Wichita


Several shows in the Southeast awarded prizes for our designs of handbags and hats, a few shows more than once.


A sabbatical… of sorts


For the following 29 years, I worked at various jobs in the Information Technology arena, from computer operations to technology architecture.  As with my craft, I threw myself into the effort, and my creative efforts were almost entirely consumed in getting the best from computers and technology teams.   Retirement returned the time for me to devote to my more artistic efforts, and thus my third Craft company is now formed.


About our Belts

(What the belts are made of, and how they are made)

All of my hand-tooled, hand-carved, or embossed belts are made of vegetable-tanned American made Full Grain cowhide tooling leather.  I strive to find the best leathers available that meet these criteria.  Very few American manufacturers of this type of leather still exist.  I seek to honor the tanner's craft by enhancing the character of their leathers through my work.

All tooled or embossed products that I make are meticulously crafted. 

  • I start the belt and strap goods with sides, backs, dossetts, or bends of cowhide, prepared to our specifications for belt leathers. 
  • After evaluating the original piece, I manually cut each to different belt widths, eliminating any significant flaws from the cowhide.  The product at this point is called a blank. 
  • All blanks are then inspected for flaws and thickness, then beveled on all four edges. 
    • Those blanks where I find flaws are re-cut to eliminate the bad part, and they become the raw stock for shorter-length strap goods like cuffs and hair ornaments. 
    • I then split the blanks that are too thick to make a comfortable belt to an appropriate, uniform thickness for the width of the blank.  These are suitable for either hand-tooling or embossing in the next step.
  • The next stage of making the belt is the tooling or decoration of the blank, whether it is embossed or hand-tooled.  This is the part that requires the greatest caution and precision.  Mistakes at this point reduce the quality, at best, and destroy the blank, at worst.
  • After drying, each tooled belt is hand oiled with essential leather oil compounds to preserve and condition the leather, then set aside to fully absorb the oils into the strap.
  • Hand-dyeing and/or hand-antiquing is the next process using the best leather dyes and antique finishes available.  Lots of caution here, since the same risk exists here as in tooling. 
    • Occasionally, this process reveals surface flaws that were not visible in previous inspections.  When this happens, I decide whether the flaw warrants changing the decorated strap from a belt into shorter goods like cuffs, headbands, or hair ornaments.  If it is not a serious flaw, then I continue, but mark the strap “SD” to go into my “Scratch and Dent” sales.
  • All edges are burnished at this point to provide smooth, well-formed, smooth-sliding, and comfortable edges.  (This quality-critical step is often ignored by, or even unknown to some folks who make belts.) 
  • After dyeing and edging, each product is hand-rubbed to clean residual dye solids, individually sealed with flexible acrylic finish or flexible leather lacquer to preserve the appearance and resist dirt, then hand-waxed and buffed to a lustrous finish.
  • The final step is to form the buckle end of the belt by hand punching a buckle hole and installing snaps or other hardware to complete the belt.

Additional processes are required to finish the articles made from culled straps in the belt-making process.


Each step of the process is important to the finished product, its beauty, ruggedness, and longevity.  Shortcuts reduce those aspects of a quality product.  I will not sacrifice quality by taking shortcuts or using inferior materials.

I ardently believe these things …

Shortcuts are for footpaths, not for processes.

The quality of a product reflects directly on the values of the producer.

The quality of each human interaction reflects directly on the character of the actor.

Items are valuable only if they perform as expected and they last.

No business transaction is successful unless both the seller and the buyer are satisfied with the product exchanged, and the value received.