In my recent quest to write more on the stories of strap makers for Microbrand Watch World, I stumbled upon another jewel on Facebook recently. His name is Mr. Daniel and he is the founder / owner of DBC Leather Co. which stands for his initial, Daniel Beckett Cheek. When I first run through some of his work, I thought to myself… this could just be another new strap maker in the market. But I decided to give it a try to learn more about him, and lucky enough, through days of communicating via Facebook (due to geographically situated and timezone difference), I found out more about his passion and work for strap making. Let’s start the article about DBC Leather Co.
DBC Leather Co. was born not too long ago, sometime in December 2016. It started off as a personal hobby before it turned into a business. Mr. Daniel had to work day & night to perfect his skills to achieve perfect consistency in all of his work before he officially sells them in early 2017.
The first few months of the sales was very slow because he was just a newbie in the market, but after months of hard work and self-approaching potential customers, he finally made a reputation of his own in this strap making industry. With existing client’s recommendation and referral, he now does less of “door to door sales approach” and he can put more effort in producing quality straps. One thing I learnt and understood from his passion is that he loves to give old things a new lease on life, which is about recycling sentimental values and bringing it closer to the owner.
He believes that most of us have a product we treasure a lot in our life but had to throw it away due to unforeseen reasons. Therefore, he has an idea and shared to his clients by allowing them to send him any leather product to be converted into a watch strap and that way, not only the product is recycled with a purpose but the sentimental value of it, is now on the client’s wrist everyday. One of his projects included converting a client’s Louis Vuitton (LV) wallet into a watch strap and check out the before, during and after process of it below:
ABOVE : The external and internal view of the wallet before it’s being recycled.
BELOW : The process and the final results of the recycled wallet.
The Story Of DBC Leather Co. by Mr. Daniel himself…
“My straps are different from the rest in that they are truly custom. I don’t just have a couple of thread colors and leathers to choose from. If a customer has a particular color combo in mind, I will go out of my way to make their dream strap. I’ll personally drive to the store to buy whatever thread color they’re after. If a customer wants to send me an old leather item to convert into a strap, I’m happy to do that for them. The sky is truly the limit.
I became interested in custom straps because I’m passionate about all things watch related! My first watch was was a Magrette Waterman and I wanted to buy a new strap for it. The idea of giving a watch a completely new look was just really exciting to me. I realized that exceptional quality straps are extremely pricey. I could get a custom strap for $50 but it just didn’t look as good as a $200-$250 strap. Then, it hit me. I was determined to master the art of strap making and sell them for less than similar quality straps. Are they “cheap”? No! However, they’re priced extremely well for the quality of materials and craftsmanship.
Making a strap requires an ultra high level of attention to detail. When I’m making a strap, it’s like nothing else exists! It’s an escape for me. I start by cutting the leather into strips, gluing, and folding them. Next, I sand, burnish, paint, and repaint the edges. Next, I use my chisel to add stitching holes and stitch by hand. At this point, the strap is almost done. All that’s left are the keepers, holes, and buckle.
I love every strap I make but a couple stand out as my favorites. First, I love making toad straps. The colors are so vibrant and the textures are so unique. I like to do minimal stitching on toad straps not to take away from the skin itself. However, one strap stands above the rest as my absolute favorite. This is the Louis Vuitton strap. A customer sent me an old Louis Vuitton wallet and told me to work my magic. He was absolutely thrilled with the result.
I’m based in Franklin, TN and make everything myself. I love what I do and plan on making straps forever. If you’re in the market for a custom strap, please feel free to contact me.”