History

CT Music Straps Inc. / Designer Leatherworks is a result of over 40 years of experience in art and leather crafting, combined with many years of designing and manufacturing experience. View a few examples and Continue reading about Designer Leatherworks and the history of how we began.

CT Music Straps History: It all Began with a Book…

Designer Leatherworks History began with the preparation for the origin of CT Music Straps. In 1976, I stumbled across a high school library craft book and read a chapter on making western style, fast draw leather gun holsters. Tandy Leather Company in Fort Worth, TX was listed as a resource. After reading it several times, I ordered supplies and began to learn the hands-on art of leather craft.

An Honest Mistake: An Honest Day’s Work

A Tandy Leather dealer opened up in my hometown and I stopped in to buy materials. I noticed after checkout I received too much change. However, I brought it to the attention of the owner, who thanked me. He also informed me that he was looking for an honest person to mind the store when he had to be out, so I accepted the position. I learned a number of things about leather crafting while at that store – even studied some techniques I was performing incorrectly.

Almost a Decade in the Making…

It was not until the mid 80’s before I built a gun holster, just like the one I read in the book.  Over the years, I crafted a number of leather goods, including gun holsters and purses, on the side, while working in manufacturing, design, and engineering fields.

A Hobby Turned Business…

Besides my arts and crafts, I enjoy playing music. In addition, I grew up singing and playing instruments with family in churches and community functions. In 2000-2003 while attending live music events, I discussed the concept of well-fitting, designer instrument straps with a number of artists. Grand Ole Opry performers Rhonda Vincent and The Isaacs were very interested in that concept. As a result, they became my first clients. Thereafter, I incorporated CT Music Straps in 2004.

Artists Crafting for Artists

Over the years, I collaborated with designers, apprentices and interns. Some I mentored and contributed their own ideas and skills to our company. Our Clients range from Bluegrass, Gospel, Traditional Country, Classic Rock, to the styles of Norah Jones.

Continuing the Journey

Designer Leatherworks is excited to share their work. From the leather gun holster that inspired the journey into the leathercraft, to making music and servicing recording artists with quality instrument gear. Of the many musicians I sold straps to, I never had the opportunity to discuss straps with the Bluegrass Legend, Dr. Ralph Stanley. Though, I count it a privilege to have met him in person while he lived.

Most recently I have considered returning back to some of the accessories such as belts, wallets, and bags. I also began a collaboration with Montana-based 48 North Designs which produces leather earrings and bracelets. These can be seen on our homepage and we are featuring them in the near future for our e-commerce shop.