Get the story behind the brand from the man himself.
About us? Are you sure that you really want to know? I mean, you could be mowing the lawn or steam cleaning the family pet or something.
Well, ok. I’ll start at the beginning.
A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far away (AKA Iowa)…
There was a young man who organized a small rock-and-roll band and decided it would be really cool if he made his own leather guitar strap. So, taking some of his ill-gotten monetary gain, he visited the closest Tandy Leather store, and in a very ignorant fashion, purchased many unnecessary supplies to make a guitar strap. Upon arriving home, he promptly spent the next half-day creating the masterpiece of all cruddy-looking guitar straps. After seeing it, the rhythm guitar and bass players decided that they needed straps of similar ilk. The young man made them the straps, collecting a most exorbitant fee…
And so it began.
Leather craft became part and fiber of the poor fellow. Realizing the futility of playing music with little talent, he proceeded to settle a multitude of overhanging legal problems (early 70’s, y’know) and plunged full-time into the business of making and selling happy little leather things to the unsuspecting public. Still plagued by a lack of talent, he promptly proceeded to the edge of bankruptcy. With his last few dollars, he went back to the Tandy store to buy some supplies and discovered a sign on the door that said: “MANAGER TRAINEE WANTED”.
The now very humble young man got the job, managed various Tandy Leather stores in Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa, and Missouri, for about 25 years, broke every sales volume record that had previously existed within the company, and thus created the largest volume retail/mail order store within the store chain. He also set up a small leather goods manufacturing operation to supply finished leather products to the tourist industry and became a major distributor for one of the largest leather goods manufacturers in the country. I should know–the young man was me!
In 1999, when Tandy announced that they would be closing all of their store locations, I counted all of my pennies and made an offer to buy the Tandy store that I had managed for 16 years. They accepted, and that’s when we made the transition from plain, old Tandy Leather of Springfield, MO., to the grand, glorious and absolutely wonderful…
Springfield Leather Company!
Since our humble origins, we’ve gotten nothing but bigger and better and are having lots of fun along the way. Now, along with myself and my wife Becky, the second generation has joined the team and is leading the way! Our daughter, Lindsey Darnell, bravely manages the office and accounts payable, and our son-in-law, Rusty Darnell, has courageously taken on the role of General Manager. He’s present for any questions you might have.
It is our mission to create a culture that engenders mutual trust, humility, and respect among all employees and customers. We work towards enabling our customers’ success by continuously providing superb customer service and support, product expertise, proper materials, and timely delivery of products.
We owe a huge thanks to our customers for joining us on this epic journey. We hope that you’ll continue to be a part of our legacy!