About this project
A huge thank you to all who backed us and helped us along the way!
We're so grateful for all the support from friends and family in this endeavor and couldn't be where we are without such a great network of customers and friends. Thank you all!
~ Chad and Mike, Craft and Lore
"When we build, let us think that we build forever...
Let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for; and let us think, as we lay stone on stone, that a time is to come when those stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, “See! This our father did for us.” ~ John Ruskin
Mountain Belt Specs
- 13oz (.25") Thick American Harness Leather from Hermann Oak in St. Louis. It might be the thickest belt to hit Kickstarter yet.
- Traditional Harness just like your grandfather used. Stuffed in drums with heavy tallow for exceptional weather wear, thickness, and durability in the field.
- Strap Width Options include 1.5" and 1.75".
- Colors include Dark Brown and Russet**
- Buckle Hardware is solid brass with antique brass or matte nickle finish.
- The billet end of the belt has 7 holes spaced by 1" on hole center.
- It is 6.5" from the center hole to the tip of the belt tongue.
- See IMPORTANT sizing chart below.
** Due to the nature of drum dyed leather, color may not exactly match the photographed color. But they will always be very close. Expect your leather belt to darken and patina with age and wear.
I’ve been hand crafting the Mountain Belt for over a couple years now.
My name is Chad Von Lind and I’m the proprietor of Craft and Lore, a small design-build workshop in Coeur d’Alene City, North Idaho.
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I always enjoy the feedback from folks when they pick this belt up. Because it was my same response when I first handled a fresh cut strap from this American tanned harness leather. “Now this is a real belt”.
Before Craft and Lore existed, I spent a year working in the North Dakota oilfields as a pump operator. During my down time, I was building belts for oilfield truckers who were blowing through their cheap belts every month. It wasn’t the design of the belts that was bad, it was the materials. A thing is only as good as the material it’s made out of. But a thing will only perform as good as it’s designed. I wasn’t looking to redesign the modern idea of a belt when I built the first Mountain Belt. I was just looking for the best possible material to build it with. Hot-stuffed harness leather to withstand the elements, and solid brass hardware to keep that classic look.
The Leather and Cut
I began my search for the toughest harness leather that I could find and It was from a tack supply shop in Western Montana that I first discovered Hermann Oak’s Old World harness leather. It was exactly what I had been looking for, and I still haven’t run across anything that stacks up against it. The Hermann Oak tannery has been around since 1881 in St Louis Missouri. They’re a family run operation, and it's been great dealing with the fine folks at Hermann Oak.
Shown below is a quality leather belt that I've worn for 15 years stacked on top of the Mountain Belt. The top belt is considered a high grade thick leather belt.
That Patina Though
Solid Brass Keyhook
We're offering an optional solid brass keyhook as a classy add-on accessory to go with your Mountain Belt reward.
IMPORTANT -- We build the Mountain Belt based on your true waist size, not your pant size. There's usually about a 5 inch difference between your pant size and your true waist size. Follow this chart!
We cannot guarantee that you'll land on the center hole of your Mountain Belt, but we typically build it to land center if you provide a good measurement. I'll be stressing the size importance in the final survey after the campaign ends.
Growing the Operation
Craft and Lore was founded by Chad Von Lind on January 1st 2014 and since then the brand has steadily grown. Michael Miles joined the team near the end of 2015 and in September of 2016 Craft and Lore moved from a shared warehouse and opened a Brick and Mortar workshop and retail store in north Coeur d'Alene City.
As we continue to sell more and more belts, I’m looking to produce them faster with the help of expensive equipment. With a faster production time, I can offer these belts at a better price which makes them more attainable to many folks who work hard and need a tough belt to keep up with them. I’m asking for your backing, and in return I’m knocking $40 bucks off of what I currently sell the Mountain Belt for. With a decent bulk order from all of you backers, I'll have the funds necessary to purchase quality American made machinery that will greatly improve our belt building efficiency.
To give you an idea on the cost of the equipment we're looking to buy, here's a list of the big ticket items we need your help paying for.
EZ Strap Edger $1,300 - This quickly bevels the edges of the belt. We've been using a hand tool as seen in the video for the past couple of years.
Self Centering Punch $2,300 - This awesome machine will punch all holes needed as well as cut the end shape for both the buckle and the billet ends of a belt. We've been using a template and marking the hole punch locations and belt cuts.
Hand Operated Strap Cutter $1,900 - This machine will allow us to rip a whole side of leather into straps in a matter of a few minutes. That'll save us hours of painstakingly hand pulling each strap from the side. It'll also help us prevent human error and waste expensive leather from goofed strap cuts.
Thanks for your support, and for putting money toward American products and American jobs.
Mountain Belt Reviews
Best in Belts 2014, Badger and Blade
"There's something comforting about knowing the face and name of the craftsman making something for you. An item made to order; however, is particularly whimsical and takes it one step further. Your soon to be special item isn't just sitting on a shelf waiting to be ordered, but instead, exists as raw materials, awaiting your order and a skilled craftsman's touch." Read more at Badger and Blade
These are a few customer reviews picked out from our Mountain Belt product page. See what 50+ reviewers have to say about the Mountain Belt.
Delivery Dates & Expectations
I'd rather under promise and over deliver, so I set the delivery date to June even though I believe we'll be shipping out before then. My expectation of the time line is based on how long Hermann Oak typically takes to send me an order of hides. I've only had one speed bump with them in the past, when they struggled in dying the dark brown variant of this leather, and had ended up failing 2 attempts. Hopefully that won't be the case, and that we'll be delivering in May!
I'd rather set your expectations low, even if it may cost me backers who are unwilling to wait. Backers with smashed hopes and dreams can be a bit rough in the comments department here, and I care very much for good customer service and reputation of my word. Please know that there is risk in backing a Kickstarter, and impossible to predict delays are a very real thing. My promise is that there will be constant communication and replies to every backer comment and message requesting information.
Shipping Domestic and International
Domestic rewards are shipped via USPS Priority Mail. This means the shipment is well tracked, insured and arrives in 2-3 days depending on how far from Idaho your state is.
International shipments vary depending on your reward. I'm willing to ship the Brass Keyhooks by USPS First Class. This gets a great shipping price, but lacks in tracking and security. If one is lost in the mail, it isn't too devastating to us. The USPS hands off First Class packages to the carrier of other countries, and depending on your country's quality of mail system, the package has a slight risk of disappearing. Mountain Belt rewards ship USPS Priority Mail. This way USPS is responsible for the entire delivery process, insures the package and has a much lower risk of loss. Unfortunately, this fetches a higher shipping cost, but the security is worth it for both our sake. Australia is going to take the biggest hit on this, since shipments down under are extremely expensive. Sorry mates :(
Risks and challenges
With my workshop being in business for over 3 years, and producing the Mountain Belt over 2 years, I have a tried and true quality belt as well as great working relationships and history with my suppliers. The only potential risk is not meeting deadlines due to an issue with material delivery. Hiccups can always occur in shipping or even in the tanning process. Constant communication with backers and previous Kickstarter campaign experience should make this campaign a breeze, and I hope that all backers are understanding of the risks involved with backing any Kickstarter campaign, and have the utmost patience for any unforeseen speed bumps that appear. I can only guarantee that you will be happy with your belt, and that you will receive your reward no matter how many potential setbacks occur.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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