Richard Archer was born and educated in Walsall, before starting work in the leather trade at the end of the hot summer of 1976. Richard left the leather trade after 6 years and having gained a City & Guild Distinction in leathergoods design and manufacture to travel around Europe and America. It was during this time that he met his Italian wife to be, Maddie.
After returning to the UK, Richard started working for the Garner Booth Group based at the Wilson & Tilt warehouse in Walsall looking after both fancy leathergoods and saddlery customers. Richard left the company after Garner Booth were taken over by Pittards and worked for 14 months for W.Pearce in Northampton selling specialist calf leathers to the leathergoods and gents shoe trade.
In 1989 Richard left Pearce and started his own company, working as a leather agent and importer. Using his knowledge of leathergoods and the benefit of an Italian speaking wife, the business grew quickly and the company became recognised for high quality leathers from not only Italy, but also Sweden, Germany and France and of course British tanneries
In 1998 Richard and Maddie expanded the company by buying Marcus Gear, an established company based in Walsall mostly supplying the local saddlery trade. Once again, calling on their knowledge of the finest European tanners, the company expanded quickly by supplying the best Italian and French Calf for seats, along with ‘Organic’ harness leather from Sweden and Vegetable Tanned leather Butts from Italy for Saddle Flaps. We also continue to work closely with a number of UK tanneries and dressers, particularly Thomas Ware of Bristol, who supply many of our heavy leathers.
In 2003 Richard and Maddie purchased the old, derelict Co-op Boot Factory building in Walsall and after 6 months of restoration work moved in. The company is still based here and now has clients not only all over the UK, including London’s West End, but also to many overseas countries.