Owners Mike and Missy Kline both grew up in the artist colony of Nashville Indiana surrounded by folks whose livelihood was creating fine art and handcrafts. Fascinated by a hand crafted leather store in town, Mike asked the owner if he could be an apprentice. The young couple hoped to get married and buy the leather store one day. After years of hard work, in1992, the Kline’s purchased the store from the retiring owner and opened Moonshine Leather Company.
The newlyweds wanted a business dedicated to fine USA hand crafted goods so they purchased the leather and other raw materials from USA companies. The Kline’s decided the strength and longevity gained from using "all" leather construction and quality brass hardware, although more costly, would allow them to guarantee their work. They would make any repairs free of charge for the life of the leather. With that quality and dedication, Moonshine Leather Co. developed an avid customer base.
In their small shop off the main drag in Antique Alley, the Kline’s made such items as handbags, wallets, pouches, and coin purses. They set up a studio at their home where they cut and finished their own leather belts. They also sold leather and leather working tools and supplies to other artisans in the area.
As the business grew Moonshine Leather Co. hired its first employees. Clerks came first, to help with the customers and then Mike found home sewers whom he trained to work on the industrial machines. Seeking more income and exposure to grow their business, Mike traveled to fine art and craft shows while Missy looked after the store and their growing young family. In 2003, realizing the marketing potential of the internet, they opened their online store, www.moonshineleather.com .
With the success of the store and the growing website business the Kline’s decided it was time to quit traveling to shows and open a new store. They needed a location whose main season was opposite the popular fall season in Indiana. They had visited Arizona years earlier and remembered an intriguing small artist town. In 2005 they opened their second store, Altai Leather Designs in Jerome Arizona.
After 14 years in business, the couple finally received a call that one of the stores on the major thoroughfare in Nashville was available and they had first option. Having just opened their second store the previous year the timing was not great, but knowing if they passed it up they may not get another chance, so in 2006 they moved Moonshine Leather Co. to Van Buren Street.
The old location in Antique Alley had served the Kline’s well so they decided to keep the store. They brought in a partner and named the shop K. Bellum Leather Goods. They wanted each store to be unique so K. Bellum remains the supplier of leather and supplies. They sell their own private label designs and offer products from other USA leather goods manufactures. Moonshine Leather Company became the primary location for the company’s handcrafted goods.
In 2012 the company opened its first off site manufacturing facility. Moonshine Leather Company incorporated in 2008. It supplies leather goods to all three brick and mortar stores and the online store. They offer private label manufacturing and wholesale. With the help of a tremendous crew of store & production managers, clerks, sewers, machinists, ecommerce and office staff, Moonshine Leather Co., Inc is a thriving “Made in the USA” small business. The same principles that Mike and Missy Kline started out with hold true today. They are dedicated to making guaranteed fine quality handmade leather goods.