Company History

Company History

The History of Moonshine Leather Co., Inc

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 Bill Dillon if he would teach him leather working and let him work in the store. Bill said he could not pay him, but offered him a traditional apprenticeship. The apprenticeship worked well for both of them. In 1992, the Kline’s purchased the store from the retiring owner and opened Moonshine Leather Company.

Mike wanted a business dedicated to fine USA hand crafted goods so he purchased the leather and other raw materials from USA companies. He had learned from Bill that 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 in Antique Alley, they 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 to help with the customers, and make belts. After a few years he found workers that he  trained to work on the industrial machines. In 2003 they opened their online store with the help of Mike's Uncle and Aunt, Russ and Sharon Whitmore, .

With the success of the store and the growing website business it was time 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 a store space opened up in the busiest part of Nashville. 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 them well so they decided to keep the store. With the help of longtime friend and leather worker Mikiko Kory they renamed 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 2010 after outgrowing the second floor workshop on Van Buren Street in Nashville, the workshop moved into a 900 square foot house on Jefferson Street,. This was followed by another move to a larger building just outside of town in 2014. 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 Moonshine Leather Co.  started out with in 1992 hold true today. They are dedicated to making guaranteed fine quality handmade leather goods.

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