Our story begins in the small town of Rockwood Ontario, immediate neighbour to Acton, also known as “Leather Town”. During the 1950’s, the Halton Hills area was well known for the leather industry and it’s many quality glovers and tanneries. The surrounding area offered premium hides from horse and cow, all holding perfect natural qualities for crafting industrial gloves and apparel. Business couldn’t be better for the leather industry.
During this time, Marzo Glove had been a successful manufacturer, supplying hydro and welding industry workers with gloves/apparel. As the needle trade industry began to favour off shore pricing and importing brands, the local handcrafted products with a higher price became less desirable. Local tanneries and manufacturers began closing their doors. In 1996, Marzo Glove restructured and changed their name to Hides in Hand. With the introduction of Moose, Deer and Buffalo leathers, Hides in Hand began to design fashionable hand wear and focus less on industrial/protective wear. Shortly after, we were approached by a moccasin company from Northern Ontario. They were retiring their business and were interested in our company to continue on. They had learned of our shop, our leathers and our strong attitude towards everything being hand made on the premises. We were proud to be the new chosen ones to continue on with the beautiful craft of moccasin making. It was a strong learning experience that came naturally to us. After all, working with these leathers was already something that we were accustomed to. Being that these leathers were from the local hunters, we found it a perfect fit as we wanted to continue to create and add to our line of superior leather craftsmanship. This addition to our line quickly became a favorite with our customers, and we felt proud to continue the leather craftsmanship that was so historic and relevant to this area.
Today we are one of the few remaining leather manufacturers from this historic region. We thrive on creating 100% Canadian Handcrafted products using regulated hides collected from local hunters. Unlike many of our competitors, we do not use inferior substitution leathers or import any foreign materials used in our products. Hides in Hand is about keeping quality and tradition alive within the leather industry and protecting our resources and animals to maintain renewable resources.
"Helping my grandmother thread the needle is where it all started. Soon after that I would watch my mom sew us all frilly skirts and become inspired to do my own. The humming of the sewing machine is a sound I often heard in our home growing up. Throughout my life the sewing machine was never put away. It maintained a permanent spot, and the fabrics and patterns piled up.
My love for sewing and pattern making took a wild turn in the mid 90's when I was asked for my creative input and talent to be brought forth to an industrial leather manufacturing glove factory. The thought of it horribly bored of me, but I accepted this challenge. I soon learned of leathers and industrial sewing machines. I quickly fell in love with the look and feel of leather goods and decided to create a line based on our native Canadian leathers.
Moose, Deer, Elk, Bison, Buffalo and Caribou. These leathers had great properties, were washable and had undeniable strength performances. After watching the offshore import business take a chunk out of the industrial side of manufacturing, it was then I decided to create a line of my own. A truly Made in Canada, Made From Canada line of leather goods, apparel and accessories.
Canadian handcrafted leather goods is where I wanted to be. It started off with a single moosehide mitt and decades later, hundreds of items have been added to the line. Being a small Canadian business, independently owned can be a tough ride at times, but when the show is on the road, and literally thousands of people compliment and purchase my products, it all seems worthwhile. Mitts, gloves, slippers, moccasins, purses and handbags, and accessory items are only a few to mention. My inspiration never stops, as it is derived from my roots, surroundings, people, life and day-to-day routines."