James is a musician and maker of bespoke leather goods that celebrate traditional design. His work can be seen on country stars like Kacey Musgraves and Margo Price, and on display in the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, TN.
"My mom was always into antiques, she still is. As a kid, I loved going with her to antique markets and fairs, flea markets and auctions, and I still do. The craftsmanship of an old box with dovetail joints, the creak of a rocking chair, and hand carved detail in an antique headboard. I would occasionally find something from the west, an old saddle or a pair of boots. I remember running my fingers over all of the cuts in the leather, the stamps and stitches. That's where it all began for me.
It amazes me that people took that much time and pride in their work. They paid so much attention to quality and detail, doing it all by hand with simple tools. I think we're all getting too quick to settle for lesser quality because we're impatient. We are forgetting what it means to be American-made. To be hand-made. There is a community of people crafting beautiful things here. People are picking up trades of the past, learning, using old tools and carrying on where other generations left off.
If no ones gonna pass the torch, it's up to us to pick it up and keep the flame from burning out. It's a movement I'm proud to be a part of."