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Fred Hawkins began leathercrafting in High School in 1950.  He made leather items for friends and special customers for the next three years.  Shortly after beginning his teaching/coaching career, several of his students learned of his leathercrafting skills and asked him to teach them.  During this time, Fred met Jim Brister, a world champion team roper, who asked Fred to make a saddle for him.  As a result, Fred received several more orders for saddles.

Fred's early years of leatherwork consisted of hand carved items.  By the late 60's and early 70's, leather work had expanded to include leather stamping and painted items.  Fred began his craft show career in the early 70's.  He is well known across the Midwest as "the Leatherman".

Fred retired from Education in 1996 and continued doing craft shows.  In 1999, Tandy Leather announced the closing of their St. Louis store.  Fred approached them, made an offer, purchased the store and became a Distributor.  The store became Hawkins Handcrafted Leather.  Fred successfully operated the store for five years.  One major difference in his store was that Fred made custom leather items for customers who were not leathercrafters.

In 2004, The Leather Factory bought out Tandy Leather and became Tandy Leather Factory.  They approached Fred and purchased the store from him.  Since their primary client is the leathercrafter and they do not make and sell custom finished items, they refer these customers to Fred.

Fred continues to make custom leather items and going to craft shows.  He has never made an item which was returned from an unhappy customer and many are repeat customers.  Customers have worn or used their items for well over 10 years.  We carry a money back guarantee if you are unhappy with your purchase.