Bryan Wildt is building a new product at his leather shop in Benton, AR -- quality, carefully made leather tote bags and leather purses.
After he moved his leather business from Star City to Benton in September, Bryan wanted to
find additional products to add to the retail store. His background includes saddle making and repair for over twenty years, along with shoes, belts, billfolds, holsters, and knife sheathes. But due to the leather business being apart of his family for so long, he’d been paying attention. “I saw my mom repair thousands of purses over the years,” Bryan shared. “We have this immense background in repair work. That background told me what I needed to do to make a good bag. I saw the weak spots and I saw what goes wrong with bags.”
Leather work is often reliant on the current economic state, but belts and bags are always in
demand. And they aren’t always made well. The first thing that will always fail or need repair on purses and tote bags are the handles. “They rip or they tear or they pull away from the bag,” Bryan explained. “Sometimes, bag makers will use a decent piece of leather to make the bag, but when it comes to the handle, they cut quality. We use the same leather.”
And it’s the same sort of leather Wildt uses to make his other products. “It’s a high grade of
English bridle leather,” Wildt explained. “We just use premium pieces of leather. We buy good leather and we cut from the right part of the hide.”
Wildt uses a combination of tools, machinery, and sewing techniques to build his products, to
ensure the bags will last. The handles are reinforced with hand sewing. Wildt added, “We’re
putting handles on these that will just last for years.”
Come see the bags! Wildt Leather is eight blocks from Harps Food, and five minutes off of exit 121. For those using a navigation system, the store can be found at 3434 A Salem Road, Benton, AR. The hours are 10 am to 6 pm, Monday through Friday or on Saturdays by appointment. The store is closed on Sunday.