Classic Craftsmanship from Merchant Leather

Photos courtesy Dan Horan

Dan Horan, an amateur craftsman who works as a creative director at a local branding agency, was unhappy with the harsh products used to create finishes on leather bags. So he developed his own. Each item in his Merchant Leather product line is coated in natural ingredients such as olive oil, lanolin, jojoba oil, and beeswax, which give a natural finish and protective moisturizer to the leather. 

The vegetable-tanned leather used in Merchant Leather’s products is sourced from two U.S. tanneries before it comes to Minnesota to be cut and sewn by Horan in a spare bedroom of his Golden Valley home. His briefcases, satchels, tote bags, cross-body bags, and small accessories such as key chains, belts, and even dog collars are hand-stitched with waxed linen thread on a made-to-order basis with custom options and brass hardware. “Hand-stitching offers better control, durability and a unique, rustic look,” he explains. •