MR Magazine

by Will Leather Goods Creative Team May 09, 2017

WILL LEATHER GOODS HAS PASSION, PURPOSE AND A NEW BUSINESS MODEL

 

In Features by Karen Alberg Grossman

Will Leather

BILL ADLER (FAR LEFT) WITH FAMILY

Bill Adler is a man with a mission. During his career as an actor (in film, theater, and television), a writers’ strike in Hollywood prompted a back-up career: selling belts on the Venice Beach boardwalk. As luck would have it, one of his beach customers was a buyer from Broadway Department Stores who asked Adler if he could possibly make 5,000 of the colorful webbed belts that were becoming a beach sensation. And thus a business was born.

Adler’s vision in 1981 was to create a brand that was authentic, ethical, and inspired. Soon, three workers in a garage evolved to 150 employees (Bill did design and sales, while his wife Sandy headed operations). Today, after selling Billy Belts and launching Will Leather Goods, the business is still a family affair, with Will’s son and daughter actively involved.

Once sourced entirely in America, the company now nurtures small factories around the world (e.g. Mexico, South America, Japan). In addition to crafting unique fashion leather goods, they are famous for their “Give Will” initiative, inspiring disadvantaged children by donating tools they need for success (packaged in a super cool Will backpack, of course!) In fact, through this program, 50,000 school children have received much-needed school supplies and inspiration to follow their dreams.

 

Will Leather

The changing nature of retail, however, has itself inspired a new business model. “After 35 years in the wholesale business, with much of the market going direct to consumer, I decided we needed our own stores. (It’s a natural transition for me because of my retail roots: my grandfather owned a department store; my father was a buyer at Saks in Detroit.),” says Adler. “We’ve downsized our wholesale accounts to about 200 doors from 750. We now have eight Will Leather Goods stores that feel more like old school leather workshops (even the smell!) than traditional boutiques. We believe that every one of our products has a story so we teach our associates to be great storytellers. We hire people who are energetic and gregarious and they become leather experts, teaching the art of leather craftsmanship, selling leather goods as luxury products to last a lifetime (we repair/restore all purchases). Our new store in Austin is a good example of our vision: there’s a big old cow in front of the store, we have events every weekend (usually with a wine or beer sponsor), we have artisans tooling and painting leather out on the sidewalk. Real estate people are offering us good deals because we’re seen as a “sparkle” brand: customers are engaged in the store experience and they’re having fun.

“Retailers can’t just complain about slow business,” Adler asserts. “We have to do everything right: be authentic, give back, become omni-channel, be creative, have more frequent (monthly) releases timed to gift-giving holidays. As retailers, we have to totally reinvent ourselves which takes a lot of work and a lot of money but it’s the only option.”

In addition to his own stores, Adler is also planing to collaborate with top luxury retailers for Will Leather Goods shops within their stores. For information on this, or to recommend a school with kids in need for their Give Will initiative, check out willleathergoods.com.

 

Will Leather

Will Leather Goods Creative Team



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Join the Family

Join the Family

Our lifetime guarantee is a warranty against defects in materials (leather and hardware such as snaps, zippers, buckles, rivets, etc.) and workmanship. Our leather, as with all natural materials, will occasionally have unique characteristics such as: small scars, creases and variations in the color and are not considered defects. Validated warranty repairs are repaired or replaced at no charge.

Due to the nature of leather and vintage materials our warranty does not cover natural wear and tear from daily love. Worn edges or corners, natural fading and softening of materials is an expected occurrence.  We guarantee the foundation of our product will hold your belongings safely. We find that patches and natural wear are a part of the story that unfolds as your product grows with you. One of a kind, Vintage and Found product may need to be patched or stitch due to the nature of vintage material. We charge between $35 and $75 depending on natural wear and tear or can recommend a local cobbler to expedite repair.

Exclusions and Limitations include shoes, hats, furniture, watches, key chains, jewelry, clothing, home goods, vintage, one-of-a-kind, and FINAL SALE merchandise.

Maintain your favorite leather pieces regularly to ensure soft and supple leather. Leather can be cleaned and restored with a regimen of leather care products designed to clean, condition and protect. Leather Care can help maintain your product longer. Please see our Leather Care page for more information. We recommend conditioning your leather at a minimum of every 6 months. Learn more about how to care for your leather.

If you are in a dryer (hot or cold) climate please condition your product as soon as it feels less supple, dull or faded. Vegetable tanned leather when conditioned should feel slightly oiled and look rich. Similar to the nature of skin it needs to be moisturized as soon as it feels dry. We charge $25 + shipping for conditioning or head to a store for onsite conditioning for Free and the full Will Leather Goods experience.

If you would like to explore a non-warranty repair, please review our options for Expert Repairs for Your Product.

Warranty Exclusions and Limitations
Any warranty claims associated with the below list are not considered manufacture defects and are not covered within our Lifetime Guarantee policy. At the discretion of Will Leather Goods, a fee may be incurred for repair.

Any warranty claims associated with the below list of merchandise categories do not fall within our Lifetime Guarantee policy.

1 Year Limited Warranty Exemptions

The following have a limited 1 year warranty that is valid from the date of purchase. At the discretion of Will Leather Goods, a fee may be incurred to the user to repair the merchandise if the warranty claims does not fall within the 1 year timeframe.

All Warranty Repair requests must be processed and validated by our Warranty Team.

FAQS

Have your receipt?
Please include it in your email request for return or bring it with you to any of our stores. This way we can reimburse your original purchase price to either your original method of payment or as a merchandise credit, or use it to help exchange your item.

Special Conditions
If you purchased Will Leather Goods merchandise from one of our Valued Retailers, please contact them directly to facilitate a return or exchange.

To help protect our customers and make sure every return or exchange is dealt with fairly, we reserve the right to not refund the following,
-Will Leather Goods is not responsible for any missing packages or COD
-Customer is responsible for shipping cost
-We reserve the right to refuse delivery of packages received without a Return Authorization 
-All return and exchange requests must be received within 30 days of purchase either online or from our Will Leather Goods retail locations.
-Proof of purchase is required to validate a return or exchange
-If you purchased an item from our sale page, these items are eligible for exchange or store credit only, unless marked FINAL SALE online. SAMPLE SALE product is FINAL SALE
-All returned merchandise must be in new, unworn, and original condition
-We have the right to charge a restocking fee of 15%, if product is not returned in original condition.
-Monogrammed merchandise is not eligible for a refund or exchange. All sales are final.
-Items that were not purchased directly from Will Leather Goods (such as items purchased at thrift stores, online sellers or garage sales)
-Items with a missing label or an item that has been defaced
-On rare occasions, based on the nature of prior transactions
-Without a receipt and a valid ID in our stores
-Items that have been soiled or contaminated, until they have been cleaned
-Items lost or damaged due to fire, flood or natural disaster


Product Care Information

We highly recommend using leather care treatment to maintain and preserve your leather products: Product Care

Our wax coated canvas is coated with paraffin which makes this water-resistant, but not waterproof. If your canvas product gets wet, we recommend you let it air dry thoroughly in a warm dry place. If at any time your canvas has scratches or marks, these can typically be reduced by using a hair dryer on medium heat to help the wax soften and absorb back into the canvas.

By purchasing products from Will Leather Goods you agree to the terms in our Lifetime Warranty. Will Leather Goods reserves to right to alter, edit or cancel our Lifetime Warranty without notice.

The general rule of thumb for our belts is to go up two sizes from your pants size. Please note that sizing may vary depending on the cut and brand of pants.

Looking to try it out beforehand? Come into a Will store near you for "custom fitting"!
Pant Size Men's Size Women's Size
26 28 XS
28 30 XS/S
30 32 S
32 34 M
34 36 L
36 38 XL
38 40 XL
40 42 -
42 44 -
Still not sure about your size? Just contact us and we'd be happy to help you out!
The sizes are determined by buckling the collar and measuring the inside circumference.
Small Medium
11" (1st Hole) 15.5" (1st Hole)
9.75" (3rd Hole) 14" (3rd Hole)
8" (5th Hole) 12.5" (5th Hole)
Large X-Large
20" (1st Hole) 23.75" (1st Hole)
18.25" (3rd Hole) 22" (3rd Hole)
17" (5th Hole) 19.75" (5th Hole)

The monogram has existed since 350 B.C., but came into popularity as steam ships started to cross the Atlantic to help identify the trunks and luggage of the travelers. Today, the monogram remains a functional identifier, while also lending personal style to your leather goods.

Personalize your product or gift with a monogram in either our small 1/4" font or our large 1/2" font. We use traditional heat stamping to deboss into our vegetable tanned leather.

All-in-One Leather Solution

Protect your investment piece with our specially-formulated All-In-One Leather Solution to ensure the lifetime of your leather collection. Handcrafted by expert artisans all over the world, our leather goods deserve to be treated with care.


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Mink Oil Crème

We use only the best leather made to stand the test of time. Handcrafted by expert artisans all over the world, our leather goods deserve to be treated with care. Protect your investment piece with our Mink Oil Crème to ensure the lifetime of your leather collection.


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Two Percent Details
Partner Details

Starting in summer 2018, Will Leather Goods is investing 2% of every Will Leather Goods purchase to give kids in America a bag to carry their dreams – with an ambitious goal of donating 100,000 backpacks to kids across America by 2025.

See All the Details