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Clayton & Crume

Ben Ashby

How was Clayton & Crume created?

Clayton & Crume was created over a few beers at 3AM in a Gatlinburg hot
tub. We had been sewing and creating for the better part of a year, and
decided to make it our livelihood. Three years later and we're growing
faster than ever.

What was the first product you made and/or sold?

As young men on a college budget, we wanted a belt that wasn’t on the
market--so we made it. We started with custom-designed canvas belts for the
collegiate lifestyle, constructed entirely in our dorm room workshop. As we
began to focus on developing solid leather goods, we fell in love with the
challenge of offering beautiful, durable goods at an honest price.

How do you decide on products?

Each product has been created to fulfill needs that have arisen in our own
lives. The plan for the future, after overwhelming request, is to add more
lifestyle goods-- particularly for women. Leather clutches, totes and
duffels are on the immediate horizon. Last week we took a 10-day trip and
made ourselves prototype leather dopp kits. Those will be up on the site
within a week, and they're killer.

How do you find new ideas for products?

Our mission is to create possessions we can use for the rest of our lives,
and in that endeavor, the ideas are never ending. Every worn-out item in
our lives is an opportunity to reinvent and create anew, C&C style.

Do you create collaborative products with brands you work with?

Our dream is to collaborate with an iconic, time-tested brand. Custom belts
with Pendleton Wool or Harris Tweed would be insane. Maybe one day.

What inspires Clayton & Crume?

Good products tell stories, and we’re inspired by the stories our products
will tell after decades of use by those we’ve created them for.

What's your favorite thing about supporting American makers?

Makers don't work for a paycheck, rather, their work is the expression
of a lifelong passion to create. We'll always support a maker, American or
otherwise, who puts his/her name on the product as a testament of passion
and quality.

What's been your biggest challenge?

Our biggest challenge is probably the same as any other maker-- scaling
our operation. Every item is made by hand in our 300sf workshop, and there
are only so many hours in a day to create. We'll likely never be the brand
with 100 retail shops and global distribution, but that's the way we like
it. We know who we are and plan to stay that way-- small and dedicated to
our craft.

Clayton & Crume