Thomas Bates, designers and manufacturers of belts, bags and accessories, celebrate their 25th Anniversary and recently attended their 40th Outdoor Retailer Show. Family owned and operated, Thomas Bates is best known for its quality leather products and patented Visiontree® web belts.
The brand first launched in 1989 in East Haddam, Connecticut, with a focus on manufacturing leather belts in the U.S. and overseas. In 2000, the company purchased a 39-year old leather goods factory in Haverhill, MA, where they still today manufacturer the bulk of their product.
The company prides itself on 70% of their business being hand or machine crafted in their factory in Haverhill and 30% with long-term partnerships with factories overseas. Thomas Bates himself, is the vision behind the brand and is skillfully adept as all facets from design development to manufacturing to marketing and sales.
The brand holds numerous patents including a Lockbox® polycarbonate buckle for nylon belts developed in 1993 and their Visiontree® Digital Image Graphics developed in 2000. In addition, the brand holds the license since 2009 for Woolrich belts and wallets and 2011 for the Boys Scout of America.
In 2013, Thomas Bates production tripled output for the brand and customer contracts, and on-line sales increased by 300%. The company also established Thomas Bates Asia in Hong Kong where they sell Thomas Bates Made in the USA product direct to Asian market on the internet.
About Thomas Bates:
Thomas Bates specializes in the design and manufacturing of fine belts, bags and accessories for the whole family, including pets, using a variety of materials from leather to sailcloth. The products are made in Haverhill, MA; Bates Accessories, Inc. is headquartered in Greenland, NH, and was founded in 1989 with distribution throughout the US in select outdoor stores, resorts, and available worldwide on the web. Unique to the brand is a patented digital process for fabrics called Visiontree®, developed and first introduced in 2000. Visiontree® offers over 400 unique patterns to to choose from for a custom personalized belt or bag.