Thomas Bates Acquires Custom Brand Footwear


GREENLAND, NH. (October 30, 2015) Bates Accessories, Inc, under the retail trade brand name of Thomas Bates, a US manufacturer of belts, bags, wallets and sandals since 1989, has purchased Custom Brand Footwear of Delevan, WI.

Logo Batesbw

Custom Brand Footwear (CBF), designers and manufacturers of traditional hand-sewn leather footwear under the David Spencer brand name for the golf, specialty and outdoor markets since 1999, is distributed throughout the US to over 600 accounts. The brand is also known for its custom work, producing shoes for specialty shops, golf pro shops, footwear and retail apparel brands throughout the country.

“After more than 25 years making leather and fabric accessories and custom products for footwear manufacturers, we are excited to join forces with Custom Brand Footwear,” commented Thomas Bates, owner and president of Bates Accessories, Inc. “We look forward to combining our expertise and knowledge in leather manufacturing and distribution.”

Thomas Bates sells to specialty and outdoor retailers and operates a leather goods factory in Haverhill, MA. Their capabilities include all types of leather accessories in a variety of fabrics and leathers, including cowhide, bison, reptile, ostrich and snake. The brand also sources materials and products with partner factories in China and India. For Fall 2016, Bates will introduce several footwear styles made from Bison in their Haverhill factory under the Thomas Bates brand name.

Bates continued, “Our US factory has grown considerably over the past five years. It is exciting to watch young adults learn the leather trade and grow as qualified craftspeople. With the addition of footwear, our production team is looking forward to the challenge of making shoes in the USA.”

Bates will relocate the CBF office from Delevan, WI to its Greenland, NH location. John Bracewell, will continue as the Director of Sales for Custom Brand Footwear accounts, and will report directly to Thomas Bates. Claude Trotter, former owner and president of Custom Brand Footwear will stay on board in an advisory role. Custom Brand Footwear styles will continue to be manufactured in Mexico and Dominican Republic.


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 nylon. 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 called Visiontree®, developed and first introduced in 2000. Visiontree® offers over 400 unique patterns to choose from for a Make Your Own custom personalized belt or bag.


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