Our quality begins with the raw materials we source – full-grain cowhides from American tanneries. Then the cutting process begins, and soon what was once seamless is in a multitude of pieces. To a novice eye, it could look an irreparable mess. And it would be if our artisans didn’t have a vision and a perfect plan for each piece. With painstaking care and attention to detail, stitch by stitch, they shape the pliable material to bring forth what it is meant to be. The leather, no longer simply a hide, takes on a different identity. In the hands of our gifted artisans, something new and beautiful begins to emerge. Small variations and nuances make each piece unique and attest to its authenticity. Our hand-made, quality construction goods are everyday luxuries that are rugged enough to last for generations. They will only improve with age and develop an even more beautiful patina over time.
Each leather good that comes from our shop is handmade by an artisan with his own story of transformation. At one time, each one was searching for direction. They came to Narrow Gate Lodge to seek the answers to two questions, “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?” As part of the curriculum, they tried their hands at leather working, and the rest is history. More than 500 young men have participated in the eight-month long, residential Narrow Gate Lodge experience. While each one pursues adventure, explores craftsmanship skills, and each discovers his passion and purpose, only a handful find they have the vision of a creator, the fine motor skills required and the dedication to pursue a role as a leather artisan in our shops. Through the goods that they craft, they hope their stories will help you better live out your story.
In the 1930s, Leatherwood was a small community in rural Tennessee. The local blacksmith was nestled there at the entrance to a beautiful hollow known as Leatherwood Forge. In 2006, the property became home to Narrow Gate Lodge and new life was breathed into the leather crafting, wood working and metal forging that were part of its heritage. A new generation of craftsmen and artisans rediscovered the satisfaction of working with their hands and dedicated themselves to pursuing this passion.
In the 19th century, Franklin, Tennessee, located 30 miles northeast of Leatherwood and 20 miles south of Nashville, developed into a trading center for rural Williamson County. Historic Franklin is now a vibrant community and popular spot for tourists. It’s still known for its quaint downtown shops and entrepreneurial spirit. It’s a place where faith runs deep, artisans are celebrated, and community still means something. It is here that Narrow Gate Trading Co. opened its doors in 2013 as a place for artisans and craftsmen to pursue time-honored trades, for entrepreneurs to gain experience with a company that is anything but business as usual and for shoppers to purchase gifts and goods that give twice.
Today, at Narrow Gate Lodge, leather, wood, and metal are transformed as part of the life skills curriculum, but more important, lives are transformed. Young men discover their purpose and passion and pursue it. What began as Narrow Gate Trading Co. has grown into three distinct brands. Our wood lines are now Narrow Gate Woodworks. In 2021 Narrow Gate Coffee Co. was added to our family of specialty products, its roastery adjacent to the workshop. And on its other side, Narrow Gate Trading Co. became Narrow Gate Leather Goods.
Whether you visit us in our shops in Franklin, TN, connect with us at a market event or visit us online, we look forward to connecting with you!
May the quality of our products have a transformative effect in your life, inspiring you to pursue beauty, adventure, authenticity, and purpose.