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Mark and Marie Buckfield, of The Belt Makers (TBM), started making leather products by hand in 2003 …

May 2020

… Fast forward a few years and we find ourselves in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic. This is taking from us tens of thousands of loved family members and friends across the world, and decimating businesses and finances for billions of people.

We aren’t doctors, nurses or other keyworkers… although we know many who are. Our own best contribution to the first stage of the coronavirus response could only be to Stay at Home, in order the Protect the NHS and Save Lives. Oh yes, and clap ’til our hands go numb on Thursdays at 8pm. A tiny price to pay in honour of the key workers.

Locally and nationally, shops have closed and businesses struggled.

As we move forward through the stages of pandemic response, shops begin to open again in a new way, both in store and online.

Here in Exeter, in our artisan handcraft industry, we have devised a way that we can help support similar, local and UK, independent, home grown businesses

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Earlier this year, just weeks before the lockdown began, we opened our new, larger premises. We have space… and have opened up that space to help support other, complimentary crafts in our sector.

All the products available at TBM and Friends could be found in an office or studio setting, or in the dressing room of someone nipping across the hall to their work from home den. Need to be in the right frame of mind for those Zoom meetings, right?

When you shop with us, you can rest in the comforting knowledge that you are not only ticking beautiful, thoughtful gifts off your pre- and post-lockdown to do lists, you are also making independent artisans do a happy dance. Check out their social media, they really do this.

Follow the TBM Friends, and let them know your thoughts on their gifts… and gift.


Find us on your favourite social media, search #TBMandFriends

Check out The Belt Makers and their Friends

Mark from The Belt Makers
Mark from The Belt Makers, Exeter, Devon

Pork Pie Hat in Bright Blue and Brown by Be Savage Leather
Be Savage Leather’s Pork Pie Hat in Bright Blue and Brown

Dalaco (accessories) Crediton, Devon

Henry from Henry Tomkins Leather, Exeter, Devon

Leather Pens of Somerset
Leather Pens of Somerset

Model wearing French Blue Double Cuff shirt from Savile Row Company
Savile Row Company, Mayfair, London

The Bradford Sock Company, Bradford
Backpack in Black by Tibor Eperjessy - front
Tibor Eperjessy Artisan Leather