Written by Emily Glaser
How Axe & Awl’s Niche Hobby Leatherworking Evolved into a Thriving Business
What’s in a name? For Axe & Awl Leatherworks, just about everything you need to know about this growing brand.
Founded by husband-and-wife team Spencer and Courtney Tetrault in late 2014, Axe & Awl began, as so many businesses built on craftsmanship, as a hobby. It was originally a set of products created for firefighters, by a firefighter—hence the name, which pays homage to the tools of Spencer’s former and current trade. Spencer, who began his tenure with the Asheville Fire Department in 2009, was looking to create the kind of gear that could last through the toughest days on the job and also offer a nod to firefighters of yore, gear like custom leather radio straps, suspenders, and turnout belts. These products needed to be practical, durable, and beautiful, carrying forward a century-old tradition of personalizing and decorating each leather good by hand. “With a focus on longevity of use and durability, our primary focus was sourcing the best-available leathers and hardwares on the market to rise to the occasion,” Spencer adds.
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