Garrett Leather acquires leather finishing company


Garrett Leather, a privately owned distributor of Italian upholstery leather, has acquired Mohawk River Leather Works, a leather finishing company.

Joe Sicilia and Bob Hojohn founded Mohawk River Leather Works in 1988. The business specialises in crafting custom finishes for leathers. The 25,000ft² (2,323m²) facility, located in the Mohawk River region of New York, is equipped for hand-tipping, antiquing, embossing and high-end leather finishing. Mohawk River Leather Works caters to the needs of manufacturers and leather distributors.

The same year Mohawk was founded, Cameron Brown, owner, and chairman of the board of Garrett Leather, started his business in Buffalo, New York. Operating out of the third floor of his home, he began selling upholstery leather to furniture manufacturers, upholsterers and interior designers. The name Garrett is an old English word meaning attic. This family-run business has since grown out of the attic and into an 80,000ft² (7,432m²) distribution centre. Garrett Leather’s corporate headquarters remain in Buffalo, New York. Cameron Brown’s son, Max Brown, is president of the company and is responsible for leading the business. Cameron Brown’s daughter, Grace Rek, is an account executive for the company in Chicago, Illinois.

Mohawk River Leather Works' capabilities include hand-tipping, antiquing, embossing and leather finishing

Mohawk River Leather Works’ capabilities include hand-tipping, antiquing, embossing and leather finishing

Mohawk River Leather Works will continue to operate under that name and both Sicilia and Hojohn have agreed to remain on board with the company. “We are very excited to team up with a leader in the industry in Garrett Leather,” said Hojohn. “This will open up the development and marketing of many new product lines in the future.”

Max Brown visited Mohawk River Leather Works to inform the entire workforce of the purchase personally. He thanked them for their work and dedication and welcomed them to the Garrett Leather family. He plans to keep all team members on board and invest in updating the facility.

While Mohawk River Leather Works is under new ownership, the day-to-day operations remain the same. It continues to craft finishes for a variety of manufacturers. Garrett Leather said that for its customers, the acquisition opens new opportunities to push their creative visions even further and to provide uniquely curated colours and textures with shorter lead times.

Max Brown, president of Garrett Leather

Max Brown, president of Garrett Leather

Garrett Leather provides leather sourced from Europe, primarily Italy. Its quality management system is ISO-9001-certified. The company said that when utilising the talent of the craftspeople at Mohawk, Garrett Leather will maintain its quality standards by providing Mohawk with the highest selection of premium hides from Europe, tanned primarily in Italy, to be finished in the USA.

“We’re proud to bring the talents of more skilled American workers into the high-quality mix of Garrett Leather’s offerings,” said Roberta Sand, Garrett Leather’s vice president of marketing.

Garrett Leather currently has a Special Projects team at its corporate headquarters that fabricates architectural products for customers, such as leather wall panels and leather tassels.

“In addition to offering premium leather and finished products, the expertise of the Mohawk team allows us to collaborate and bring more creative products to market for our customers,” said Max Brown. “In fact, we are working on a new collection now that will be introduced in the spring of 2022.”

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Izzy has been part of the Business Jet Interiors International team since its second issue, and the editor since 2011. She also edits Auditoria and Railway Interiors International. Outside of work, Izzy is rediscovering her love of art by learning how to paint with watercolors.

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