If you’ve ever visited either Antique Archaeology shop, you know Mike is a guy who is all about details and stories. Combine that eye for detail with an appreciation for American artisans and you’ve got Two Lanes (Mike’s passion project backroad brand.) Intended to reflect a backroads lifestyle and wanderlust spirit, the collection offers made-in-America products only like pillows from North Carolina, custom cut-and-sewn shirts from California, and handcrafted leather goods from Tennessee. Let’s introduce you to the hands and stories behind the leather.
This is Phil Thompson, owner of Long Hollow Leather, and he has been delivering delicious smelling leather journals and keychains to the Antique Archaeology shops from Franklin, Tennessee workshop for the last five years. His work comes in colors ranging from brights to neutrals and in an assortment of textures. Only a few select items are available at Antique Archaeology, but Long Hollow offers a wide variety of leather goods.
Back in the 1890s, Phil’s grandfather started the family tradition of working in the leather industry, specializing in harnesses and other leathers catering to merchants from Nashville to New Orleans. Almost eighty years later, Phil’s father had a dream of a leather business that the whole family started together. Phil’s late brother was responsible for developing many of the products and accessories, including the ones they supply us with at our shops. The family readjusted and expanded the products offered by the company making it the Long Hollow we know today, including the now-famous guitar straps. No flaming skulls, rhinestones, or whistles here…just timeless pieces destined to be treasured heirlooms.
“As teenagers learning to work with leather my brother and I were interested in making stuff for ourselves and others so we were proud to continue the family tradition with LHL,” said Phil. “The mission was always to go beyond the equestrian products. In 1996, an association with Marty Stuart led to a limited edition contract with Martin Guitar which pushed us into the guitar strap business. Today, our straps are distributed in Japan, Korea, Switzerland, England, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, and, through a US-based distributor, to Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.”
Long Hollow’s leather masterpieces may be created on the world’s shortest assembly line – just Phil and a few master craftsmen. With embroidered designs created on a vintage Singer Sewing Machine, the workshop vibe is definitely old school. So’s the décor – tables piled with antique tools and machines, old family photos on the walls and of course bins and shelves overflowing with beautiful leather. There’s a photo collection of famous musicians who’ve come in to buy straps, everyone welcomed by Lyndell, Phil’s 90-year-old mother who still manages the offices and works the front desk.
“When I sat down to create my Two Lanes collection, I knew I wanted everything in it to be made in America. In my travels, I have been introduced to all sorts of folks creating, sculpting, and constructing items without interference. Collaborating with Phil is just the beginning. I am all about celebrating the artisan.” -Mike Wolfe