Bates Accessories Acquires Custom Brand Footwear

David Spencer moccasin
David Spencer brand moccasin loafers, made by Custom Brand Footwear.
Courtesy of brand.

Bates Accessories Inc., the Greenland, N.H., producer of Thomas Bates-branded belts, bags, wallets and sandals, has acquired Custom Brand Footwear in Delevan, Wis. Prior to the acquisition, Bates Accessories produced accessories for Custom Brand Footwear.

Custom Brand Footwear manufactures hand-sewn leather footwear in Mexico and the Dominican Republic under the David Spencer label for the golf, specialty and outdoor markets, as well as sourcing private-label goods.

The Thomas Bates brand is recognized in the outdoor market in the golf and sailing categories. Bates Accessories also operates a leather-goods factory in Haverhill, Mass., where it produces a wide range of products made of fabric and leather. In addition, it sources materials and products with partner factories in China.

For fall ’16, Bates will introduce bison-hide footwear produced in its U.S. factory, while the David Spencer brand will continue to offer its line of hand-sewns.

“Our U.S. factory has grown considerably over the past five years,” said Thomas Bates, owner and president of Bates Accessories. “It is exciting to watch young adults learn the leather trade and grow as qualified craftspeople. With the addition of footwear, our production team is looking forward to the challenge of making shoes in the USA.”

Custom Brand Footwear’s headquarters will be relocated to Greenland, N.H. Owner Claude Trotter will remain on board in an advisory role, while John Bracewell will continue as director of sales.