Leather Head Sports

American Made Since 2006

Paul Cunningham

Glen Rock, New Jersey
At Leather Head Sports we're craftspeople. Our inspiration is to use the sculptural forms of sports balls to showcase beautiful leather.
New Jersey

Tell us about your business.

I founded Leather Head Sports as a hobby business in 2006 with a single product; a vintage style "lemon peel" baseball. Encouraged by the success of this product, I left a long time career as the photo editor at Major League Baseball to devote myself to my craft. I gradually added other sports balls to my offerings, including footballs, basketballs, rugby balls and medicine balls. As my business grew, I was able to move into a bigger workshop and hire additional craftspeople to meet our growing demand. We start with beautiful leather. The Leather Head workshop relies on skilled crafts people to hand cut the leather into individual panels which are sewn together to make our finished sports balls. As we grow, we will need to invest in people and machinery to improve efficiency. Ultimately, I am dedicated to being a small scale American craft manufacturer.

What makes your business stand out?

For my business to be successful, it is important to distinguish myself from thousands of other skilled leather workers. I chose to focus my craft on sports balls. Sports have broad appeal, so I was certain that my products would attract positive attention in the marketplace. What makes Leather Head Sports unique in the world of leather craft, is that we are the only one in America that focuses on making beautiful sports balls.

What's the best business advice you've received?

"Don't try to grow to fast" An old family friend who has been successful in business told me that more businesses fail because they try to grow too fast. I have been deliberate to grow at a pace that suits my cash flow.

Mark Your Calendar

  • Nominations
    June 3–Aug. 29, 2014

    Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.

    Nominate yourself
  • Judging
    June 23–Sept. 8, 2014

    Judges will select finalists throughout this period.

    Meet the judges
  • Online Voting
    Sept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014

    Vote for your favorite American makers.

    See the finalists
  • Winners Announced
    Oct. 17, 2014

    2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.

    See past Award Winners
  • American Made Event
    Nov. 7–8, 2014

    Join us for our annual event in New York City.

    Buy tickets now

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