Our Leather

Full Grain means High Quality

We use primarily full grain leather at JH.  Full Grain is the highest quality and most true to form, natural layer of the hide.  It will often have range markings, scars, or other variance in texture such as pebbling, crease lines, or other beautiful imperfections. 

Our leather is sourced, designed, and chosen exclusively for JH.  That means that most of our leather that we use is only used by us in the United States.  We use predominately chrome-tanned leathers that afford the wide range of color options.  We do also offer some vegetable tanned leathers.  Our leather ranges from 3-4 ounces in weight, and overall could be considered lightwight for handbags.  Our leather is chosen, designed, and made specifically for our collection so that it can be used to create an array of items.  Most of our leather is tanned in Tuscany, Italy.  

Many consumers may assume that "Genuine" Leather is the highest quality as the name implies purity.  However genuine, when referring to leather  means that it is technically leather - meaning made of actual hide, but it could be very low quality or involve a composite of man-made components or treatments.  Some genuine leather can be considered good quality, but generally speaking, it is a catchall phrase for made from/with hide type of leather.  That doesn't mean that it can't be high quality, it simply means there is a wide range that could be called genuine. 

Do you have vegan leather?

Vegan Leather isn't actually leather at all, it's typically vinyl or another man-made composite that has been worked with to create a leather-look.  Therefore, calling it leather at all is essentially incorrect.  It just means it's not leather at all, but instead, a leather alternative.  We do not use vegan leather or any form of vinyl or other composite at JH.   Some folks may confuse vegan with veg-tan which is vegetable tanned leather.  Veg-tan leather is one of the oldest and truest, most natural forms of tanning leather.  We do use veg-tan leather regularly at JH, but it is full grain, cowhide leather, not vegan. 

Ethical, Environmentally, and People Friendly 


At JH, we not only work with tanneries and suppliers that offer high quality leather, we only work with other companies and brands that we fully believe produce ethically sourced leather pieces and execute environmentally friendly practices.  

Ethically sourced leather means that it is leather that is a by-product of the meat industry.  There is a common miss-conception that leather drives the meat industry, but it is not the case when it is ethically sourced.  We only source ethical leather at JH. 


Not only do we care deeply about the ethics behind our hides, but we care about the way in which it was tanned and processed, bringing you the beautiful, exclusive leather you see on our items.  There are many rating systems for environmental impact for our partner tanneries in Italy.  We are proud to support tanneries that have been given a high rating through prestigious organizations showing they have limited their impact on the environment by implementing various forms of filtering, water safety, and recycling.  


We stand behind tanneries that treat their employees and buyers with respect and dignity.  We will not work with tanneries that we feel do not have a good working environment for their staff, or if we feel treated as anything other than an equal.  We visit our tanneries in Italy regularly to partner with them on new leathers, ordering leather, and simply checking in to see how things are going. We believe in having a true 2-way partnership with our tanneries, where we can both flourish in each other's space and provide grace, kindness, and appreciation for each other's ideas, craft, and business.  It means a great deal to us to have a great working relationship for both sides of the equation, and we have the absolute best people on our side in Italy. 

The Workshop

Our all-women workshop creates every leather accessory and handbag that we offer.  We recieve our leather in full sized hides and cut, sew, piece, and assemble our items in our workshop.  Most of our full-grain leather bags that do not include hair on hide cowhide are made to order, therefore each one is made with love specifically for you.  

Our workshop is in Chariton, Iowa - right on the historic square.  We love being a small part of this wonderful town.  Watch our story here.