Willy+Wade was founded in central Ohio and has maintained the spirit of home team pride and American patriotism throughout our startup phase. We’re an Ohio company with Ohio values and we proudly manufacture our handmade leather accessories right here in the USA. It was with that sense of connection to our roots that we wanted to set our products against the backdrop of one of the most iconic landscapes in the region; the Hocking Hills.
While northern Ohio is very flat and developed, most of Southern Ohio is completely rural and wooded, featuring a number of national parks that make up the beginnings of the Appalachian basin. One of these was, for a time, the best kept secret in the Midwest. In recent years, the word has gotten out about the majestic beauty of the Hocking Hills region with its natural sandstone caves and moss-covered cliffs. Natural waterfalls and abundant wildlife make the Hocking Hills a place to which tourists from all around the world flock every year to walk the quiet woodland trails, hike the breathtaking rock formations, and tiptoe through caves that were once home to the Miami indians.
We sent our photographer Braden McGlone down to the Hocking Hills with our latest products to capture the sense of natural earthiness and homegrown rustic aesthetic that we love so much about the Willy+Wade brand. Despite it being the middle of winter, he was able to capture our handmade leather products in the environment that most suits them. The rustic appeal of hand-worked leather and local craftsmanship pairs so well with these breathtaking “heartland” backdrops that we just can’t help ourselves but indulge in these little getaways to photograph and capture the real essence of what our brand is about.
If you’ve never been to the Hocking Hills, you really should treat yourself. There’s a thriving local tourism economy that boasts a slew of beautiful rustic cabin rentals and many local adventures and attractions, including zip lines, canoes, and rock climbing. When you take a breath somewhere deep in the woods or inside the dampness of a cave, it’s hard not to conjure images and scents of earth, leather, and humanity. It’s where we feel right at home.