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Press Releases

Thomas Bates and PHELPS Leather, Experience Growth, New Website, New Hire

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GREENLAND, NH. (June 16, 2014) — Thomas Bates and PHELPS Leather, both dedicated to designing and manufacturing of belts, bags and accessories, announced today the launch of new websites that are visually enhanced and easy to navigate. Thomas Bates, celebrating their 25th Anniversary offers product that reflects an outdoor spirit, while PHELPS Leather, first introduced in 1938, offers premium product that is rich in American heritage and craftsmanship.


“We are excited to launch two new websites showcasing two entirely different brands, each unique in their offerings,” commented Thomas Bates, president of Thomas Bates and PHELPS Leather. “The websites beautifully display the quality of product that we have to offer in an easy to navigate, easy to order site.”

Thomas Bates offers over 50 belts styles for men, women and children, a collection of leather and fabric bags and wallets, and pet accessories. Approximately 70% of the brands products are Made in the USA in their factory in Haverhill, MA. The company’s on-line sales and custom orders continue to double each year.

A highlight of Thomas Bates is the Make Your Own Belt tab where consumers can navigate through four easy steps to pick a belt style and pattern of their choice. The belt and pattern is pictured in a pant or skirt view, front side and back. Consumers have a choice of eleven belt styles and over 400 patterns from Thomas Bates patented Visiontree® pattern collection.

From 1938 to 1950 PHELPS Leather was manufactured in New York City and Pennsylvania by local craftsman, many whom were World War II veterans. PHELPS was re-launched in 2013 by Thomas Phelps Bates, nephew of the original founder William James Phelps. Hand crafted and expertly designed in the USA in the factory in Haverhill, PHELPS Leather belts and bags are made from quality American bison and cowhide leathers, waxed cotton and heritage woolens with stand out features such as hand tooled copper rivets. 

PHELPS leather prides itself on quality American craftsmanship and vintage designs that use the finest materials found throughout the country. Attention to detail and the quality of product are evident throughout the collection that is Made in the USA. PHELPS continues to gain momentum and interest and is available at specialty boutique stores and direct to consumer on-line. 

To support the growth of on-line sales, Thomas Bates has hired Josiah Sterling. Sterling will spearhead on-line sales and marketing initiatives, including expanding social media opportunities and direct to consumer outreach. Sterling is a recent graduate of Southern New Hampshire University with a degree in marketing.

Thomas Bates website can be found at PHELPS Leather can be found at .

About Thomas Bates:

Thomas Bates specializes in the design and manufacturing of fine belts, bags and accessories for the whole family, including pets, using a variety of materials from leather to sailcloth. The products are made in Haverhill, MA; Bates Accessories, Inc. is headquartered in Greenland, NH, and was founded in 1989 with distribution throughout the US in select outdoor stores, resorts, and available worldwide on the web. Unique to the brand is a patented digital process for fabrics called Visiontree®, developed and first introduced in 2000. Visiontree® offers over 400 unique patterns to choose from for a custom personalized belt or bag.

About PHELPS Leather:

The PHELPS brand was founded in 1938 by James Phelps in New York City and re-launched in 2013 by Thomas Phelps Bates. The brand specializes in premium quality belts, bags and accessories with a vintage fashion lifestyle design. Using the finest in materials and artisan craftsmanship, all of the products are designed and expertly made in the USA. The PHELPS collection will be distributed throughout the USA in specialty boutique stores and on the worldwide web at