The best products fix problems. And Tony Daniel found himself with a problem when it came to his accessory game. As a minimalist, he didn’t want to feel weighed down by a bulky wallet. So, he started carrying his cards and cash with a binder clip while on the go. While the simple fix did the trick, Tony knew he would need an upgrade. Instead of settling, he created the design he dreamed of for himself.
“At a certain point, I decided I need to grow up and get a big-boy wallet, so I started playing around with a sewing machine and a piece of leather,” Tony said.
With a few cuts and stitches, his first product, the original BYNDR (pronounced “binder”) wallet, was born, and Tony unlocked a new passion. With no formal training in leather and a full-time job, Tony started watching YouTube videos on the side to expand his knowledge of leather. After watching different techniques and seeing what else was available on the market, he started experimenting with the design and selling his take on his simple wallet in 2015.
“I love figuring things out,” Tony explained. “I fail constantly, but those failures always lend to something new.”
Tony makes most of his products with the famous Horween leather out of his garage in his free time. And 95 percent of them are hand stitched, so one can really see the attention to detail in every piece.
“I’m not your average leather guy,” Tony said. “It’s a passion I have. I wake up, and I think about it. I go to sleep, and I think about it.”
Tony didn’t start out thinking he would work with leather. The born-and-reared New Yorker moved to Dallas after graduating from State University with a degree in graphic design. Since then, he has moved up in the creative field from a designer to an assistant art director and now as an advertising art director at JCPenney headquarters in Plano.
His drive to continue expanding his knowledge of leather led him to creating all kinds of goods from coin wallets to key chains to iPhone folios. He has also expanded from his own line of designs to take on custom work such as his latest project with The Adolphus Hotel. While he enjoys being able to experiment with made-to-order designs like the hotel’s bar rolls, he does feel the weight that every new project brings onto his already busy schedule.
“I want to do more, but I’m just one person,” Tony said. “A lot of people are impressed that it’s just me making all the products.”
His biggest sellers are the smaller pieces that give customers a quality product and a convenient fix to an issue. Instead of carrying around a bulky billfold, a user can slip the Wescott Slim Wallet in a back pocket. Instead of detangling headphones, the BYNDR Spool Earbud Holder can be used when on the go. He has also expanded into women’s accessories with his new tote collection and an upcoming messenger bag design.
BYNDR Leather Goods can be found online, at one of Tony’s local West Elm pop ups and at Etsy Dallas events. His handcrafted products clearly reveal a passion for his newfound craft and the design process. “I get excited about making something out of nothing,” Tony said.BYNDR Leather Goods > BYNDR on Facebook > BYNDR on Instagram >