Mission Statement
& History

Product Information
Location
Contact Us
P.O. Box 786
Gloversville, NY
12078-0007 USA
Tel. 518-725-7105
Contact Sales
Copyright © 1997
All Rights Reserved.
Mission Statement & History

For over 120 years Wood & Hyde Leather has produced products which enabled its customers to prosper. Appropriate investment in materials, plant, equipment, and employees has enabled Wood & Hyde to produce a quality product at competitive prices delivered in a timely manner.

Wood & Hyde Leather began in 1890 as a family run company and continues as such today. Throughout the history of the company there have been only four changes of ownership. Except for an 18-year period it has always been privately owned.

Randall H. Doerter is the current owner, having bought the company from Genesco Inc. in 1987. At that time Randy had worked for Genesco for six years and Wood & Hyde reported to him for approximately one year prior to purchasing the company. Randy is a graduate of the University of Tennessee with a degree in Industrial Management and a MBA from the University of South Carolina. He worked for Talon Zipper for 13 years after college prior to joining Genesco in 1981. During his tenure with both companies quality control was under his of supervision.

Randy's background in quality control has carried over into the management of Wood & Hyde and its emphasis on quality. To achieve high quality leather, the company uses only the best quality materials and upgrades its machinery and facilities on an ongoing basis. New equipment has been purchased in order to produce higher quality leather at competitive prices. Improvements to the buildings not only extend the life of the facilities but also demonstrate to the community and the employees the dedication Wood & Hyde has to making the work environment the best it can be. These improvements throughout the workplace enable the employees to achieve their maximum performance and produce a quality product.

Much of the success of Wood & Hyde can be traced to its' strong foundation provided by the founder Joseph Wood. In 1890 he established his tannery in Gloversville, NY, an area already known for its tanning of glove leathers and production of gloves. In 1900 Donald Hyde joined his father-in-law in the company and Wood & Hyde was formed.

Throughout the early part of the 1900's, the glove industry was very important to the area and to Wood & Hyde. At this time between 80% and 90% of the women's kid glove manufacturing in the United States was located in this leatherstocking region of New York. During both World Wars and the Depression this area prospered due to the constant demand for leather gloves and garments.

Donald Hyde sold the company in 1953 to a trio of gentlemen: Benjamin Dennie, George Cassidy and Richard Sweet. The new owners continued to successfully tan glove leather and began to make strong inroads into the garment industry. They bought two additional tanneries in the area in order to keep up with the demand for their products. Wood & Hyde was sold to Genesco Inc. of Nashville, TN in 1969.

During the Genesco ownership, Wood & Hyde experienced their most productive periods and their most disastrous. Around 1972 the company was so busy in the domestic and international glove and garment business that customers' leather shipments were rationed. Due to the demand for finished sheepskins during this period, one of the tanneries was remodeled into a leather finishing facility. The business remained strong until the late 1970's when three international events took place: Russia was at war in Afghanistan, the Ayatollah took over Iran (hence an embargo), and Turkey chose not to export raw sheepskins. These countries all supplied the fine raw material Wood & Hyde used to produce their quality leather. As a consequence of these events, Wood & Hyde lost their raw material sources and their existing business went into decline.

Wood & Hyde proved to be very resilient and was able to rapidly convert its' soft leather garment and glove background into soft quality cowhide leathers for the shoe and garment business. The superior quality of the U.S. domestic cattle hides proved to fit best with Wood & Hyde's background and reputation for fine quality leather. Combining the expert skill developed in the tanning of glove and garment leathers with the superior quality of the U.S. hides, Wood & Hyde now produces soft, world-class cowhide leather.

Today, Wood & Hyde is a strong, healthy company. In an era of manufacturing companies moving offshore for economic reasons, Wood & Hyde has invested heavily within the United States, determined to remain an American tannery. Wood & Hyde has also made the necessary adjustments to manufacture leather in an environmentally friendly manner. The continuing emphasis on producing high quality leather at competitive prices will enable Wood & Hyde Leather to remain a viable U.S. tanner well into the 21st century.

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