Lady Bird ate my belt just a few weeks after she came to live with us. By “my belt,” I mean my one and only belt. I wore it every day since I don’t know when. Certainly since eighth grade. It was just a strip of brown leather with a silver nickel buckle—simplicity itself. Years of running it counterclockwise around my waist had given it a strong curve. It fit me perfectly. I never once had to wonder what to wear to hold up my pants, I never really thought about it at all. I took my belt, it must be said, for granted. It was a little horrifying to see it in Lady Bird’s mouth, chewed near in half.
I had to buy a new belt. This will be easy, I though. After all, I just wanted a strip of leather and a nickel buckle. How hard could it be? Let me tell you, few such belts exist. I checked the department stories, the discount stores, the usual online locations, a dozen crappy Yahoo stores, even the *marts…nothing. They all had stupid buckles, patterns on the leather, some kind of stitching, bevelled edges, or some such goofiness. Now, I never even found a candidate—nothing close—so this was moot, but I also wanted one made in America, as I prefer all of my clothes to be.
When I was all set to give up hope, I started clicking on Google ads, something I’ve never done. That’s how I discovered Fox Creek Leather.
Fox Creek Leather sells just four belts, and all of them are the very picture of simplicity. (Understand, in my world, selling just four belts is awesome. They figured out the right way to make a belt, and left it at that.) Their nickel buckle dark brown belt was precisely what I wanted. When I saw the “Made in the USA” logo on the web page I was sold. But just to make sure, I figured I’d read up on the company. Lo and behold, it’s a family-owned business, right here in Virginia, in the town of Independence, in the beautiful Grayson County. I didn’t hesitate to order.
This year and a half later, I think I can now admit to myself that this belt is a lot nicer than my old one. If this is any indicator, Fox Creek makes some damned fine gear. I think a pair of their chaps is in my future, and I expect my next wallet will be one of theirs. In the age of NAFTA, I’m proud that we’ve got a company like Fox Creek here in Virginia, turning out products of a quality that Mexico, China, and Bangladesh just aren’t up to.