I've been a Master's Pride customer for years. The actual experience of buying from Rick is refreshing; he mails your order and includes an invoice. That's rare in this day and age, and I think it show how much Rick's customers love his work that he can trust us to pay for our orders after we receive them. (I don't know why this part of the ordering process makes me feel good, but it just does. I think it reinforces my belief that there are still honest, trusting people left in this world!)
I asked Rick to tell me a bit about his company. Despite me being a happy customer for years, I'd never known the "story" behind Master's Pride. Here's the story!
Master's Pride was started in April 1996. Rick has always loved and enjoyed dogs. Actually, Rick was terribly afraid of dogs after being bit by a dog on his right hand when he was a child; he still has the scar. His friendship with dogs started when he was asked to dog-sit two golden retrievers back in the 70s. He fell in love with both of them. Then his cousin bought a golden retriever puppy, Duster, and a great friendship was started. Rick and Darleen adopted Duster, and Darleen had the wonderful experience of having such a great friend. What makes Master's Pride unique is that all the leather work is done by Rick, and he gives attention to the many small details that go into making a quality product. He is truly a custom leather worker whose work is done by hand, primarily using traditional hand tools. This level of attention is hard to achieve in even a slightly industrialized setting. The real trick is talking with the customer and coming to terms with what they want, what can be done, and what Rick's experience tells him is best. In the end, he wants the customer to be pleased with their product, even if he needs to modify some of their ideas. Many of the customers Master's Pride has enjoyed over the years have been there since the beginning and have been responsible for much of the growth of the business over the years. This word-of-mouth advertisement by satisfied customers has been the primary reason for the inspiration to continue making the customers as happy as possible. In addition to the customer service, Master's Pride seeks to buy only the finest leather and hardware available. The leathers include latigo, bridle, harness, and natural veg tanned. The hardware is primarily solid brass, chrome brass, and stainless steel.
What I like about Rick is that he's not afraid to tell me if one of my ideas isn't what I really need. He's passionate about suggesting the right hardware and leather, and it very focused on making sure he makes the perfect product for his customers.
As I mentioned in the Hill Top Leather review, there's a style of leatherworking that I can best describe as "equine." The leather is super smooth, shiny, and buffed to perfection. Master's Pride leather goes into my category of "equine" leather. The hardware he uses is lovely, and not overly bulky. There is a sense of refinement to Rick's work, which I believe shows a real mastery of his craft.
Pictured below is Jayne's training leash. It's a work of art - strong but elegant. It's pliable and soft, and there isn't a rough edge anywhere.
Occasionally Rick throws $10 sales. This is a collar I picked up during one of those sales. Hand stamped perfection!
I think this collar really shows the beauty of Rick's work. I love how even the base parts of the collar- the buckle and the leash ring area - are beautifully crafted.
Here's what it looks like on Talla!
Here's one of my first Master's Pride purchases. It was one of the few leather collars that made it through the flood of 2008 without being ruined.
In my opinion, Rick is one of the top names in the business of leather collars and leads. You can't go wrong with any of his products. I will always be a huge supporter of Master's Pride, and hope Rick keeps providing us all with beautiful leatherwork for many years to come!