Smathers & Branson

Bethesda, MD

In 2004, while roommates at Bowdoin College, we decided to start a company that offered needlepoint belts. We had each been gifted a needlepoint belt from our then girlfriends and became intrigued with these unique accessories. After looking to buy finished belts, we realized that there wasn’t a company that featured these timeless items. From the start, our goal was to make the belts more available, attractive and affordable. We had always shared an entrepreneurial spirit and after discovering a concept that we were passionate about, we started working on the idea that has become Smathers & Branson®.

Our products are all hand stitched in Vietnam. Our biggest challenge in the beginning was finding and training skilled artisans. We ended up spending one fall in Vietnam meeting our stitchers face to face. This enabled us to perfect our product to meet the high quality standards we set. We now employ thousands of people through our growing cottage industry. | @smathersandbranson