About the Duke

Jan den Hartogh, Craftsman and owner at Duke and Sons Leather

I grew up in a time when finding amusement depended on your own imagination and your capacity to perceive a spectacular toy in every stick or rock. When I wasn't playing outside with my buddies, I was indoors making things, drawing, or disassembling my own bicycles or mopeds. My calling was in ‘making’ things, but because life has many turns and detours, it also led me down many wonderful routes.

I spent a large portion of my formative years in the army, where I led a magnificent chapter of my life with great love and dedication. I felt at home in the regimented life and camaraderie with my brothers. 

After years of service I made my first step in the design world and the rise of new digital technology. I had the luxury of receiving training in interior design and marketing and went on to become one of the first digital graphic designers of my generation, but I had a deep-seated desire to once again be able to produce things with my hands. I realized I was missing a crucial aspect of my life when I met an American craftsman who manufactured all of his own leather items. 

This was the impetus to just get started and rediscover the thrill of producing 'things' with your hands, a feeling that brought me such great joy as a youngster.

It was this choice that marked a significant turning point in my life. After years of experimentation and learning the trade, I made the decision to leave my day job as a graphic designer to pursue my passion for making heirloom-quality goods. Products that not only withstand the test of time but also get better with use. Products that are influenced by the era in which I grew up, where function is paramount and quality is the driving concept.

What began as a hobby evolved into a career that has been allowed to grow into today's brand, a family business in which my wife and I attempt to create sincere items that respect the customer. I make an effort to produce this using the same principles that have helped to mold me into the person I am today.

With kind regards,

Jan den Hartogh, Craftsman at Duke and Sons Leather

Duke & Sons Leather
De Langkamp 3-13
3961MR Wijk bij Duurstede
The Netherlands