My mother in law, Carol Cowan, sent me an awesome leather shoulder bag for Christmas from Colonel Littleton, in Tennessee. She writes for various magazines, and had done a story on the company awhile back. Here's the article, and a video link with the Colonel himself:
Most folks regard their family heirlooms with more than a touch of nostalgia, counting items of lasting value – whether sentimental or otherwise – among their most prized possessions.
Since 1987, one Tennessee designer and craftsman has staked his entire business on that reality. And he’s accomplished much success.
“I got to thinking about family heirlooms,” says Col. Garry Littleton, proprietor of Col. Littleton, Purveyor of Fine Accouterments in the Americana Tradition. “There are no more swords, no more pearl-handled pistols, no more pocket watches. So, I thought of a pocketknife. If you had your granddaddy’s pocketknife, what would you take for it? Probably nothing. And that’s where I started.”