I met Joel Chavez at the Agenda Show earlier this year. His Cub & Company handmade leather goods caught my eye from a distance. I was impressed with the passion he carried for both photography and Made in USA goods. Joel is a designer and videographer by trade with a serious love of analog photography. You can see that in his camera straps and bags. Everything is carefully made by hand in New York City by a small, select team that can achieve the quality he desires in every item that leaves the door.
Each full grain leather strap is hand treated and waterproofed with beeswax and natural oils. Then it’s off to get buffed and finished to a beautiful sheen. The stitching found throughout the strap is also done by hand using strong waxed linen threads, reinforced with beeswax.
The Cub & Company stamped logo and dueling X’s across the top of the shoulder are subtle touches that give the strap it’s identity. The strap I am using on my Fuji is their Olive Drab Shooter Camera Strap.
This may sound harsh but, I really don’t care what strap I run on my Canon gear as long as it doesn’t fall off my shoulder. My X-T1 on the other hand needs a complimenting strap. The retro style of the body looks odd with a bulky, wide strap littered with metal buckles and snaps.
A previous strap from another company left a wear mark on the side of my X-T1. They did not take the careful consideration Joel does to make sure enough leather is placed around the eyelet holes so the metal attachment loop doesn’t scratch the camera.
Both of the straps I’ve been using have taken everything in stride. The leather is not cracking or splitting, and none of the threads have come loose or frayed. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t inspect the leather every now and then to make sure its holding up. Especially, if you live in a wet climate.
The Cigar Brown Shooter Camera Strap was the obvious choice for my 1944 Edixa Flex.
Most of you know me as a, “You Get What You Pay For” kinda guy, and that is true once again. Joel’s straps carry a love of craftsmanship with them. You’re going to have these straps as long if not longer than your camera. Let’s not forget they are Made in USA. I will always help and endorse hard-working American’s who make their goods here, and I hope you do as well. Let’s keep our Makers, making.
All Cub & Company goods are made in small batches which means they may run out of stock. If you’re looking for something that isn’t currently available, drop them a line and they will sort you out. Head on over to Cub & Company and checkout some of their other products as well. Now get outside and shoot some photos!