The year was 2004 when young Peter Smathers and Austin Branson were college roommates who both received needlepoint belts from their girlfriends. The two guys were immediately hooked on the style, but couldn’t find retailers that would sell them their next fixes. Desperate for more needlepoint, Peter and Austin took their entrepreneurial spirits to Vietnam, where Smathers & Branson was born. Today, the company proudly employs more than 2,000 artisans.
Featuring preppy-themed images from swordfish to sailboats to yellow labs (because, let’s face it, all preps love a good yellow lab), this brand has taken the belt world by storm. From the classic (stripes, checks and solids) to the unthinkable (imagine an entire back nine scene hand-stitched on your belt), each Smathers & Branson belt is finished with full-grain leather in a rich chestnut color and a sturdy brass buckle. Take your pick from their vast selection of creative designs, or dream up your very own. We at Country Club Prep are huge fans of their customizable Life Belts®, which can be individualized with a handful of images of everything the future wearer loves most.
Smathers & Branson may have started with belts, but they’ve taken needlepoint to a new level. To be exact, they’ve taken it to pure prepdom. From key fobs and hats with your favorite team’s logo to phone cases and flasks that show your American spirit — it’s needlepoint as far as the eye can see. And we don’t even mind, because at the end of the day, needlepoint is really all you need.