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Before Leed's grew into the second largest supplier in the $16 billion promotional products and advertising specialty industry, it began as an importer of leather business goods for the retail market. Originally called Leed's Leather Products, the company was founded by Pittsburgh entrepreneurs Bruce Weiner and Tom Bernstein in 1986. Mr. Weiner and Mr. Bernstein sold their wares through a variety of retail outlets—from luggage and specialty stores to large national chains. As the company grew, it diversified its products by adding durahyde, nylon and polycanvas into the mix. And towards the end of 1992, the founders decided to branch out into the promotional products industry.


Their strategy paid off. By 1995, promotional products generated 65% of the company's total sales. With a much larger inventory and focus beyond just retail, they recognized the need for a new company name. Out was Leed's Leather Products. In was Leed's Business Accessories.

At the end of 1998, it was clear that the company had shifted its focus away from retail. Annual sales from promotional products accounted for 99% of its total volume. Facing such success, the management team ceased its retail operations and concentrated all its energy on building one of the best promotional products suppliers in the industry.






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