SAN ANTONIO — SAN ANTONIO--At his family ranch in southwest Bexar County, that sits on over 200 acres.
Thomas Fields knows the value of hard work and doing things by hand.
That very idea of handmade craftsmanship led him to his latest passion project, leatherworks.
"I started because actually I was looking for a belt. I was looking for something that was handmade for a long time and I started seeing the prices that some people were charging and at that time I really couldn't afford that, so I gathered a few supplies for what I would need to make a belt," Low Key Leatherworks, owner, Thomas Fields said.
He didn't take any classes to learn.
Instead, he turned to the World Wide Web.
"Most of what I learned was all YouTube. So I'm learning from other people,” Fields said. "I can't even tell you how many hours I spent watching some of these guys.”
The belt turned out to be a success.
"I put the belt on and I thought this is nice. This is going to last a long time. This is something special,” Fields said.
It caught the attention of some of his family and friends on patrol.
"I started giving gifts to people and then their friends saw it, and so that's how the company kind of started,” Fields said.
He's since branched out to making wallets, key chains and even earrings.
"I absolutely love working with leather," Fields said. "It brings back an old world feel. Like back in the cowboy days. Everything was handmade. I think it just kind of takes you back to that era like heirloom quality stuff,” Fields said.
Each piece made with the idea that it will be around for generations.
"Stuff I make its full grain leather. It's going to last longer than you," Fields said. "This is going to be something that you are going to hand down to your grandkids."
Craftsman or “cop”, this officer finds passion in every aspect of life.
"I'm not going to leave my day job, but this is a great retirement so this is going to keep going," Fields said.
If you are interested in Fields’ leather products visit his website https://www.lowkeyleatherworks.com/