TAP & DYE is an American leather goods brand centered around the photographic lifestyle. We make quality heritage items that are built to last.

Our Story

Justin Waldinger is the founder, owner and craftsman at large of Tap & Dye, an american leather goods brand centered around the photographic lifestyle. At its core, the brand is rooted in an affinity for exceptional craftsmanship and build quality. We are really crafting heritage goods that are built to last and meant to be passed onto future generations. 

The journey to get to this point started back in early 2012 when I was pretty much burned out from working in the consumer product design industry for 10 years prior.  I had no real vested interest in continuing to design for other brands anymore, instead I wanted to focus my time on creating something I could be fully invested in, a brand of my own. 

I was always a very hands on type of person, taking a vision in my mind and turning it into something tangible was a skill set I developed throughout my design career. So, I really needed to find a way to combine it with my real passion, which was photography. Most importantly, it had to be something that I can enjoy doing everyday. And so out of that, Tap & Dye was born.

I find and draw inspiration from tangible man made objects, photography of course and nature, especially the landscape. I must say there is and has always been a special place in my heart for vintage cameras. 

Part of that affinity was definitely a result of my father’s extensive collection spanning from the 50’s throughout the 80’s. He was an avid enthusiast who built his own darkroom and was very hands on with all aspects of the photographic process from developing film to creating traditional c prints.

Cameras and are a major source of inspiration, and I take one whenever I go out, which would either be my Leica M4 in most cases or my Xpan even if it's just to go on a food run a few blocks away, its always at the ready because you never know what you may capture. 

The process of capturing images for me is always an emotional one. Building on that, if I am able to experience a real emotional connection with a well crafted handmade good, whether that be a wallet, garment or a mechanical watch or camera, really any item that took a great level of skill and considerable time to make, then that for me is a great motivator. That inspires me to keep pushing and continually raise the bar in my own craft so that I can look back proudly on every camera strap and leather good that I make on a daily basis with pride and no regret.

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