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a fish story

November 20, 2016

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South Carolina’s Tom Mauldin is an artist and avid outdoorsman. His passion for fishing and the South’s coastal beauty inspired him to design a clever and functional piece of wearable art: a belt buckle that functions as a bottle opener.

The company: Based in Charleston, Hook N Hide started in 2008 on Sullivan’s Island.

The artist/founder: Mauldin was born in New Orleans and grew up in South Carolina. He earned a degree in fine arts from Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. After college, he moved to the Florida Keys, where he worked for nine years before moving back to the Charleston area.

The goods: Fish belt buckles/bottle openers ($90 to $105) and leather belt straps ($48). Made of a mixture of metals, each buckle is branded with the HNH signature and numbered.

What’s popular: Redfish belt buckle/bottle opener ($100). The Redfish (also known as Red Drum or Spot Tail Bass) is the prize of “tailing tides.”

Other favorites: Tarpon and Rainbow Trout ($105).

Big break: At the Southeastern Wildlife Expo two years ago, Perk Perkins, the CEO of Orvis, stopped by Hook N Hide’s booth. Orvis now sells the Rainbow Trout buckle.

What’s new & next: The Bonefish belt buckle. By spring, the collection will expand to include wildlife designs.

Where to buy: www.hooknhide.com. In the Atlanta area, at Webb Limited, 4300 Paces Ferry Road, in the Vinings Jubilee (www.webbltd.com), and the London Trading Company, 30 E. Andrews Drive NW (http://londontradingcompany.com).

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