Our Story – Waltzing Matilda USA

Our Story

Waltzing Matilda USA is a brand founded in Pennsylvania which specializes in handcrafted sandals and leather accessories.  The company was started unofficially from the back of a VW van with a hammer, a knife and scrap leather.  The first Waltzing Matilda USA product ever created was re-purposed from a piece of shoe leather and turned into a sandal.  One sandal led to another.  The sandals were manufactured during the night so that they could be hand delivered to specialty shops along the East Coast during the day.  

The passion for creating pieces of art from leather progressed to a bag.  Beer was traded for scrap leather from the Red Wing Shoe Factory in Minnesota, and these scraps were turned into a bag that received much attention through social media.  As a result, many bags were commissioned, and Waltzing Matilda USA was officially born in 2014.

Today, the company has returned to its sandal roots with the help of some friends in Geneva, NY.  Two companies merged to combine the care for quality products and love for a beautiful design that is now handmade in a microfactory in Upstate Maine.  Waltzing Matilda USA strives to put a comfortable, aesthetically pleasing, and, above all, well made sandal on each person's foot. 

The inspiration for the company's name stems from one of the founder's childhood memories. He and his father spent many nights listening to the song, “Waltzing Matilda” by Tom Waits.  The beautiful melody mixed with Waits' gruff, whiskey-soaked voice led to a piece of art, just as the process of taking old scraps led to the creation of a unique, story-telling piece of WM USA product.

The brand is currently distributed through high-end specialty stores in the US and Japan.  Everything is handcrafted in the USA and made to last forever.  Every effort is made to use recycled materials found during the company’s travels.  Waltzing Matilda USA does not compromise. The company is creative, adventurous and humble, and sincerely wants to stimulate the senses with its pieces.  Every hide is handpicked with unique features and marks that add character and beauty to each product. Waltzing Matilda USA hopes you love your new piece of art and that it travels with you for a lifetime. 

Owner Mike Balitsaris talks about Waltzing Matilda USA,
why he started it, what he stands for and his
commitment to keeping everything made in the USA.