Black Diamond Tannery is the vision of Jay Wilson, perhaps one of the greatest alligator tradesmen of all time. Jay is highly decorated WWII fighter pilot who later spent over 50 years tanning exotic skins around the world. Jay has truly seen it all, including the rise and fall of the alligator trade due to irresponsible commerce, which inspired his vision of an accountable and sustainable future for the industry. After allying with a founding member of CITES, Dr. Wayne King, Jay set out to invigorate the trade in one of the most precious luxuries on the planet.
Today, Jay Wilson is in his nineties and a legend in the alligator tannery business. Jay brought the same zeal, energy and indomitable spirit to The Black Diamond Tannery that he displayed in 1940, as an under 20 year old American flying with the RAF, in the battle of London…well, we know who won the battle!
The Black Diamond tannery construction was financed and originally owned by Stanford Phelps.
After studying the Black Diamond Alligator Tannery opportunity, Abas, with a financial partner, purchased The Black Diamond Alligator Tannery in late 2015. Abas’ financial partner is Frank P. Slattery, chairman of several small and/or start-up companies. Mr. Slattery’s passion for small business goes beyond his former teaching of entrepreneurism at Princeton and The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania into the real world of small businesses and start-ups.
The Abas/Slattery team had the great opportunity to work with Fred Boling, President of Black Diamond Tannery. A professional man as comfortable in negotiating the sale of a small alligator tannery, as negotiating energy deals in the Ukraine. Fred is a man of incredible principle, business acumen and civility.
Jim Devaney, the owner of Abas Accessories, began in the leather goods industry hand making casual wallets in Cambridge, Ma. In 1973 Jim Devaney had the good fortune to meet Mr. Bastian and was mentored by Mr. Bastian for 30 years. Mr. Bastian’s legendary eye for detail and absolute passion for quality is recognized throughout the luxury leather market. It was with Mr. Bastian’s tutelage that Mr. Devaney was able to transition from street leather crafts into luxury production. In the early 1980’s, Abas established itself as premier manufacturer of Alligator products reflecting Mr. Bastian’s passion for quality product.
Using only American Alligator wild skins, sustainable and humanely harvested, Black Diamond Tannery processes the skins in a manufacturing ecologically designed tannery; located in Florida U.S.A. Black Diamond produces exquisite, highly valued American Alligator skins in all finishes and sizes. Our skins are the ultimate in quality…reflective of the passions of a unique band of individuals…all of whom share their fellowship today.