Im Ben O'Reilly, The man behind Cloverlily Leatherworks.

When Cloverlily Leatherworks started in 2017, I had no idea It would have turned into what it has.

I started Cloverlily with one goal in mind, to create no bullshit leather goods as ethically as possible. To make goods that are aren't just style over substance, that are crafted by hand in the UK. Genuinely, not just marketing nonsense.
That are made from the best materials, not the cheapest, or fastest.
And sourced from the best suppliers, only from fair pay manufacturers. I didn't want to be a brand without a message and that central message is to constantly make tiny changes to the world around us.

Over the years Cloverlily has been running ive have shipped thousands of harnesses, slings, straps and other leather goods all around the world. As well as this, I have also raised over £31000 for charity (Over the wall, Macmillan, Concern and Movember etc etc), not including time i've given as a volunteer. Not bad for one man, his baby and two dogs on the Kent Coast.

If you have any questions or feedback dont hesitate to get in touch on 07783 678 213 or Email Me.




I wanted to source leather that causes the least amount of environmental impact as possible. I really hunted for the best offering and landed with getting my leather from a small family run tannery in Italy, opting for the best quality vegetable tanned hide I could.



We are all unique shapes, sizes and need so there is no sense in offering an insultingly named "one-size-fits-all" solution. Each item is made to order for you, this means you will receive an item that is as unique as you are.


I go above and beyond on the finishing, bevelling and burnishing edges, finishing and conditioning with authentic natural finishes. This is the longest part of the manufacturing process it is better to take time on something that will be by your side for the rest of your career.


Each piece is made by hand, using traditional techniques. Meaning each harness is organic, it wears its uniqueness with pride and will develop its own unique patina as its ages.


The Timeline

From tiny acorns

Grow a cottage industry

Im not going to fluff this, or be scant with details. I am Cloverlily and Cloverlily is me. So this is as much as a biography as it is a timeline of a business.

I was working as a creative for an e-commerce brand local to me, in a previous lifetime a job I did and enjoyed was wedding photography, at this stage I still dabbled sporadically but only ever 5-10 weddings a year. (I joke I have lead many lifetimes as I have got various odd skills and experiences)

In the April a colleague, Spencer was a outdoorsman, we got talking about a belt I had, and I expressed my dissatisfaction with it, he suggested making my own, and the next day he came in with two leather blanks for me to tinker with. Thank you Spencer.

Two weeks later I purchased my first hide and sourced some basic tools and made my first harness for myself and a sling for my then wife (who I did wedding photography with).

I started selling on Ebay in May and Etsy in the June. There was only one other seller in the U.K. at the time. Erik at the now defunct Pretty Dead Cow, more on them later.

Me and my ex-wife moved into our first house together in the August.

The photo is the product shot of my first sale.

You play the cards your dealt

Not the ones you want

2018 started as any, I got a small promotion at work and Cloverlily was starting to sell well. Then in the February my ex-wife left me four days before my birthday, It was a messy ordeal as these things are. Im not free of fault in the whole situation, no one lives life without getting blood on their hands, but she simply fell out of love with me.

My workshop was based in the top floor of our house. So whilst I moved out onto a friends sofa, I halted production. This only lasted one month.

I moved into a flat on April 1st. Here the front room served as a workshop. It was a great flat, and a really formative time in my life. I had to start completely over, I lost everything, I had my workbench, an iMac and 4 hides.

This year I worked my main job, Cloverlily and the rest of the time I worked on myself. I learned who I was, I fell in love with philosophy, running and self improvement.

Despite all the turbulence in my personal life, financially Cloverlily had an amazing year, allowing growth for the business and really easing the stress on my finances from a divorce.

Despite everything I ended the year on a high.

David vs Goliath

Bullies are cowards

I carried on as normal, focusing on iterating my harnesses and slings.

I started work on my website in the March of this year, it was a longer journey than i would have wanted. My full time job was getting busier, I had a few more reports and time was more of a premium.

The website went went live midnight August 1st, converting on the August 21st. I was volunteering at a camp for children with life altering illnesses or ailments at the time (hence the photo). I remember when I looked at my phone that evening how excited I was. Orders haven't slowed since.

On the 22nd I received a bullying email from an American competitor, I assume this was to every harness manufacturer on Etsy, more had popped up over the years, but at the forefront of UK based manufactures was me and Erik at Pretty Dead Cow. Erik closed his Etsy days later, I imagine in reply to the threat, moving to his website entirely, a few months later that closed. I tried to contact him since but his Etsy profile is disabled, and the emails I sent bounce back. I feel bad for him. Bullies are cowards.

Id not consider myself the forefront of UK harness makers anymore, but I can confidently say I 100% make mine by hand in the UK, from European bull leather, tanned by fairly payed artisans. And crafted by me. Not mass Produced from shit leather by people with a boot on their neck in China, India or North Africa.

Covid 19

Uncertainty reigns

Covid 19 happened.

I met my current partner just before.

We had an amazingly warm spring and summer.

It was a Blur.

I worked mostly on my full time job, I inherited a team and a new job title.

The company I worked for grew and evolved, I worked very closely with the CEO to facilitate the growth from an E-commerce brand to a pillar of the sector offering our expertise to the brands we worked with. My team sold our marketing and branding expertise inside our industry, it was a unique model and it worked.

In December, Bear my dog entered my life. I love him dearly.

You cannot stop the tide

Change is the only constant

I had a lot of fun. Me and the CEO grew a friendship from a positive working relationship and were on the same page with direction the company was heading in.

But the growth the financial boom from Covid, caused the old leadership team to fracture and dissolve, I found myself one of the only survivors at my level. The new leadership team which I was a part of never really gelled, the next 8-9 months were hard. And this new setup didn't work for me. I resigned in the August, and saw out my 3 month notice. This caused a flurry of changes with a view to save me, but the psychological damage a bad culture caused had been done. The ideological change was too great now. I left the same month I moved into the house me and my partner own.

My relationship with the CEO ended on my last day. He could only see my leaving as a betrayal, ego is a funny beast. I still miss our friendship.

I was courted by a few local brands, but it is rare in life to have the opportunity to 100% bet on yourself. So I did. I realise my core customer, photographers, you, is entirely made of people who have done this. It may feel normal now, but honestly, its very rare for people to do this!

It was time for Cloverlily to sink or swim.

A year of focus

And unexpected change

I had a few months of rest and healing at the tail end of 2021, which allowed me to hit the ground running in 2022. A year that started very quietly, this was worrying at first but it matched sales trends of the past few years.

I focused on iterating my harnesses further, improving my website and slowly growing my product range.

After the slow start the year was one of consistent growth.

I'd never thought I would have children, it was not on my radar, but when you meet he right person you just know.

In the September R fell pregnant.

Cloverlily really needed to swim now.

Sometimes you need to slow down

To speed up

The largest lifestyle change most people undergo was around the corner. I had to get our home ready, run my business and support my pregnant partner. A job undertaken by billions before me, but this story is about me.

The weeks before the due date I looked at my sales trends and decided to put my Etsy store on holiday mode for the foreseeable, and halt manufacture 2 weeks before the due date and for 4 weeks after.

I slimmed out my product offering to just harnesses and settled in for a new experience.

On the 24th April my beautiful Daughter was born.

Ive done many jobs, but being a father is the best job I've ever had.

Over the summer I kept my smaller product offering and worked reduced hours while me and R settled into our new roles.

I was expecting not to hit my 20% growth target this year. However, you all had different ideas. Despite everything I saw a growth of 40%, whilst selling through only 1 channel, this website.

In the October I could afford Cloverlily more mental and physical bandwidth. I reopened my Etsy store. It didn't not convert for the rest of the year. I do not know why, I can only presume I offended their algorithm.

In the December I moved into a Workshop and Office in Folkestone's creative quarter.

Ive got some great Studio Mates, including Sue @ fat hen and flo.

Love, family, trials

And camera harnesses

2024 started well, my daughter started nursery. I finished my new website in the January, i saw consistent growth so far (as of March).

Etsy is still dead for me, I had my first conversions in February since April 2023 (mostly the store was closed on that platform)

I also released some new product lines and have looked to grow even more.

Heres to the future. Its looking good.

I love small buying from small businesses, as every one has its own story. I hope youve enjoyed reading mine. Its been cathartic to write this out.

I love you all.