Q&A with Rianna Brown

Truman Boot Company is a very small operation having only seven to eight people in the shop on a regular day. Meet one of our seamstresses, Rianna Brown. 

What sewing experience did you have before joining Truman? Was it
hard transitioning to sewing leather?

My first industrial sewing job was with BDDW. It's another company built
from scratch like Truman Boot, and I love that. Instead of custom leather
boots I upholstered high end furniture.

I had worked with some leather, but yes, I would say I still had to
experience a learning curve. To be honest, most of the leather working
machines at Truman were new to me, especially the skiver, and the clicker
press. Those two machines alone make the process so much more gratifying as
a seamstress. It is truly industrial.

What’s your favorite material to work with besides leather?

I'm definitely fond of velvet, I'm not going to lie. But... my favorite
material to WORK with is buckram. This is my secret love. It makes
designing anything like a dream. A total dream.


You were already located in Colorado before the company relocated to
Boulder — do you have a favorite thing to do in the area?

Yeah it's funny because I did live in PA for a bit, though nowhere near the
old Truman Boot Co. shop. I grew up in Colorado, and Boulder is by far the
best. My favorite place to visit is Eldorado Springs. I've walked up to the
Doudy-Debacker-Dunn house so many times since my childhood, it is probably
the most nostalgic place on earth for me. I think it is an important
landmark for our state, (I mean there are so many) but because of its
location it is one of the most accessible. It is important for Colorado's
new "transplanted" population to see that there is a history here, and it
wasn't just a toothless pioneer gold miner with his gold pan and bindle.

Truman Boot is obviously very fashion oriented. Do you have a
favorite fashion designer outside of Truman Boot?

I do, I have many favorite fashion designers, it's hard to put one down. I
think it's safe to say that Jean Paul Gaultier was pivotal for my
generation to say the least. There is something so strange behind his work
that really resonates with me, and I think I've seen it echoing in
unexpected ways. My newest favorite is Claire Barrow. If I were to curate a
contemporary fashion exhibit, and I could ask any two designers to
collaborate, I would ask them.


What’s your favorite leather to come through the shop?

I'm still learning the realm of fine leathers. So as an admirer I will
humbly say my favorite so far has been the Green Janus Butt as a rough-out.
There is just something so luxurious about emerald green for me. It's like
sophisticated, smart, and kind of playful. There wasn't a thing to dislike
about working with it either.

Despite what many of us think, there is a whole world out there
beyond shoes. What hobbies do you have beyond the realm of shoes, clothing,
and sewing?

Haha there's a world beyond clothes and shoes? I think the only real world
beyond that is like nature, of course. But to answer your question- my
ultimate love is for ballet. It always was, and will always be. My favorite
contemporary choreographers are William Forsythe, and Michael Clark. My
first influence as a young girl was Nijinsky; and to me there is no one
more inspirational than he was.

Truman Boot currently has five different sewing machines — three
vintage Pfaffs and two new Durkopp Adlers. Which is your favorite machine
to sew on?

We count on all of them equally, and I think each have their own charms. I
have grown pretty accustomed to one of the vintage Pfaffs. It is definitely
a work horse, and has rarely ever let me down. Besides the occasional
skipped stitch I'd say it's a real gem.

Is there one process of sewing a boot that you particularly like or
dislike?

I recently learned the new heel design, which is somewhat sans heel, and I
have to say I was surprised by how much I liked the process. I think with
the right build, and leather that design would look really killer.

What do you want to be doing in ten years? Still working in the
fashion industry?

I have three major life goals, but I'll only tell you one. I would like to
start a sewing school inspired by the Black Mountain College, and the Emily
Griffith Opportunity School, which is where I studied sewing. It may be a
high hope, but it would mean so much to me. The legacy of both schools are
priceless. It's a shame that those ideals didn't carry through to this
generation. I mean you can read their history, and it can motivate you, but
no one can go to a school like that anymore. I would like to change that.



Shoe Forum Tradition dictates that we must ask you one final,
important question: What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

There is an ice cream shoppe in Denver called Bonnie Brae. They serve a
classic flavor, but I've never seen it done quite like theirs. They make a
vanilla ice cream with the cutest peppermint chips in red and blue. It
reminds me of confetti birthday cake. Eating ice cream should make you feel
like a kid, and this ice cream does that for me.

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Resole & Repair on Coyote Roughout - Part 2 of 2

 

The hard wear and resilience of these boots are a tribute to the quality of American heritage craft. Reconstructing the boots by staying true to the philosophy behind the skill of the New American workforce, and ensuring the unwavering commitment to the quality in these boots for our customers brings us tremendous pride. We love witnessing the lasting capability of our boots and seeing the hard wear that our customers entrust their boots with.

 

Do you have a pair of well-worn Truman Boots? If so, we'd love to see! Shoot some photos over to: contact@trumanboot.com

 

                                       Thanks for sharing your story with us, Eric.

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Resole & Repair on Coyote Roughout - Part 1 of 2

 

 

One of the things we love to see here at Truman is a well-worn pair of our boots. These beauties came in for a resole on our classic Commando sole. We love to deconstruct our boots that have seen extreme conditions. Although the sole has been drastically worn down, the durability of the leather upper and accompanying components is a testament to the quality of our hand-made boots.

 

Once we began to resole the boots, we were intrigued by the wear so much that we reached out to the owner of the boots, “Eric,” to find out what a typical day for these boots looks like to gain so much wear. As it turns out, these boots are put through the ringer on a daily basis at multiple hard labor jobs, with most wear being endured from his sustainable landscaping job. Even despite all the hard work these boots have seen, they are also cleaned and conditioned regularly to protect and promote long-lasting durability. There is no doubt, with this resole, that these boots will see many more years of wear even under hard-labor conditions.

 

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Shop Visit and Q&A With Outlined Cloth

We enjoy having anyone and everyone come and visit us at the shop. It's even more exciting when you have a very influential fashion and lifestyle blogger come in and check out what we do.

Our friend Devin of Outlined Cloth came and visited the shop. He brought his (very fashionable and lovely) fiancé Marlene and lovely mother Darleen with him to check out the shop. 

For those of you who don't know, Devin is the man behind Outlined Cloth. A fashion and lifestyle blog based around functional and fashionable men's goods. His Instagram has shown a way to combine workwear with daily fashionable outfits. He has influenced many brands, as well as an unknown amount of followers with his fashion sense and ability to make any sort of clothing look good.

While they were here, we gave them a tour of our small shop and walked them through the process of building a Made-To-Order boot, from picking the leather, construction and finishing. Of course we had great conversations and laughs about the industry, and lifestyle that we all appreciate and support. 

After they toured the shop, took pictures, and chatted, I asked Devin to sit down for a little Q&A about his thoughts on Truman, and the quickly growing and changing industry that we're all apart of. 

What was your first impression of Truman? 
My first impression was, wow they do everything in here?! I was amazed and truly impressed that the whole process is done right there in the shop. I have not seen anything like that so I was just blown away.
What are your thoughts about the shop and us being in Boulder?
The best part about visiting the shop is meeting the faces behind the brand. Seeing the passion in the workers and hearing them talk about making boots. When we put on clothes on each day, sometimes we lose sight of the fact that there is an individual behind the brand putting it all together.  Being in Boulder is even more special for me as I was born and raised there. Even though I live in Los Angeles now, Boulder is my roots. I played sports there, went to college there
and even bought some of my first boots there at Crossroads Mall.
What do you think sets Truman apart from other companies? 
The one thing that sets Truman apart is their made-to-order boots. The customization that one can choose means you can get the boots you truly want, the way you want them. I have not seen made-to-order for this price point and quality anywhere on the market.
What other brands do you think go well with the Truman esthetic/lifestyle?
There are a couple other brands that align with the lifestyle and esthetic of Truman Boots and one is my favorite, California denim brand Freenote Cloth. I have been a fan of the product since their inception and was excited to see a handful of Freenote goods being carried in Truman’s shop. A few more would be @SlightlyAlabama and @Starkmade, both making quality goods for men.
 
Do you think having completely in-house manufacturing is something people care about? does it deter you when companies are made in giant factories where a bunch of other companies have their stuff made as well?
I absolutely believe as social media continues to grow and the story behind the brand becomes just as important as the products themselves, the fact they are doing it all in house is something people care about. I am not entirely turned off by a brand if they are making their products in a giant factory as I know there is a lot that goes into running a brand. But a company like Truman does catch your eye first and makes you want to know more about them and what they are doing.
Do you think it's important for a guy to have a pair (or more) of quality boots in their wardrobe? If so, why? 
Growing up in Colorado, it was always important for me to have a solid pair of boots. Now living in Los Angeles, I gravitate toward boots due to their comfort and they can be worn outside and in the office with ease.  I think it is essential for a guy to have at least one pair (and in my case a couple go-to pairs) of boots that they can interchange with any look. Boots can be dressed up and down, being one of the most versatile items in a man’s closet besides a solid pair of denim.
Is Made in America an important topic? Do you see people favoring US made, or do you think people are indifferent about it?
For me, I do my very best to seek out Made in America brands, I understand how hard it can be, so I am not one to judge a company for having to outsource work. I have seen a growing trend among menswear shoppers to seek well-made goods in the US. 
 
Do you see US manufacturing growing with clothing/boot production? Do you think it will continue to grow, or is it just a "fad”?
My personal opinion is that US manufacturing has peaked, but my hope is it will continue to grow. I think it is hard for any brand to be successful regardless of where they are making their product, but at times the cost of doing it in the US is too much for a brand to sustain long term. I really hope it is not just a fad, but being supportive is these brands is one way to make sure Made in America continues to thrive and grow.
What are your thoughts about so many new (clothing or boot) companies popping up, producing almost the same product, and most of the time being cheaply made overseas? 
They say that imitation is the best form of flattery, so I think it is good because it forces companies to continue to put out a better product. It is frustrating to see products being cheaply made,  but I think the competition is healthy because the repeat consumer will seek out well-made goods in the end.

 

Again, I'd like to thank Devin, Marlene, and Darleen for coming and checking out the shop. It is always great to have people come in and see how we build our boots from start to finish. 

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Weekly Wear In: Rocky Snuff Boots

This Rocky Snuff Leather from CF Stead tannery starts off with a white wax coating. As you break in and wear your boots, the wax will settle into the leather, burnish, or scuff off.

At first you'll notice the hard wear points: where your pants rub against them or where the boot creases as you walk. As the break in period continues and the wax continues to wear off you'll see the lovely suede texture of the leather show through. Each pair of these boots will patina differently, making them truly unique to each wearer.

 

This pair of Rocky Snuff has been worn hard for about 3 months. As you can see, the toe and heel of the boot have aged drastically while other areas (such as the top of the vamp) have stayed almost the same. This is just one example of how unique they can look after only a few months of wear time. 

Mohawk, Cf Stead, Truman Boot Co 

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