Ever wondered what it’s like to own a business, doing something you love and the perks of which are to work in the great outdoors? Well Simon Bourne has done exactly that, creating works of art through the form of hand dyed shoes. The collection is unlike anything you’ll see in high street stores and you know that hours of hard graft and detail have gone into each and every pair. These are the perfect gift for any man in your life that you want to spoil rotten, whether it’s a partner, parent or grandparent, you’ll be making them the hipsters of their town. Or if you’re looking at these for yourself, you can be safe in the knowledge that the quality of leather and detail will last longer than the average high street pair of shoes would. I caught up with Simon over e-mail and asked him all about his hand dyed shoes!
For those of us who don’t know much about your company, what do you offer?
Handmade, hand–dyed British shoes completely unique from one another. The Hand Dyed Shoe Company is all about quality and individualism. I can’t handmade two shoes to be exactly the same thanks to the 19th century inspired hand-dying techniques that I have mastered. The porous leather dictates the patina of each shoe and it’s this uniqueness that is very much the appeal of my footwear.
Do you work alone or in a team?
I guess there’s a team of us but I’m very much at the forefront. I have some great people around me who are very much ambassadors for my brand so photography, accountancy and all the nitty gritty that goes into making a company a success is there.
How long have you been making handmade shoes for?
The first prototype was developed in early 2014. Since then it’s all been about refining the art and learning more and more about styles, shapes, finishes and fashion.
What makes your shoes stand out from the rest?
They’re different from the rest, you can’t get them anywhere else. The patina that I create in my shoes is truly one-of-a-kind and it’s that what makes them stand out from my competitors. They have been meticulously designed and no stone has been left unturned when it comes to details – even the placement of my brand on the right shoe only gives the shoes distinction and on-point branding.
What inspired you to start up your company?
It’s a long story, but The Hand Dyed Shoe Company was borne out of a true love for creative fashion. There’s nothing I enjoy more than trawling through charity shops, redesigning trends or sourcing that innovative knit from a vintage store. For me, unique is everything.
My professional background is in the furniture industry and the wonderful world of hand–dyed leather. For years I dreamt of owning my own company but how could I create something as special as the beautiful leather furniture I was so in love with?
One day it suddenly came to me – I needed to merge those artisan skills with my love of fashion. I needed to make beautiful shoes for you, the discerning gentleman. I needed to make shoes using the same raw leathers that I used to make furniture, hand-dying them exactly to your taste.
What is the process for a first time customer?
Get in touch essentially. I appreciate that when you purchase a quality product there are lots of questions to be asked and I would love to answer them! I want to tell my customer s about the history of hand dyed leathers, the styles, why I created this company – what makes the shoes unique and how the technology of it works. There aren’t many who drop onto the website and purchase straight away because usually there’s a burning desire to learn more – so I tell them, just get in touch and I’ll be happy to answer anything that you need to know before committing to an order.
Where are you based?
I live in the north-east of England, County Durham. My home is an old mining village called Langley Park and it’s steeped in lots of great working class heritage. I’m very proud to be from the north-east.
How much does it cost to purchase these shoes?
The starting price for Mr Rump and Mr Angus, the two shoes in my range is £235.00. If you prefer boots, Mr Bovine is my Chelsea Boot and arguably my most popular style coming in at £265.00. The long, swooping nose of the shoe is a perfect canvas for creating that wonderful patina that I’m so passionate about.
Check out The Hand Dyed Shoe Company here and make sure you enter their competition here, to win a brand new pair of shoes.This is a giveaway you simply can’t miss out on! Entries close at midday on the 29th February 2016.
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