WE KNOW YOU GUYS, BUT FOR THOSE WHO ARE NEW TO LOVE JULES CAN YOU GIVE US A LITTLE OVERVIEW OF YOUR COMPANY?
We’re Jules Vagelatos & Josh Blodans, and we’re partners in life & business. We own and operate a little handcrafted leather shoe company based in beautiful Whistler, British Columbia. Every piece that leaves our studio was handcrafted by our four hands with little to no machine support. We source our materials locally, we will never compromise on craftsmanship, and we like to think we offer some pretty uniquely designed (badass) kicks.
YOU WORK OUT OF A LITTLE TWO PERSON GARAGE BASED LEATHER STUDIO IN WHISTLER, BC. BUT JULES STUDIED AT NSCAD – WHAT PROMPTED THE MOVE OUT WEST?
Jules was born in Vancouver and raised in Whistler. She was part of the ski racing scene out here, but at the age of 19 she decided to leave to pursue her other passion. At the time, planting herself on the other side of the country to attend art school sounded like a fine plan. Though, her time away made her realize how attached she was to the west, so on graduation, she returned home, with no real plan but to be home.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO WORKING WITH LEATHER?
In Jules’ second to last year of art school, she took a job apprenticing with a leathersmith. At the time, the gig was was simply a means to pay the rent. Though, unexpectedly, she fell in love with the craft, and when she returned west, she began combining her artistic talents (namely drawing) with her acquired skills in leather crafting. What started out as a hobby in 2007 has blossomed into a struggling business.
WHAT IS YOUR DESIGN PROCESS? WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Our design process takes time. We try to just let it flow… forcing wouldn’t be authentic. Sketch books, early morning chats over coffee… long dog walks are key. We fool around a lot in the studio. Sometimes things click, sometimes they don’t, but we’re always havin’ fun which is important to us. Our inspiration comes from all over really. Pleasant sounds, written words, moving pictures…people. And of course, all things vintage. Though we’re perpetually inspired by the natural surroundings of our day to day, we love to break free from our bubble of comfort and road-trip to some far off place where you can’t help but have inspiration thrust upon you, whether you’re looking for it or not. Right now, we’re finding ourselves drawn to the American Southwest, cowboy culture, harmonicas and banjos, Clint Eastwood and John Wayne.
WE HEARD YOU MIGHT BE GOING ON A ROAD TRIP THIS YEAR, ANY CHANCE OF A STOP IN OTTAWA?
We’d love to! Josh is originally from Toronto, so if we can get out acts together to get back east to visit his family & friends, a trip to Ottawa would definitely be on our list of to-dos. We did have plans of travelling a fair bit this summer, but some unexpected developments in this little business of ours have forced us to stay a little closer to home. Don’t want to count our eggs before they hatch, but we’re currently in discussions with a potential investor who threatening to give us some tools & opportunities that would seriously help us make a go of it. Until we get that all sorted, we’re kind of locked down.
WHAT TUNES WILL YOU BE ENJOYING ON YOUR UPCOMING ROADTRIP?
Not necessarily in order of preference/ frequency:
- Patrick Watson,
- The Barr Brothers,
- Damian Jurado, and
- Vancover, B.C.’s own Grimes
FOUR THINGS YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT:
- Our puppy James. Half Bernese Mountain Dog, half Golden Retriever, 100% rascal.
- Josh’s ACL. He just had reconstructive surgery, to undo what he did skiing this past February. He should be back opening day, skiing as reckless as ever…
- The Canadian Broadcast Corporation. It’s a constant hum in the background of our day to day.
- Coffee… We’re on a cleanse right now, so we’ve been on the wagon for 5 days. It’s made us realize how much we love it… I don’t wanna live (much longer) without it.