My name is Isobel. In May of 2012, I quit my cushy corporate job as a design director at a major US retailer and went in search of something more. I chronicled my journey on my blog, The Creative Sabbatical. Along the way I found a small clog factory in the Midwest. I'd always had an itch to learn to make shoes, so I emailed the owner to see if I could work with her. She called me back half an hour later, offering up not only her time and energy, but also her old Volvo. A month later I was on a flight to Minnesota about to start an adventure that would change my life.
Bryr means to care in Swedish and is pronounced like the English word briar. When designing my first collection I thought about what I wanted: I've always been a big flea market shopper, a vintage collector and lover of all things granny. I started designing the line by visiting an amazing 100 yr old leather factory and choosing my favorite hides. The rest just came naturally.
I believe whole-heartedly in the intrinsic value of well-made things. I believe it's about time that we treated the things we wore with as much thought as the things we eat- that they are made with fair practices, that the makers are treated with respect, that they are made to last and that they use sustainable materials. I want to make clogs that in 20 years, your daughter will pull out of the closet and want to wear because they are timeless, beautiful and well made.
I've been lucky enough to meet some really amazing ladies during this process. And they just happen to also love clogs as well! This spring I started a blog dedicated to interviewing these incredible people. Some of them are politicians, some mums, many of them are artists and designers, and all of them are beautiful, inspiring and strong. They are real people who inspire me to design.
This is not a glossy company with 100 employees and a marketing department trying to seem 'authentic'. This is the real deal.
Welcome to the journey.
Photographer: Ryan Theisen
Make up: Sarah Graalman
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