Nicks Custom Boots sends us new products as they are developed to be photographed for their website and other sales efforts. They are very high quality custom made boots which makes them great to photograph. Nicks is a great Spokane success story- a small business that is growing and selling internationally driven by good management and mostly superb product quality. The craftsmen who make these are uncommon in their skills and are astonishing to watch work, as I have. To turn big sheets of heavy leather into these is something to behold. After photographing many shoes and boots for several years, the owner was kind enough to get both me and my assistant each a pair of boots at nominal cost. Nicks is moving from a very cramped legacy factory to new quarters as we speak which will be more efficient, more pleasant for the staff, and accommodate the growth they are experiencing.
We were asked by the new owner of Nicks Custom Boots to help with a new website and marketing effort. The owner is a gent who comes from a marketing and writing background and he contacted us after seeing our website including some work we have done for White's Outdoor- other boots and footwear. We did several batches of work and casual boots as product photography and then a great session at the factory. It is kind of a old-world factory, not large but very full and very busy. The craftsmen and women are really skilled and it is a wonder to watch them take the full cowhides and cut and work and sew them into the best boots you can buy. They sell to linemen (and women, I'm sure) loggers (with the spikes all over the sole), smokejumpers and other heavy-use outdoor trades. They do a ton of rebuild work too. Some of their boots have been in service for decades. When they are comfortable and right, they are worth rebuilding.
Good heavy leather, hand selected and matched, sewing intricate patterns with machines that can sew through a half-inch of leather effortlessly, other machines that sew the soles- some an inch-plus thick, old tried-and-true finishing buffers and strange devices that have more history than most people do... this is the stuff of Nicks Custom Boots. Superb craftspeople who really get it when it comes to quality. Shooting there for a day was a great pleasure and the client responded to the proof gallery with an email saying " Wow- these are a gold mine". His web designer told him that these images were "as good as he had seen". I hope it is true. At the least, it makes us feel good about what we did for them. This is the kind of business I like and admire from a lot of different perspectives. Scale, locality, artisanship, personality, quality- a business with real heart. You can view their website HERE.
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