Being American myself, there is nothing better for me than an “American Dream” success story. In my opinion, as bold as it may be to say, I believe that we all have the capabilities to become who we want to, within our lifetime. More often than not, it simply ourselves who hold us back from doing/being just that. But every now and then, someone out there believes in them self (whether American or any race for that matter) and makes their dreams come true no matter what the cost. Jay Butler is a story that comes into this realm.
Funny enough, Justin Jeffers, owner/founder of Jay Butler shoes as well as The Fine Young Gentleman blog was one of the first people to come from overseas and meet me for a lunch/coffee (this was about 3 years ago). He was also one of the first that told me that my story inspired him and that he wanted to try and do the same thing (blog + company) that I did as his accounting background/job simply wasn’t what he envisioned his life being (for the rest of it). For me it was a great feeling to be there inspiring people as that, for me, is mainly what telling my story is all about: the hopes to inspire like minded people to go out and chase their dreams, no matter what they may be. Therefore, I gave him my best advice and told him to keep in touch.
It was nice to watch his growth from afar and see him turn his desires into reality, first with the blog and more recently with his shoe line. Of course, we kept in touch throughout this time lapse and of course I provided advice wherever I could as many did for me during my path to starting my own shoe line; the idea of paying it forward as it may be (as we all should do IMHO). That brings us to present day where he most recently launched his Jay Butler shoe line.
From what I have gathered, Justin wanted to create a loafer line of shoes that had the feel/look of something smart-casual like, but not have the pricepoint that comes from many of those Italian branded lines (i.e. Tod’s or Car Shoe). He therefore found a small factory in Mexico that is able to hand sew the apron and provide a solid product at a relatively affordable price. Needless to say I am proud of Justin for going ahead with his dreams and making it all happen. It’s a hard path starting ones own shoe line and I know just the trial and tribulations that he has already faced. And to see that he is still here at this point, makes me feel that he has what it takes to succeed and take it all the way. Well done Justin.
He has sent me a few pairs for review but I simply haven’t had the time (nor weather) to wear them but as soon as the sun starts showing itself a bit more, I will get them on my feet and on the blog for my opinion to be heard. So stay tuned.