A big part of my Himel Brothers project was to create a brand that celebrates being Canadian. So many clothing brands are secretly made here in Canada and so many Canadians are secretly living prominent lives in the good ole U.S.A. hiding their Canadian identities and I didn’t want to be one of them.
The names and themes of HBL celebrate all things Canadian, from my neighbourhood, to the animals and people that live here in the Great White North. One of my earliest supporters and customers was one of the few globally celebrated Canadian brand owners Bret Viberg of Viberg boots. Bret and I have become great friends, not only that but he has bought a couple of Himel Brothers jackets!
Another incredible talent that Bret has is his tremendous ability to collaborate. As a small growing business is it good to share information but collaboration is a key strategy for brand building. Bret has been a key supporter, spreading the word about Himel Brothers. When running micro brands you have to be on the constant hunt for new innovative materials, ideas and stock. I’ve been out searching old factories, looking at techniques to make authentic old style buttons, hunting down perfect leathers for my jackets and I’ve had a bunch of buddies to share information and resources with. Together we are going to put Canadian clothing proudly back on the list of cool brands and innovative design and production!
Mikel received his jacket and wrote me a nice note. I thought I would share it….not to brag simply to let my potential customers know that when they order online a bespoke jacket that they can feel confident they are getting the best jacket possible. Mikel is one of my best customers and I am honoured to have him! “Dave , Yesterday I was wearing your jacket and Everybody went crazy ! I went to the coolest places like SELF EDGE , STRONGHOLD or RRL , and I was asked about the jacket everywhere ! Everybody loves It ! M” Thank You to M. and all my customers! If you are curious about Mikel’s music this is his website…Â http://www.mikelerentxun.ws/
My new friend Eric is one of my many repeat customers. I am very very proud when I can make and sell a jacket. I am ecstatic when a customer comes back and orders more then one. Usually customers approach with trepidations via the web. Many are concerned that they cannot possibly get the correct fit or that my jackets will not live up to expectations. I intend to include some of the letters I get from my customers regarding my jackets. I am taken aback by the amount of love and appreciation I am getting through the email. I am going to not include the names of my competitors cited in the mails. I respect all the players that are trying to carve out a niche in building beautiful vintage quality jackets. I of course strive to be the best!
Here is an excerpt from another customer Darren. He bought an Avro and a Kensington:
We were away, and returned a couple of days ago. The jackets arrived shortly before we left, but I have not had a chance to email until now.
The jackets are completely amazing. You said they turned out well, and that was no exaggeration. As much as I liked the two-tone Avro, I like the black better. It is the coolest and best made garment I own, next to the Kensington. I wish you could see a direct comparison between your horsehide and the XXXX XXXXXs. Theirs is shiny, almost like a painted finish, while your’s glows – that is the best way I can describe it. The leather is neither matte and rubbery or glossy and crinkly. You certainly were correct with your choice of Italian/Japanese hides; they are beyond compare.Â XXXX XXXXX not junk, but when you have them side by side, the differences are obvious.
The Avro is almost too cool. You might remember when Steve Martin was a wild and crazy guy, but almost all dentists are mild and lazy guys. The jacket will elevate me to a stratospheric level of cool. Simply put, it is virtually too unbelievable to wear.
The Kensington is the epitome of understated cool. I will definitely have you make me a pair of pants from that dark brown leather at some point. It is in no way too shiny for me. The feel is almost subtly waxy, and I’m sure that, from a distance, someone would have difficulty telling that they were made from horsehide. I know the pants will be every bit as perfect as the jacket, and I can wait.
I’m not sure what you think of my choice for the Avro’s lining, but I think it is an excellent look, even if no true vintage jacket were similarly lined. I am also very happy with your choice of lining for the Kensington.
I am torn. You are a true master of the medium and you deserve to sell a million pieces. I just don’t want anyone else to have my jacket! A little selfish, I guess.
I cannot wait to do business with you in the future, and I will check your site for anything new. If you do start to make pants, please let me know, so I can be among the first customers.