Sneakers From Scratch With JBF Customs in Cleveland | Making It

Sneakers From Scratch With JBF Customs in Cleveland | Making It


– I don’t have a super good
answer of what made me start. I just did. I just did it. I was bored. It’s sewing. It’s skiving. It’s all just solitary work. Hi, my name is Jacob Ferrato. – And I’m Phil Avin. – My company is JBF Customs. – Protege of JBF Customs. – And I’m a shoemaker. – I’ve never sewed before. I never made anything in my life before until I started trying this. – The business started about 10 years ago. It’s shoemaking. It’s called cordwaining. That’s the fancy term. I just like to let people know what it is. (laughing) – Something clicked. I just said I’m quitting my job. I’m gonna teach myself this. – We’re mixing the traditional old methods with the latest in fashion
and trends and all that. I first coined JBF Customs
when I was 16 at the time, working at a Nike factory
store in an outlet mall and I just became aware of
the custom culture hoopla around sneakers. I realized how serious it was. I started to take shoes apart and I’ve just been trying to slowly get better and better ever since. – I reached out to him for maybe an apprenticeship-type thing. Long story short, we met up. – But he’s doing his own thing. Yeah, it’s not like an
employee of mine or anything. He’s usually working on his own work as opposed to working on my work. – Being with someone else that’s creative and also my teacher we
can feed off of each other and help each other’s creativeness. – The sneaker culture is pretty weird. (laughing) People are really obsessed
with their sneakers. A lot of ’em get into it from almost like a sports history perspective. – I’ve always loved shoes. Seeing the different color and different crazy exotics
that was used on the shoes, it sparked something in me. – It’s very nostalgic
of particular moments. Michael Jordan or LeBron James but I’m doing it for the
person who’s probably already bored with what’s at the store. – It’s a process. You gotta be willing to have lots of years to just learn and not make money. – Shoemaking’s been paying the bills for at least five years. And really I haven’t had
a job since I was 18. – You have to have another income and focus on the shoemaking. I’m four years in and
there’s still a lot of things that I don’t know. You have to keep working,
keep grinding, keep climbing. – Prices start at 1,000. It could go up infinitely. – His price range of what he charged made me want to do that. – People that wanna
incorporate jewels or something or all alligator skin or you name it. People are crazy. The first thing that has to happen is the base shoe gets taken apart. Then we redesign it. Then we cut the materials
out, sew it together, and get the shoe built. All the way from pattern making to putting the soles back on ’em. The material is usually the
really high quality calf skin, suede, python, alligator, ostrich, lizard. That’s what people
generally come to me for is they want their shoes
done in exotic leather. – My favorite part of the process is probably getting to see
someone wearing my work. – It makes me feel warm and fuzzy to see people wearing my shoes. Of course. (laughing) – Success to me is being one of the best shoemakers that there is and getting paid to do what I love. – I don’t feel the need to sell thousands and thousands
of shoes to people. I would rather just sell a couple of really, really cool ones.

2 thoughts on “Sneakers From Scratch With JBF Customs in Cleveland | Making It”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *