For The Love Of Craft & Family
HD RUSSELL BOOTS
Behind The Name
HD Russell is named after David's lost brother, Russell. Frequently, someone will come in and ask for Russell or David. In our hearts we feel Russell, but you'll find David is the shoemaker here.
HD Russell Boots was founded by David, whose family has been making shoes for more than 60 years. David’s love of family is deeply connected to his chosen craft. He was a teenager at the time that the revolution in Iran took place in 1979, and in 1981 at the age of 19 when he was supposed to attend post secondary, all of the institutions of higher learning in Iran were closed and forced to re-write their curricula to support the politics of the revolution. David began to work in the family business of shoe making - 4 of his uncles were cordwainers and he learned the craft from them. He devoted the energy that he normally would have committed to post-secondary studies to furthering the family craft.
David and his brother Russell had always been close growing up - they had fun, got into trouble and supported each other in a close family. In 2003, David’s brother went missing under mysterious circumstances and the mystery surrounding his disappearance was never fully resolved. The lack of closure was layered on top of the grief and loss. In July of 2014 after years of reflection and as a response to that loss, David committed himself to founding HD Russell Boots to honour his family craft and his connection to his brother.
David: "After that he was living in me. He's not gone, he lives in my heart. I feel love for my brother and I feel him alive in me whenever I am working. It gave me purpose to make this business and make it happen."
The team at HD Russell Boots has worked with several other Vancouver shoe makers, made equestrian and police boots for several police organizations, and made beautiful custom orthopedic footwear for people with a wide range of specialized needs. We founded HD Russell Boots in December of 2019 - just before the pandemic started in early 2020.
Our team has overcome many obstacles since we founded the business. We all put our hearts and souls into everything we make and that dedication and love has seen HD Russell Boots through challenging times. The things that we make with love are built to last through difficulty, and that is as true for our business as it is for our shoes and accessories.