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Our Story


All shoes that are made in our shop are made by David, the founder and owner of HD Russell.  He started making shoes in his family's shoe business at 19 years old, while living in Iran.  Over the first 5 years making footwear, David honed his craft enough that by the time he was 24 he was considered an expert at each step of the design and creation process.  Eventually David immigrated to Canada and continued making footwear with industry-leading companies in Ontario and British Columbia.  He refined his skills over 20+ years of practice and grew into a master Cordwainer (designer and maker of new leather shoes).  

Prior to 2018 David worked for a local footwear company in the greater Vancouver area.  After proving his skill, he was instrumental in encouraging the shop to offer custom footwear for the first time and was central to the custom production team.  From initially overseeing some aspects of the process, he soon oversaw all of the production of custom footwear in that shop.

In 2018, the company he was working for decided to start outsourcing some of their work overseas and began to use lower quality materials while charging the same price.  To David, making anything less than excellent footwear is an insult to his family's history as expert shoe makers and showed a lack of respect to the 35 years of experience that he has earned.  He didn't want to make footwear destined for the garbage bin when he could be making shoes that could be worn, repaired and loved for a lifetime.

David decided he would rather risk everything and start his own business than make footwear that was below his standards.  In 2019 and with more than 35 years of experience making footwear, David realized his vision of opening a custom shoe store and HD Russell was created.  He is now free to design and create the best possible shoes that a craftsperson can.  

We proudly make our shoes ethically and sustainably from beginning to end in our shop in East Vancouver.  Everything we create is made to be beautiful, to become more comfortable as you wear it, and made to last.