I’m on a serious boot bend at the moment. Inspired by my brother’s new Allen Edmond Daltons, I went out in search of a pair of boots that fit the clean-cut, handsome look I was going for without demolishing the contents of my wallet. Unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, the options that I was attracted to sit at a price point that was higher than I desired – see the Alden original work boots and the aforementioned Allen Edmonds.
That’s when I was introduced to Nolan at Thursday Boot Co.
Nolan Walsh is the co-founder of the company along with Connor Wilson. The brand they built is the result of the largest footwear crowdfunding effort of all time. To provide some context for scale, the pair raised over $275,000 from the digital masses in just one try.
Thursday is the latest in a string of companies opting for direct-to-consumer style distribution platforms that drive down costs while keeping quality high. By doing so, as you’ll read below, Nolan and the rest of the team were able to drive their costs way down - hitting a $200 price point rather than $400.
In their own words, the brand is not built by “pretentious fashionistos or heavy duty construction workers.” Instead, “they make boots for all the real guys out there pursuing a dream. Clean designs absent of obnoxious logos or over-the-top flare highlight world class materials and attention to detail. Thursday Boots are for the active and hardworking men who understand quality.”
Nolan was kind enough to shoot a pair of the brown Captains my way (featured above), so I can vouch for the construction and aesthetics first hand. If you’re in the market for a handsome new pair of boots, these are certainly worth checking out.
We caught up with Nolan for a few questions on the brand – here’s what he had to say:
1. Why did you choose Kickstarter to launch your brand? Would you recommend it to others?
While many fashion brands have stayed away from crowdfunding because of the associated transparency, we chose Kickstarter because we wanted to give people a chance to see who we really are and to share as much as possible about our boots. Crowdfunding is a great way to create a community around a brand, but I couldn’t recommend it to everyone. We genuinely feel that we have the best product on the market at the best value and were excited for the chance to engage supporters and critics in honest conversation. At the same time, we felt that we could have that honest conversation while maintaining the aspiration of a Thursday. Crowdfunding is great for people who live their brand. We work hard but we play hard too!
2. The direct-to-consumer model is gaining popularity. What made you go with that rather than working with distributors?
We do not just want to be another “cut out the middle man” company. The right distributors actually do bring significant value to the table. With that being said, our guiding principle is to bring the best possible products to our community at the best possible value. If we went with the standard distribution model right away, we would have been forced to sell our boots at $400+. We have friends in all walks of life. It’s important to us to make products that both our friends in Williamsburg and Wall Street can afford.
3. What are the key tenants of your brand?
We create modern classics with the utmost attention to quality materials and manufacturing. As said above, we are also committed to distributing our boots at the best possible value.
4. What aesthetic are you going for?
Modern Classics: Durable, versatile and sophisticated.
5. What’s next for Thursday Boot Co?
It’s been an incredible year! We are taking one day at a time. I would have never believed you if you told me 4 months ago (right before we launched) that we were going to have the #1 Footwear crowdfunding campaign ever and have sold boots in 48 states from California to Maine! Connor and I are very excited to see what the next year brings.
Boots courtesy of Thursday Boot Co. Photos by George Vallone.