Butts and Shoulders is a special brand that operates different than usual. This is partly due to the initiator Hans Boons (58 years old). He came up with the idea to start Butts and Shoulders in a remarkable way. Six questions have been asked to take you into the special story of Butts and Shoulders.
What is your role at Butts and Shoulders?
“My role at Butts and Shoulders is that I am the creator and designer of the products. This means that I develop the bags, the shoes and the other products.”
How did you came up with the idea to start Butts and Shoulders?
“It actually had two factors. At first I have always been a designer of shoes for multiple brands. These brands gave me certain rules that I had to adhere to. Logical, but it prevented me me from designing the ultimate shoes. Brands always make concessions regarding the price, which means less quality.
Besides this I have to travel often, small trips for mostly three days. But I never found the perfect travelbag for this trip. My ideal travelbag has a lot of requirements. All my documents, my laptop and clothes had to fit in, the quality has to be superb, the bag has to be good-looking and the bag must be able to carry as hand luggage. When I realized that I will not find this bag, I realized that I have to do it myself. Why shouldn’t design my own ultimate travelbag? Without thinking about budget. Without thinking about restrictions that have been given by my employers. I wanted to design the ultimate travelbag that fits my own restrictions. This resulted in a beautiful bag which became more beautiful when you used it due to the vegetable tanned leather. I realized that this had a big potential. This had made me decide to start Butts and Shoulders. A brand that only focuses on quality, without looking at the price.”
Okay, that’s clear. But why did you choose for the name Butts and Shoulders? It’s not a name you connect with shoes.
“At first sight it’s indeed a strange name. But the best parts of leather come from the back of a cow. From the shoulders to the butts. We only use this parts, to guarantee a supreme quality. This is where the name comes from. We did it to be special and be different than usual.”
The total team of Butts and Shoulders consists of Dirk Hens, Wouter Munnichs, you and your wife, José Boons. Why did you choose to collaborate with these people?
“I know for myself that I can do various aspects very good, like designing bags and shoes. But I also know that there are many aspects that I can not do. I realized that there are many aspects that I can not do when I start a brand. Dirk, Wouter and José complement my minorities perfectly. From maintaining contact to the commercial aspects. From the administrative part to the online exposure. Dirk, Wouter and José are indispensable for Butts and Shoulders and ensures that Butts and Shoulders became a brand which I’m proud of.
What don’t the customers know about you?
“It is often expected that designers go around all the shops and fairs to track all the trends and developments. Some designers indeed do this. But you will never see me on a fair or going to shops to track the trends. I want to be shut off of these influences. This makes that I can keep follow my own vision.”
And besides the work, what don’t the customers know about you?
“Besides work I love to enjoy live. I like to hang-out with friends and family. To play golf, eat good food and have a nice drink. I can say that I am burgundy, haha.”
Last question, how do you see the future with Butts and Shoulders?
“That’s a hard question. In fact, Butts and Shoulders is a hobby that got out of hand. Butts and Shoulders will grow with me in the future. Even though I don’t know how this is gonna be. We, as a team, don’t set goals about turnovers or profits. The only goals are about the quality of the products and some new products. Of course we want to be successful, but this has to be done in a natural way. We want to offer products which we are proud of and we want that the products are appreciated by our customers. The customers who see quality above the price. We want to create an own face.”