VIEWS: 36 PAGES: 1 POSTED ON: 6/12/2012
Van Gorkom boots in vogue By Ryan Jensen Telkwa/Interior News The word is out. In the September issue of Men’s Health Best Life magazine, Charlie Van Gorkom’s hiking boots were featured under the heading best Gear. Three pairs were featured and were rated: fine, finer and finest. Van Gorkom’s Custom Hiking boots were named the fin- est. This free promotion is the first time Van Gorkom’s boots have been featured in a large, American-based magazine but it definitely won’t be the last. Two pairs Ryan Jensen/The Interior News of his boots are currently in New York where they are Charlie Van Gorkom’s custom hiking boots are earning international acclaim. being photographed for a feature in Vogue. taught, learning his craft got another order for 18 pair of hiking boots will be Although making boots at the beginning by read- months,” he said. increasing to $1,500 from and shoes for the last 30 ing books and by personal During the year-and-a- $900. years, it wasn’t until Char- experiences. Soon after, he half when he wasn’t mak- “I can’t work any harder lie Van Gorkom launched travelled to the Utah des- ing boots, Van Gorkom so I had to raise my prices,” a Web site for his Van ert to take a bootmaking made moccasin slippers and he said. Gorkom Custom Hiking course from Randy mer- worked on his art — creat- “I’ve gone from sending boots about four years ago, rell of merrell Performance ing pen and ink drawings out maybe five measuring that his business truly be- Footwear. and oil paintings. kits a week to sending out gan to take off. In addition to mak- Currently, Van Gorkom’s five a day. “Anyone who wants to ing boots and shoes, Van hiking boots are so popu- “The value is evident, talk to me about what the Gorkom was also the inven- lar, there is a waiting list a especially for people who internet can do for your tor of Polar Cleats — snow- year long. because of the have never been comfort- business is welcome to,” studded add-ons that can be demand, the price for a able in off-the-shelf boots.” Van Gorkom said. “Fifteen fit on footwear for winter minutes from when the Web walking. About three years ago, Van Gorkom sold this “The Vib site was launched, I had two orders from Hong Kong. It business to another Valley wasn’t until I went on the entrepreneur because the internet with just hiking workload was too much. boots that I started to get Van Gorkom Custom ahead.” but the road to becom- ing a bootmaker was any- Hiking boots are available in two designs, 15 centi- metres and 18 centimetres Mobile V thing but straightforward in height. A week is spent for Van Gorkom. He first came to Canada at the end of the 1960s from the Unit- on each pair of all-leather boots and each pair is fitted specifically to each clients’ JAKE JENNE As the VIBE program draws to Centre ed States and began teach- needs. ing in Terrace. From there, Throughout the years, a close, so does this editorial. In my ﬁnal week of writing, I is proudly supp he spent time working with Van Gorkom has had shops would like to take this chance the television station before all over Smithers before set- to thank all of our major and moving to the bulkley Val- tling in his current location minor sponsors. ley as a salesman for the just east of Telkwa on the This program would not radio station. In 1976, Van bulkley River. business has have happened without your overwhelming assistance. I’m Gorkom purchased a shoe been steady but after the ter- pleased to see that we have repair business and dived rorist attacks of September the ability to come together head first into the occupa- 11, sales took a nosedive. as a community and support tion, opening a shop on “I had about six weeks tourism projects such as the of work when the tow- VIBE. I believe Smithers has main Street in Smithers. the ability to become a true Home Décor, Fur Van Gorkom was self- ers went down and I never
"Van Gorkom boots in vogue"