Bryr Studio is a collection of hand-made clogs inspired by the West Coast lifestyle. Based out of their workshop in the Dogpatch district of San Francisco, every pair of Bryr clogs are hand made by Owner Isobel Schofield and her team. We got a chance to interview Isobel in January 2018.
You should also stop by Bryr’s studio/store at 2331 3rd Street for the complete experience: they are open 12-6:30pm Thu-Fri and 12-5pm Sat-Sun.
How did Bryr Studio get started?
After 15 years working in the apparel industry, in the Spring of 2012, I quit my design director job at a major US retailer and went in search of something more. I had a gut feeling that there was a better way to make better things and so I went on what I called a “creative walkabout”. I thought it would last 3 months. That was nearly 6 years ago now!
I’ve always had an urge to learn to make shoes. Following that path, I went on a journey that took me from the coast of Spain to the mountains of Sedona and finally to build a studio in Northern California. After a lot of learning, making, failing, getting better and refining my craft, I was finally ready to launch a line of women’s modern clogs. That’s when Bryr Studio was born.
Can you share a few facts and numbers?
- I started the company in my living room!…
- If you take into account every color, toe and ankle strap combination we offer, there are over 2000 options. We like to warn people not to clog panic when they come in the shop! We are here to help.
- All our leathers are made in one of three US tanneries, which are each over 100 years old.
- It takes over 2 months to cure our vegetable-tanned leathers.
- The base of our clogs are made of a solid piece of wood, which is one of the things that make them so comfortable.
- Leather-topped clogs (like we make) were originally worn by factory workers in England before rubber was invented.
- We have only 4 full time employees.
- Right now, we are an all-woman team.
Where does your company name come from?
The name Bryr (pronounced Bri-er, like the old English word for a thorny thicket) means to care in Swedish. We believe wholeheartedly in the value of well-made things. With a nod towards 70’s California design and a closet full of vintage clogs, we hope to bring a modern eye to classic craftsmanship.
What’s special about Bryr clogs?
We are dedicated to the simple idea that the best products are made with the best materials. Our clogs are constructed using the strongest and most supple American leathers, and traditional European solid wood bases.
Our personal interaction with our customers is really important for us. For that reason, we only sell direct through our shop in the Dogpatch or on our website.
Anything new at Bryr?
We like to say that our collection evolves season by season. We aren’t fast fashion, and so we don’t reinvent the wheel each season, but instead build on our successes. This Spring we’ll be introducing a few limited-edition pop colors to the collection.
What does the future hold?
In the Spring, we will be opening a space in Marin. More info to come on that soon!
Why manufacture locally?
I really believe that the future of manufacturing is local, not because it’s cute, but because it’s smart. People are craving well-made products that are built to last. I also believe there is a certain amount of fatigue from what the big box stores are offering– everything feels very disposable and the same. I think people are asking for more personal experiences and products.
Why did you join SFMade?
When I first got back to San Francisco about 4 years ago, I wanted to set down roots here. I imagined Bryr as a very West Coast company, with the ideals, aesthetic and values of the West. One of the first things I did on my return was attend a class at SFMade.
When I left the city 15 years ago, I don’t think you guys were around yet, and so I was so excited to be part of the new maker movement in SF when I got back to San Francisco.