Friends and fellow Mainers, Barry Ryan and Todd Adelman, have joined forces to celebrate the richness of New England with a lifestyle collection of shoes to furniture, under the Rust & Salt label.
Headquartered in Portsmouth, N.H., the footwear will bow for spring ’15, with a series of men’s and women’s handsewn footwear produced in a local factory.
“There’s a young consumer who appreciates both handmade and U.S.-made products,” said Ryan, a footwear veteran who’s in charge of sales. Adelman, whose background is in telecommunications, is president.
According to Ryan, the company is committed to manufacturing all its products domestically, as well as promote U.S.-made goods from fellow companies and artisans with a similar point of view. Even the brand name takes inspiration from the local scene, specifically a massive pile of scrap steel and salt stores in the town of Portsmouth — the steel ready for export to foreign ports, and salt to melt the area’s heavy winter snows.
“It’s about a New England state of mind. It’s about promoting other like-minded products,” Ryan said.
The debut shoe collection, retailing from $240 to $260, features five styles that include a penny moc and ankle boot. All upper leathers are sourced from a U.S. tannery. Even the rawhide laces, available in 14 colors, are produced at Auburn Leather Co. in Auburn, Ky.
Moving into fall ’15, the footwear line will be expanded to include a series of domestically made stitch-down looks such as motorcycle boots, retailing for $300 and over, Ryan said.
The entire line will be targeted at higher-end boutiques and independent shoes, and will also be available for sale online at Rustandsalt.com.