Two partners well known for their commitment to fine craftsmanship have acquired W.C. Russell Moccasin Company, in Berlin, Wisconsin. The new owners—Luke Kolbie, founder of Kingfisher Leatherworks, a producer of leather cases, luggage and shooting equipment, and Joe Julian, CEO and president of Julian & Sons, specializing in bespoke gun rooms and fine cabinetry—saw the opportunity to carry on Russell’s 124-year history. Kolbie will serve as the CEO, Julian will be the president, and Russell’s Joe Gonyo will continue to head up production.
Russell Moccasin is well known in the wingshooting world for its premium line of custom-fitted boots and shoes. The company has 25 employees and crafts all of its footwear based on true moccasin construction. Russell maintains a small inventory of pre-made boots and shoes, but most are custom orders.
According to Suzie Fabricius, the third-generation owner of Russell: “It is never easy selling a family heirloom, but we are most gratified that Luke Kolbie and Joe Julian are committed to continuing our traditional method of custom manufacturing. The only change you should notice will be in the faces at the helm of RMC.”
Joe Julian agreed. “It occurred to me how much Julian & Sons and Russell Moccasin have in common,” he said. “We put the finest materials in the hands of talented craftsmen. It also struck me that my great friend Luke at Kingfisher shares our philosophy of ‘conservation through craftsmanship.’ In a throwaway world, we’re committed to making a heritage product.”
Another thing that is not likely to change is the strong demand for Russell products. At press time the Russell website informed visitors that the company had paused accepting orders for custom-made products, as the lead time had extended to 10 months. For more information, visit russellmoccasin.com.