ShapeShifter, Evergreen Content

Meet Bernard Bultemeier of shapeshifting, quality leather brand Jekyll & Hide

I started selling jackets at markets… It was a great business. We made a lot of money… I played in that informal sector for many years… In summer months, we were dying, so we started making leather wallets… In 2002 I decided to become a bit more sophisticated.

Bernard Bultemeier, Jekyll & Hide

In the last two years something [about handbags] has changed fundamentally… The bling is gone! Bling is uncool!

Bernard Bultemeier, Jekyll & Hide

Bernard Bultemeier founded Jekyll & Hide in 2002.

Since then it has become renowned, here and abroad, for its quality leather goods.

Bultemeier is a leather industry veteran of 27 years, from trading in skins to producing the finished product.

It all started when he decided to make a few items for himself, according to his own taste.

One sleepless night, considering a name for his fledgling business, he recalled a chat he had with a friend about Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

The name suited the brand very well.

The items he created changed “personality”.

Some of the leather had darkened, and became well worn.

Other remained the same, as if not used at all.

And so Jekyll & Hide was born.

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed Bultemeier for his weekly “ShapeShifter” feature.

Listen to the interview in the audio below (and/or scroll down for more quotes from it).

[Before Jekyll & Hide] I was a glorified smous...

Bernard Bultemeier, Jekyll & Hide

For me, to sell something, comes naturally… Whatever I traded in; I knew I could make money…

Bernard Bultemeier, Jekyll & Hide

I‘ve made a lot of money, and I’ve lost a lot!

Bernard Bultemeier, Jekyll & Hide

We would like to keep control of the raw material… If you went to a factory in China… they’ll make it with materials that they have… I’m very specific…

Bernard Bultemeier, Jekyll & Hide

We attend a lot of trade shows… I’ve got an employee in China…

Bernard Bultemeier, Jekyll & Hide

Every now and then we get a bad batch of leather…

Bernard Bultemeier, Jekyll & Hide

A lot of it is trial and error… We get burned… And out of that we pick up one or two gems, and we run with it…

Bernard Bultemeier, Jekyll & Hide

We’ve developed quite a unique way of distributing… At the moment we’re very much influenced by what is happening in the UK and Europe… We’ve got customers in New York… We distribute in India…

Bernard Bultemeier, Jekyll & Hide

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