From soccer games to HVAC jobs, Jason has depended on quality footwear and his passion to learn as he’s progressed from an apprentice to a shop foreman. We admire his ability to take a plain piece of sheet metal and transform it into something incredible. It’s similar to how we feel when we look at base materials before starting boot construction. Learn more about Jason’s passion for teaching a younger generation of apprentices and why a job in the trades is so rewarding.
Name: Jason Fellenz
Location: Kewaskum, Wisconsin
Style of Boot
My favorite boot to wear throughout most of the ever changing weather in Wisconsin is the 1957 Series, waterproof 8” Briar Pitstop Moc Toe with Maxwear Wedge sole. Style 814-3800. Throughout the warmest months I switched back to the American Heritage 8” Trail Crazyhorse Moc Toe with Maxwear Wedge sole.
Traveling with my family , being able to show my kids as much of the world as possible before they move away has always been a huge inspiration of mine. Critiquing different installations and fabrications processes of Sheet Metal whether it was on vacation or at work and gathering new ideas to make or bring back to the team always is in my thought process. I mean what tradesman doesn’t critique a building they didn’t work on that they are passing through or driving by!
Challenging myself, creating new and better processes to make a task more effective and bring out the best of every individual's skills. Making it fun while teaching and mentoring the future apprentices was always a thing of mine. The reason I choose sheet metal is the fact that you start from raw material and construct an object through tons of different processes with your own hands. Whether it's a piece of art or a bracket of some sort, it took layout and several steps to accomplish.When all is said and done the product will outlast a lifetime and create ideas for the future Tradesman.
I started in the trades in 2002 and realized quickly it was important to have reliable transportation and good boots. Having a father in law that is a Union Ironworker introduced me to the Thorogood Lineup. The first pair I purchased required zero break in time and were so comfortable. I would continue to wear them after work whether it was to my boys soccer games or doing yard work. First impressions are everything when it comes to selecting anything and Thorogood has a solid understanding. You can feel the craftsmanship when you're walking or holding the boot! They look good from new and even better with age.
How Did I Get Started
I got started out of high school doing residential HVAC for a small company with 5 employees. Quickly ,I found out that I enjoyed the challenge of measuring up new jobs and going back to the shop to fabricate the metal. Every job was different so the learning kept excelling.It was soon after that, that my father saw a posting for a large union mechanical contractor looking for sheet metal apprentices so I applied. 20 plus years later I served as a pre apprentice, then apprentice, foreman and now shop foreman. I feel the trades are a great career choice that you can take anywhere and create a good living. Tradesmen are always fun to talk to. They all have different attitudes. Two things tell a lot about a tradesman; one being a firm handshake and the other is the attire he shows up in. Most importantly, having a good pair of boots.
The hardships I have encountered is that you only work when the work is available. They only build so many buildings. The economy and times play a big factor. I learned, and now teach the younger generation to learn as much as you possibly can and always ask questions. The more valuable you are, the more you stay busy.
Why I Made a Boot
I absolutely have a passion for fabrication and metal work. My day job is doing HVAC for JF Ahern based out of Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin. Like any tradesman, we all have hobbies outside of work. Family, travel and watching my boys play soccer and creating metal art are my hobbies. I enjoy cad design, which leads to the start of all my art projects. I am always interested in bettering my fabrication skills and testing my abilities. Seeing the plan come together into something I envisioned keeps me coming back for more. Being a Wisconsin Native home of Thorogood and wearing their boots for almost 20 years, I had the idea one day to make a boot that I can display. A boot that represents the foundation of the working class. I named it “Foundation of a Tradesman” . It's built out of 16 gauge black iron and holds the value of a solid American Company Thorogood.
*For more information on Jason's day job or his union, click the links below.