Interview – Freeman Plat | Founder – Jeremy Sallee

Recently featured in our 7 indie brands to watch in ’15, the Boston based brand, Freeman Plat has been on our radar for a little while now. Needless to say, I’m a big fan of brands that have actually been created by the designer. To me the products are more personal, they’re more of a true reflection of what inspires that creative individual behind the brand. Their products are literally a tangible expression of the founders creativity.

And Freeman Plat is 100% that.

We managed to catch up with the super talented designer and founder of Freeman Plat, Jeremy Sallee. Check out what he has to say about what inspires him, why he decided to develop in Portugal, what the deal with the Platypus is, and much more, below.

“For those that don’t know, it’s an egg-laying mammal with the bill of a duck, tail of a beaver, webbed feet and poisonous spurs on its hind legs. Basically, the Renaissance man of the animal kingdom.” – Jeremy

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Can you tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Jeremy Sallee and I am the founder of Freeman Plat. I’ve designed shoes professionally for about six years now, and I’ve finally reached a point, creatively, technically and business wise, where I am ready to build my own company.
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Why did you decide to create Freeman Plat?

Starting my own brand has always been the end goal. So much so, that I created my own curriculum in college based around starting a footwear/apparel company. I’m really a firm believer in forging your own destiny and starting Freeman Plat is just me doing that.
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Where does the name Freeman Plat come from?

Freeman Plat is best defined by the etymology of the name itself. Freeman refers to a man unbound from the constraints of society due to a God-given competence to learn, overcome and accomplish in all walks of life. Plat originates from the root word platypus and refers to a cultured individual who is knowledgeable in a variety of fields.
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Why the platypus?

The platypus is my favorite animal and I’ve always felt a bit of a parallel with how multifaceted it is. For those that don’t know, it’s an egg-laying mammal with the bill of a duck, tail of a beaver, webbed feet and poisonous spurs on its hind legs. Basically, the Renaissance man of the animal kingdom. Furthermore, my goal whether it was sports, education, art, business, or faith, was to be as exceptional as possible. So, for me, the platypus is the perfect symbol for what I aim to be. Not to mention, the products exhibit that same ethos as they are a collision of traditional business silhouettes and premium street wear.
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Can you explain the FTMITM mentality?

F*** the man. I’m the man. FTMITM is a proprietary symbol of ingrained self-confidence that is executed as a gold stamp on all of our product. This mark is not a mark of conceit; nor is it an indication of contempt towards those in positions higher than our own. However, it does serve as a silent creed of bold encouragement, motivation and belief that one can and will become the individual that he/she was meant to be. No man holds dominion over another. So, if work is done, goals will be attained.
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Where do you see the brand heading?

Our story derives from the next generation of entrepreneurs/executives who pride themselves in turning dreams into reality at the beat of their own drum. They are the future. As a brand, we want to position ourselves as a tangible representation for those individuals. With that said, our product offering may change, expand or contract, but our story will always remain the same.
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Can you describe Freeman Plat in 3 words?

Tangible unbound inspiration.
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Why have you chosen to develop your footwear in Portugal?

During the last 2 years of development we’ve worked with manufacturers in 6 different countries (Italy and Japan included) and material suppliers from over 10. Portugal was just the right fit. It provided the quality and craftsmanship that you find in Italy at a price point that made more sense. Moreover, the sourcing team that we work with in Portugal is amazing. Whether it’s Portuguese sources or importing quality goods from Italy, Spain, etc. they’ve done an excellent job finding exactly what we need. What I’ve come to realize is that the best results come from working with people that believe in the product, communicate well, understand the process of starting a new brand, and are just all around wholesome people.
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What inspires you?

My family [and friends], the people who “do” rather than speak, the places I’d like to visit with my wife, and the future.
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When will the line be launching/available for purchase?

A limited run of the Quarter Jogger’s (black SKU and red SKU) will be available in March 2015. Preorders will begin at the end of February.
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Do you have any advice to people trying to start their own brand?

Leonardo Da Vinci said it best….

“God sells us all things at the price of labor.”

So, do work.
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CKLAB-AD3

 

Mr. Bailey

Product Designer + Footwear Architect | Founder of @ConceptKicks | Instagram @MrBailey_ | www.MrBailey.co.uk

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