Uncovering inspired products and far-flung adventures are why we get up in the morning. It’s a terrible job — but hey, somebody’s got to do it, right?

All of these things start somewhere, though, and often boil down to one decision from a certain type of individual. The type of person who feels the best way to reach your dreams is to stretch for yourself. For some, it’s about solving a problem. For others, it’s about creating something entirely new. In either situation, the process of fostering an idea into reality is inspiring, if only for the theme all creation stories share. Will is a powerful tool in the hands of those exceptional enough to wield it to their goals.

So partnering with our friends at Amstel Light, we decided to set down the pens and shut the laptops, in exchange for conversation. We wanted to chat with the men behind some of our favorite brands, based in some of America’s greatest cities, to hear about their entrepreneurial frontiers first hand.

Our questions? Many. But as we distilled the days we spent with each of these men into our upcoming series of short films we realized one thing. There’s nothing quite as inspiring, or complex, as starting a company. Introducing our four-part film series: Drafting It.

In our first interview, we sat down with George Vlagos, the founder of Oak Street Bootmakers, which specializes in beautifully handcrafted shoes, made in America. As the son of a cobbler, focused on preserving heritage through design and fine shoemaking, George typifies the renewal in American craftsmanship. As a native son of chicago, George also had plenty to say about the Windy City and its role in his personal story.

Loading more stuff…

Hmm…it looks like things are taking a while to load. Try again?

Loading videos…