This week, I had the opportunity of making a visit to Traveller Denim Co. here in Austin, Texas. Enhanced by the owners and founders Erik Untersee and Selenia Rios as they took me on a brief tour of the shop, my visit was nothing short of spectacular.
According to the website, which was confirmed during the visit, Traveller Denim Co., was, “born through drunken nights in Austin, TX while dreaming of ways to make our lives more fulfilling and struggling with our discontent of disposable America.” The two are very down to earth and seek to create something unique. Although I was initially surprised to find this shop in Austin, I quickly understood how the two blended in so well with the culture of the city.
Founders of Traveller Denim Co. Selenia Rios and Erik Untersee. Source: (Matt Rainwaters)
Their slogan, “the devil is in the details,” is commonly found around the shop and it becomes clear that the two are not just interested in denim, but the art of making denim. They do so by hand, from start to finish and with careful detail. Not only that, but they use vintage and quality machines that are hard to find in modern times.
Source: (Austin Scarborough)
The Reese, a powerful machine that moves quickly and violently. According to Erik, very few of these are now used. Source: (Austin Scarborough)
The shop is beautifully done. With such a limited amount of space, every component must have a purpose. This idea was executed to the fullest as the main mirror they use for measuring is also a door into the next room. I did not even notice until they showed me!
The mirror that also serves as a ‘secret door,’ leading to another room. Source: (Austin Scarborough)
After hanging out with Erik and Selenia for a while, Erik began to take my measurements for a bespoke pair of denim. Yes, you read correctly, a pair of denim that is custom made and fits every inch of your body perfectly. The entire time, a grin was glued to my face due to my excitement of receiving my own pair of denim. I chose a Japanese indigo with black matte buttons and patina rivets. The indigo has a little bit of sulfur that, according to Erik and Selenia, drapes really well and it is not as stiff as other pairs of raw denim. It felt great as I led my hand across the roll. Not only that, but the sulfur adds a variation in the pigmentation of the denim as you hold it to the light, giving it a unique look.
The rolls of denim in stock at Traveller. Erik, one of the owners, is standing right next to them as he explains each one. Source: (Austin Scarborough)
Overall, the two were very welcoming and their passion radiates through their work. The next time we meet, it will be for my second fitting as I try the denim. Before I left, Selenia and I talked about what is in the works for Traveller, including working with Justin Vernon, the lead singer of the popular group Bon Iver. Another amazing aspect about the two is that they serve as an example to follow your dreams. They were unaware of where life would take them and neither of them have a degree in textiles or fashion. However, they followed their dreams using their heart as the fuel to keep them going and made it happen. They are living proof to never give up on what you want and what you feel is right.
Decor found inside the shop and representations of Erik and Selenia. The briefcase was actually made by a friend of theirs who sells vintage briefcases. Source: (Austin Scarborough)
As a denim head, Traveller Denim Co., is a dream come true. I am anxiously awaiting my second fitting and even more excited about receiving the final product. Not only that, but I encourage each and every one of you to visit. If not to order a pair of denim to begin a unique journey, then to meet Erik and Selenia to witness the same passion I did.