What do cast members of Stranger Things, Vanilla Ice, and Power Ranger David Yost all have in common? They are all proudly rocking local Thom Bulman's custom shoes!
You may know Thom Bulman from season nine of Ink Master, but when Covid made tattooing nearly impossible, he had to think on his feet. Now, he is the proud owner of Bull Airs™ by Thom Bulman, a custom shoe shop that promises "nostalgia in every step."
We asked CEO and creative designer, Thom Bulman if he could take a few minutes out of his incredibly busy schedule to answer a few questions.
What inspired you to open Bull Airs?
I was known for tattooing from being on the tv show Ink Master, so I had a really good fan base, which in turn helped me when I retired from tattooing and started making shoes and clothing full-time. It's been so busy we decided to get a big space that we call a "showroom" in the front and offices in the back.
I wanted a place where people wanna take pictures in and make it something you're excited to go see.
Where did the name Bull Airs come from?
The name is a play on my last name, which is Bulman, and a homage to Air Jordans because without the 1985 Jordans, none of this would be possible.
Why choose downtown Cortland for your shopfront?
I've worked in Cortland for almost seven years now, even owning a tattoo shop on Main Street. My family lives here, my kids go here, we own a house here - so keeping it in Cortland was a no-brainer.
If your shop was a song, what would it be and why?
Probably the theme song from the cartoon "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles". Why? Come in the shop, y'all see.
I know you just opened, but are any exciting projects (or future projects) in the works?
I always have big, exciting plans. Just made shoes for the 90s rapper, Vanilla Ice, and presented them to him. Actually making a few shoes for some people, some might call "celebs." I just call them fellow nerd collectors.
What item do you have in your shop that is a staple in your home (or closet)?
My wife!! Seriously, she's the glue that keeps it all together. She comes in to get all the orders prepared and mailed out (we do a ton of online sales), and overall is amazing.
What is your favorite locally made item (perhaps one you sell)?
My family are big fans/patrons of Footies Ice Cream. They make the best ice cream!!
What is Cortland County's best-kept secret?
Haha, I'd say me!! Sorry, not sorry. I could have probably opened this store up in NYC or LA, but I said I really wanna bring more attention to Cortland. Hopefully, people will make the trek out.
Describe Cortland County in three words.
Community, Long Island (you know what I mean), and country. Yeah, they call it a city - I say it's a country town. Haha, I guess that's more than three words! Oh well.
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