Erich Bockman

Whether it was building tree houses as a kid or opening up a shop last week two things remained true. Friends and the outdoors. Meet Erich.

Tell us about 8 to 10 year old Erich. I was a pretty normal 10 year old kid. I was really into Star Wars, camping with my dad, and skateboarding. I had a friend that lived down the street, and we would build tree houses, shoot BB guns, and crash dirt bikes.

Growing up who inspired or influenced you and why? Honestly I am still inspired by Indiana Jones.

"We were overwhelmed by the local support."

Why do you call Des Moines home? We decided to settle in Des Moines because it was the perfect place to open the Fontenelle shop. Every time we would do a trade show, like market day, we were overwhelmed by the local support. We cannot wait for the people of Des Moines to get a chance to browse our finely curated goods.

If you could write the Des Moines area a mission statement what would it be? The Fontenelle mantra has always been "build a reputation". To us, this means that the best way to make a name for yourself is to be patient and keep working hard. Success is sure to follow. I think that attitude can easily be seen in a lot of people in Des Moines.

Where do you see Fontenelle in five years? I don't think that it's impossible to expand into multiple locations. I'd imagine it would take a lot longer that five years, but I think we are all super excited to see what the next version of Fontenelle is. When we first started out it was the axe restoration and we were really into Best Made. Later thought, okay we are selling these sharp objects on Etsy, we should probably learn how to make leather sheaths for them. Figure that out. And then from that we discover all cool things on Instagram being made like a guy making waxed canvas jackets and vest. On some level we would love to learn how to do that, but really we'd love to have a store where I could sell that. 

"Make sure you are having fun."

From one maker to another what is your tip or advice? Some advice I would give to other makers is make sure you are having fun. We have never experienced the stress of opening a business like this before. Luckily we are best friends so even when it's really stressful, we can still joke about it.

What can't you leave the house without? I always have to wear a pair of boots. It's mainly because of the movie, Die Hard. The movie is all about John McClane versus broken glass.

What’s your favorite outdoor place in Iowa and why? Ledges State Park is one of my favorite spots in Iowa. I'll never turn down a camping trip out there.

Derek JensenMarket Day 2017