Joshua Bingaman moved to Austin on a whim. Neither he nor his wife, Sarah, had visited before they made the move in 2002. Despite this, it was a step in the right direction.

HELM Boots was founded in 2009 and has become a sought-after boot brand, competing against household names like Frye and Red Wing. But Bingaman didn’t arrive in Austin with a dream to start his own boot company. He did, however, have a passion for quality coffee, and founded Progress Coffee when he was just 23. It was located at what is now the east-side staple Wright Bros. Brew & Brew.

And while we already knew about Bingaman’s history with coffee, we realized there was more to learn. Here’s a list of 10 things you didn’t know about Bingaman and his footwear brand, HELM Boots.

1. Bingaman has a poetic background

fall-2016-product-shot-kiffen-02The Kiffen Boot, HELM Boots

After arriving in Austin, and before founding Progress Coffee, Bingaman attended Austin Community College where he majored in English/Lit and Poetry. From a young age, Bingaman had a way with words, but only focused on his writings after a major car accident kept him from playing sports for a while. During his recovery, he concentrated his writing on poetry and music, ultimately landing a record deal at age 18. He released a series of short stories along with his first album.

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