Treasured Saint Paul business closes after 118 years of business
After over a century of crafting fine leather goods, J.W. Hulme, a beloved St. Paul institution, has sadly closed its doors. Founded in 1905, the company was initially known for its sturdy canvas awnings and tents. In 2003, Chuck Bidwell, a minority owner, purchased the company and set about transforming it into a luxury leather goods brand. With the support of a dedicated marketing team and a loyal workforce, Bidwell successfully steered J.W. Hulme towards its current esteemed position.
In 2019, the company unveiled its flagship brick-and-mortar store on Grand Avenue, adding a physical touch to its online presence. Shortly after, ownership transitioned back to Minnesotan hands under Eden Prairie-based iMedia Brands, renowned for their ShopHQ television shopping network. Unfortunately, it looks as though this modern approach did not work out for one of the oldest businesses in the city.
The announcement of J.W. Hulme’s closure came unexpectedly, leaving the community stunned. The company shared a heartfelt message on Facebook, expressing the difficulty of bidding farewell to something so deeply cherished. Despite the absence of a formal explanation, the company’s legacy of quality and craftsmanship will undoubtedly live on in the hearts of the local community. At this point in time, it is not known what establishment will replace the brick-and-mortar store.