Jadelynn Wikkid prefers the shadows. She prefers being close to the ground, at people’s feet, creating connection through leathercare. Bootblacks are the unsung heroes of the leather community, making us all look amazing and keeping our leathers in tip-top shape for the long-term. Jadelynn has held two titles, Philadelphia Bootblack 2015 as well as being the current (and first ever) Mid-Atlantic Leather Woman Bootblack (2017). She remains humble, hard-working, and as approachable as a person could possibly be who just wants to show people the beauty of the art of bootblacking. She currently resides in Haddonfield, New Jersey.

Alex “Bear” Conley: Where did you grow up?

Jadelynn Wikkid: Oaklyn, New Jersey

AC: How did you discover the leather community and how long have you been involved?

JW: I came to leather through the kink community, where I started. Bootblacking brought me to leather … so I’ve been in the leather community for about 5 years.

AC: What is your favorite flag to fly?

JW: The Bootblack Pride flag

AC: Christmas music – awesome or awful?

JW: I dislike commercial Christmas songs that you hear over and over. I adore Medieval and Renaissance holiday music, played with period instruments.

AC: What was your favorite school subject?

JW: English

AC: What is your favorite kind of juice?

JW: Cranberry.

AC: What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

JW: Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia

AC: Who is your least favorite celebrity?

JW: Kim Kardashian

AC: What is the accomplishment that has made you the proudest in the leather community? What about outside leather?

JW: When we built the bootblack stands in 2014. I am so grateful to the people who came out that Saturday, spent the whole day building and painting, so that I could have stands to share with the community and to make it easier for bootblacks to work. Outside of leather: raising my son to become the fine young man he is today.

AC: West Coast or East Coast?

JW: East!

AC: What is the best gift you have ever received?

JW: My first typewriter when I was eight years old.

AC: What is your favorite thing about the leather community?

JW: I like feeling accepted just for who I am. “I am enough.”

AC: What would you like to accomplish in the next five years?

JW: Continue to get better at my craft, raise some baby bootblacks, write a book.

AC: Who has been an inspiration for you?

JW: Doug the bootblack. He was one of the first people who helped me get started in bootblacking. He does amazing work, is loved by his customers, and has taught me so much. Not many know him because he stays out of the spotlight.

AC: If you could wave a magic wand and change something about the leather community right now, what would it be?

JW: I would heal the fractures caused by personal feuds. In any family, there are those who don’t get along with everyone. Nothing wrong with that. But to manipulate and use politics to hurt others because of one’s personal gripes is not helpful in the long run.

AC: Free form time! What is a message you would really like to share with all the people reading this?

JW: I will also do my best for the community I serve. Please pardon any deficiencies in my craft or personality. I’m always trying to get better. Because you all deserve the very best I can give.