Morgan Buckert

What inspired you to become a bootmaker?

I started my journey to cowboy boots as a child.  My dad is a ranch foreman in South Texas and my parents had cowboy boots made by Lee Miller in the 1980s.  I couldn’t have imagined anything more beautiful. I received my first pair of handmade boots as a high school graduation present from M.L. Leddy’s–I still wear them regularly. During the recession, I was sewing and selling bags and accessories–I quickly started working with leather and had the opportunity to go to Penland School of Crafts for a shoe class.  Penland changed my life  Continue reading

Mark Candela

Mark Candela

 What inspired you to become a bootmaker?

Since I was a child I always loved the westerns.  I loved to wear boots, hats and western clothing. I grew up in the sixties watching Roy Rogers, The Lone Ranger and Hopalong Cassidy on Saturday mornings.  I even had a Hopalong Cassidy watch. I of course evolved through several fashion trends but always found myself in a pair of boots. I also always had a passion for art.  Even as I worked through my years in corporate America as a CPA and running my own technology company I still had the desire to pursue a career that allowed me to express my more creative side.

The cowboy boot seemed to check all of the boxes for me.  It is creative, uses color to express emotion, there are very few limitations or rules for design and there is also the feeling that you get when you make something with your own hands that is so fulfilling. Continue reading

Carrlyn Miller

Charlie Dunn (center) Carrlyn Miller (right) in Austin, TX

How did you get involved in the world of bootmaking?

I had worked in the medical field for years and I was ready for a change. I answered an ad in the newspaper for a secretary. When I went to my first interview it was by the office manager for a doctor and so I thought it would be for a medical office. It turns out that this doctor also owned a boot shop. My second interview was with the accountant for that office. I found out later that it was between me and another woman but the accountant liked my name. I was happy to finally find a job because I had been looking for weeks. I was told that I would be working for a bootmaker by the name of Charlie Dunn, which I had never heard of. I told my best friend that I had been hired to work for Charlie Dunn. She said, “You’re working for Charlie Dunn? How did you get that?” She filled me in on who he was and was very impressed. She is now married to one of the bootmakers that worked here. Continue reading

Paul Krause


What inspired you to become a bootmaker?

Upon discharge from the USAF, in 1971, I went to work in a shoe repair shop in the Central Coast of California. There was an unclaimed pair of Tony Lama boots in the corner of the shop that I was told I could have. I wore a size 12 and the boots were 13d. So, in my ignorance, I took them apart, cut the toe off, overlapped the edges and stitched it back together again. Terrible job, but it was exciting to see the possibilities. Cowboy boots became a favorite thing to work on. Continue reading

Custom made, vintage and popular cowboy boot brands. Advice from author & expert, Jennifer June (& others) about buying cowboy boots online.

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