I grew up in the shop as a young child. My mother and my grandfather did as well. The shop was always our favorite place to be when we were children and I spent most of my early childhood there. I decided after being in the Houston area for 15 years, going to school for audio engineering and interning in a recording studio for a year and a half, producing music, being a DJ and 12+ years in the food-service industry, that I wanted to pursue a career where I worked for myself and used my many talents to make a living. I moved to Abilene in May of 2009 and started learning the process. In May this year I will have been making boots for ten years, over a quarter of my life, as I turn 36 at the end of this month. In short, my grandfather, Tex Robin, inspired me to become a boot maker.Continue reading →
The inspiration to become a boot maker came from a family history of leather craft. I am a fourth generation leather worker. Initially I wanted to be a saddle maker. In the late eighties/early nineties we didn’t have internet and access to all the information out there. I stumbled across custom boots by accident and ordered my first pair. After having Duck Menzies make that first pair for me, I became obsessed with the fit and design and wanted other makers as well as Duck to make me boots. Continue reading →
Well……. Short answer, It was Jack Reed. The expanded version is a more complex. While working in a Shoe repair shop in 1985. One of my first jobs was to do patch work while doing so I became interested in how boots were made and the different materials used. What was fascinating to me was how did the boot begin and what were the steps that would turn leather into a finished boot that you could wear. Unlike today in the 1980’s there was no internet to research and find a boot making seminar to attend. Even if there had been I wouldn’t have had the money required to attend. Ha!
What inspired you to become an apprentice bootmaker?
I’ve always had a love for art. As a kid, it was drawing. In high school and college, I fell for black and white 35mm photography. And as a 20-ish young woman living in Brooklyn, I really got into sculpting with metal. Melting metal is like witnessing the dawn of the earth, when everything was molten lava swirling about. Beyond thrilling. And yet, the pressure to mold the metal into some form that is new, inspired, original, devine…made me feel lost at sea.
Bootmaking, however, is the one artform that fully aligns my personality with my purpose. Continue reading →
After learning to masterfully repair boots and working as a cobbler for many years, I was seeing the quality of high-end factory made boots rapidly deteriorate. Because I wear boots I decided that if I want to keep wearing high quality boots, I would have to learn to make them myself. Now (25-years later) I have a 2-year backlog and I don’t have time to make myself a desperately needed new pair of boots.Continue reading →
Custom made, vintage and popular cowboy boot brands. Advice from author & expert, Jennifer June (& others) about buying cowboy boots online.