Boot/Shoe

Laughs and Lasts at Bell Custom Made Boots

By Johnny D. Boggs Alan Bell with his 2017 Academy of Western Artists Will Rogers Bootmaker of the Year Award. Some folks might think that Alan Bell picked the wrong profession. Instead of making custom cowboy boots, which Bell has done for 40-plus years out of a one-time barbershop in Abilene, Texas, he could’ve been a stand-up comedian or a TV talk-show host. Imagine Johnny Carson (if you remember Johnny
Feature

Texas Folklife

Texas Folklife staffers, left to right: Charlie Lockwood, Ian Hallagan, Eugenio del Bosque Gomez. The Real Life of Texas Folk By Gene Fowler  “It’s practically died off,” said rawhide braider Travis “Rowdy” Pate, at the Texas Folklife Festival in San Antonio circa 1985, when asked if his art form still flourished in the South Texas brush country around his native Pearsall. “Nobody learned it.”  In the same interview, —practically in the same breath, however—Rowdy allowed, “I guess
Boot/Shoe

En Pointe

The Success Story of Cardinal Shoe American manufacturer finds its niche in high-tech ballet shoes Photograph Courtesy of Eduardo Patina By Lynn Ascrizzi In an on-stage solo, principal ballerina,Michaela DePrince, flies like a bright-feathered, gravity-defying bird, her arms stretched wing-like above her head and her expressive face turned upward, as if  searching for a distant star. What is easily missed in that ecstatic moment, which took DePrince years of professional
Supplier

Montello Heel: An Industry Icon

By Liisa Andreassen Montello Heel Mfg., Inc. in Brockton, Mass. has been handcrafting custom shoe components at the same Brockton location for 110 years. In 1956 John Alden Pearson, the superintendent of the factory at the time, was able to purchase the company and it has been in his family ever since. Handcrafting custom heels and maintaining a solid foothold for more than a century, Montello Heel MFG., Inc. is
Supplier

C.S. Osborne & Co. 193 Years Strong

World-class maker of hand tools maintains success by sticking to what it does best By Lynn Ascrizzi A drop forge hammer at C.S. Osborne & Co., a manufacturer of leather, upholstery and industrial hand tools, founded in 1826. As any skilled handcrafter knows — you’re as good as your tools. After all, there’s nothing better than working with, say, a precisely sharp skiving knife whose well-formed handle doesn’t argue with
Feature

Cowboy Boot Bookman & Bon Vivant Buckaroo

The Reinventions of Tyler Beard By Gene Fowler “As a child,” wrote the late Tyler Beard in his 1999 book, Art of the Boot, “I had to be coaxed out of my Roy Rogers boots nightly.” “He loved those little boots, but that may have been one of his whoppers,” chuckles Tyler’s big sister, Debra Conkling, gently relishing her brother’s deployment of a Texan’s birthright to stretch the blanket or
Accessories

Lifetime Leather

Lifetime Leather tote bags are enhanced with copper and brass rivets, magnetic clasps and antique-colored brass zippers. Larger products include crossbody purses, fanny packs, ladies rucksacks and messenger and duffle bags. Arizona Company was founded on True Grit and Talent By Lynn Ascrizzi  When times are tough, sheer inspiration, like an angel of grace, can come unbidden at the most unexpected moments — even though it might first appear in the guise of a discarded
Accessories

Blackrock Leather ‘N’ Rich

Applying Blackrock Leather 'N' Rich to a boot will not only clean and condition it but will add a waterproof layer and beautiful sheen. Preserving Leather for Generations By Danna Burns-Shaw  Family Business Family businesses are the backbone of the American economy. Did you know that the greatest part of America’s wealth lies with family-owned businesses, and, that small family businesses employ just over half of US workers?  Family businesses have a deep-seated culture, founded with core values. They
Leather

Maverick Leather

Old School Meets New School By Nick Pernokas  Matt Foster wasn’t always in the leather business. He started out as a loan officer in a bank, but he was looking for a more satisfying path. Matt’s brother had been working for some leather companies in California and Matt was intrigued by the leather business. The pair joined forces and formed a leather sales company called Stevenson Paxton in 1985. They opened stores in Arlington, Texas, and Sheridan, Wyoming.  “The leather