Top 10 things I wish clients knew

1.) Each pair of boots I build is like my child–my own little creation.

2.) Yes, I occasionally misfit a client or make a pair of boots that needs adjustment. If the fit needs to be adjusted, please be kind. I’m disappointed too. It’s an inconvenience for both of us but it happens sometimes, and I’ll work with you until they fit. It’s in my best interest to have you walking around in boots that make you happy.

3.) I cannot give a pair of boots to an auction no matter how worthy, because I have no way of knowing who the buyer will be. There are some people with needs or fitting issues I can’t accommodate and I need to know this before I agree to make their boots.

4.) If there’s a problem with the boots, call ME and send them back to ME. Don’t take them to a repair shop or another boot maker, have adjustments or changes made, and then call me to complain about how they fit or the way they look.

5.) It takes anywhere from two weeks to a month to build a pair of cowboy boots and the average wait time for a custom maker is one year. If you call two weeks before your wedding wanting boots for the groom and all six groomsman, I can’t help you.

6.) One of the most important attributes of a bespoke boot is the fact that it’s made to fit your feet. Most boot makers require a personal meeting so that they can measure your feet and ensure your boots will fit perfectly. Sending me an email telling me you’re a size 11 with large calves is not enough information.

7.) No, I can’t/won’t copy the boots you saw on someone else’s website.

8.) My waiting time is one year, it takes me a month to build a pair of boots, and each pair represents a significant portion of my monthly income. I can’t afford to donate boots to celebrities and public figures much wealthier than I am.

9.) All of the decorative work is done while the boot pieces are flat, before they’re put together. It’s not possible to change the flower color, add another row of stitching, or remove the initials of your previous girlfriend after the boots are completed.

10.) Some clients treat me with respect and make it clear that they understand they’re not only supporting me, they’re also helping to preserve a historic craft. These are the ones who make me the happiest. If pleasant thoughts and finding joy in the work make a difference then those clients will get boots with very good karma.