Western & English Today

FALL 2014

W&E Today provides retailers and manufacturers with education and ideas that provoke innovation in the Western and English markets.

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34 Western & English Today FALL 2014 "I like picking up old boots and remembering who made them," says Trainor Evans, the CEO and co-owner of Rios of Mercedes. Holding an aged, mellow boot made of calfskin, he talks about Tomàs, who once hammered leather for hours to fulfill a promise to a customer insistent that his soles should never wear out. Another boot conjures up Antonio, a master of fancy stitching, who took pride in recreating every real-life detail, right down to the spines on a cactus. "It's not just that these boots are handmade — but whose hands are making them," Trainor says. Boots leave footsteps of memory — and stride confidently into the future — at Rios of Mercedes, established in 1853 and one of the oldest boot companies in the United States. Equally notable, it's one of the last truly handmade boot manufacturers in America, and it garners a nearly cult-like devotion among its aficionados. Family, Friendship and Fine Craftsmanship It takes many hands to make a pair of boots at Rios of Mercedes, Anderson Bean and Olathe Feature and photos by Risa Wyatt BOOTS ON THE BORDER: The Rios of Mercedes management team: From left to right: Michael Dvorak, head of brand development; Carlos Rodriguez, International Head of Production; Pat Moody, president; Trainor Evans, CEO; and Ryan Vaughan, general manager.

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