Western & English Today
Life in the Fast Lane
The seven years since Patrick Lane founded his eponymous
boot company have rocketed by at warp speed.
by Susan L. Ebert
ATR ICK L A N E WAS, SH A L L W E SAY, IN A PICK L E .
The year was 2007, and he was doing a brisk
business selling a now-defunct boot manufactur-
er's closeout stock to online retailers such as Amazon,
Overstock, and Wayfair—with all three mega-merchants
clamoring for larger and larger shipments. Lane, with
freshly inked orders in hand, had just been told by his
boot supplier that it could not fulf ll any of the orders
it had committed to and was going the way of the dino-
saur. Worse yet, when Lane had placed the purchase
order with that company, he'd paid cash in advance.
Now, he had neither the cash nor the boots.
Some folks would have gone back to those powerful
online retailers with hat in hand, apologizing that, albeit
through no fault of their own, they could no longer fulf ll
those orders. But Lane's not wired that way. He made a
promise and he was going to honor it—one way or another.
TO LÉON AND BEYOND
Lane threw himself into researching boot manufactur-
ing, and shortly thereaf er, he boarded a jet to Léon,
Mexico—the "Shoe Capital of the World," where many of
the top brands of cowboy boots are made, of en sharing
time in the same factories. He contracted with a factory