Western & English Today

JANSB 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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Quinceañera FOR CORRAL Currently celebrating its 15th anniversary, Corral Boots continues to evolve as a force in high-fashion cowboy boots. Johnny D. Boggs C orral Boots may be celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, but if you ask owner Othell Welch, the genesis probably began roughly fve decades ago on a road trip to Mexico with his older brother Bill, a Hollywood stuntman. "I was still in grade school," Welch, 59, recalls from his ofce in Leon, Mexico. "One weekend, Bill asked me if I wanted a pair of cowboy boots. Of course, I said yes and of to Mexico we went, just me and him." From their home in Edinburg, Texas, Bill took his kid brother across the border to a custom bootmaker who made many of the boots Bill had worn in the movies. One pair of custom boots later, Othell was hooked. "I wore those things until the leather fell apart!" he recalls. Back then, of course, and even years later as an adult, Othell never envisioned 54 Western & English Today that he'd be running a boot company that many insiders say catapulted Western footwear into mainstream fashion. For fve years, Othell raced motorcycles professionally, and then he moved into the motorcycle retail business, operating six South Texas dealerships. Ironically, motorcycles drove him into the Western boot business. "I was trying to fnd a riding boot, a street boot, and never could fnd what I was looking for," Othell says. So he ventured to Mexico to visit friends who owned a factory that made boots. "Tey built me a boot, which I really liked, but it wasn't their type of manufacturing, so they introduced me to a bootmaker in Leon, and I started working with that Leon factory to make boots for my dealerships." Othell liked Mexico — "I liked the people, liked the country, liked the place" — and was also considering retiring. Ten, his daughter Heather and son-inlaw George Allen approached him. Tey

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