It’s a Boot Life

For my 100th episode of “It’s a Boot Life” I’m featuring the whole of my presentation in England at the Independent Shoemaker’s Conference. I spoke about the qualities of a good teacher, and this is probably my favorite of all the speeches I’ve done. I love public speaking and would do it much more if I could!

It’s a Boot Life

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Inlay/Overlay class

If you’ve been wanting to take a leather inlay/overlay class with me, now is your chance! Class size is limited to six, so reserve your space now if you’re interested.

Eureka Springs School of Art

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Whine

I’m not setting any boot maker speed records, but me and my poor little blistered hand did manage to inseam one boot today.

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Sharing

OK, I’m going to share. A while ago I experienced a family tragedy; due to the illness leading up to it and the grief following, I didn’t work much in the shop for around three years. I tell students ALWAYS: Don’t take a class until you can go home and continue building boots, because you *cannot* remember this complex and complicated craft unless you do it continuously. But I’ve been making boots now for over 25 years–I thought I’d be able to pick back up immediately. I was wrong.
That arrow is pointing to a blister on my hand, because my hands are soft now, and a day of working makes them hurt.
I’d planned to not share pictures of this boot on social media, because those of you that have been paying attention will recognize it. I made these boots a couple of months ago and they’re back, because they didn’t fit–at all. I’m struggling to get back to the skill level I was before; thank goodness I have kind and understanding clients.
The moral of this story is: Respect this craft. Learn it, practice it, and know that it will kick your butt once in a while. I master it occasionally and it teaches me humility. It’s a good deal and I don’t mind.
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People are interesting

Guy comes in: I wanted to stop and see if you had any belts.
Me: No, I don’t.
Guy: WELL, I JUST THOUGHT I’D STOP AND ASK. I DIDN’T KNOW I WAS GOING TO GET CHEWED OUT. (as he’s walking out the door)
Me: …???
So now if there are rumors around town, the truth is out about the vile way I treat people who come into my shop.

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My bio

Me: I want to work on boots today, but first I’ll just put together this huge heavy shelf, rearrange a bunch of inventory, and take all the boxes to the dumpster right quick.
Also me: WHYYYYYYYYY am I always so tired?
Also also me: How did it get to be almost noon?
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Working, but not boots

Sixteen boxes will be picked up and shipped tomorrow, and behind them is a large shipment from Baker Leather that arrived today and still needs to be checked in and put away. This is how I spend those fun-filled days when I’m not building cowboy boots.

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