My story

“Why/how did you become a boot maker?” is a question that was recently posed on a forum. I thought I’d post my answer here, for those who don’t know my story:
I was raised in a very conservative little church where the ladies all wore long hair and long dresses. My mother began teaching me to sew clothing at age 12, and by 15 I was sewing professionally. It came easily to me–I could create patterns from ideas or pictures. I’d always loved shoes but was surprisingly incurious about how they were made. Footwear just seemed to be a mysterious magic–I had no idea that people could make shoes. When I was 20 I married and moved from Missouri to Oklahoma, leaving my sewing business behind. I answered an ad in the newspaper for “stitching boot tops.” I had no idea what that was but it sounded like sewing. It was a revelation and I fell in love immediately. The thing I’d always hated about sewing clothing was that it was an expected, feminine thing. Cowboy boots had a huge canvas for color and self-expression, but it was also a serious craft with huge machines and lots of hammering, and it required serious physical effort. Boot making gave me an outlet for both the artist and the craftsman inside me. I’ve never been the type to want to know a little bit about many things; I want to know everything about one thing, and boot making is my one thing.

About customboots

I'm a custom cowboy boot maker. I own a business, Sorrell Custom Boots, and I create bespoke cowboy boots using vintage machinery and hand tools. I have no employees, but my daughter Paige works in my shop with me. She has her own business making ladies shoes.
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2 Responses to My story

  1. naanpocen says:

    Thanks for sharing. I love that you learned a craft to make it your own business. I am the sort that has my hands in everything – I sew, I crochet, I make jewelry, I knit, I weave and very recently started learning/making shoes. I guess that explains why I have not been able to pin down ONE thing as my specialty.

    • customboots says:

      I’ve been wanting to learn to knit. I love making boots but it’s not very portable. I need something for my hands to do when I’m not at the shop.

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