My job as co-owner of a western store and saddlery is to take everything I see, hear and read and determine if – and how – it will impact our industry. To do so, I don’t just look for shifts in fashion and function, but also in technology, design, consumer behavior and so much more.
When I see women trading in their jeans for leggings, I think... Denim can’t vanish… it’s too functional. And sure enough, denim isn’t gone, it’s just being used more strategically, while fashion throws a curve ball to mix it up, just for fun!
Facebook and Instagram affords constant contact with customers, but does that mean they still don’t want and need personal service? Not at all, people still benefit from the expertise of people in the business. We deal with products every day and know the ins & outs, goods & bads, what works & doesn’t work, what holds up & what doesn’t…there is so much available that having a chance to talk about your individual needs lets us both get closer to meeting those needs.
What I have found most amazing about today’s world of instant everything is that basic truths still hold true. The age proven saddle tree made of wood and covered with rawhide still serves the same purpose it was originally built for…it distributes the weight of the rider over the surface of the horses back evenly. A steel arch in a boot doesn’t break down, it supports the foot & provides lasting comfort. The more beaver in a felt hat, versus rabbit and wool, the longer & better it holds up. Natural fibers in a felt saddle pad wick moisture & heat from the horses back; synthetic fibers don’t. Clay based neoprene breathes; petroleum based neoprene does not.
But if all these snippets of information make you feel like the world is just moving too fast to keep up, let me underscore that slow and steady, stick to the basics wins out. We’re celebrating our 107th year in business, and this family-owned and family-run operation has built a solid foundation on its heritage, all while still looking forward. The Cowboy Way holds endless inspiration.
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