Over the years, I have befriended a gentleman who owned a western store in my mother’s home state of Oklahoma. His business fared well through tough financial times, but as of 30 September, my friend closed his business and sent me a present. Why?
My friend did not have an internet storefront or business presence. He didn’t even have a website. But he had loyal customers like me who would make a point to visit and buy boots from him over the years. (Photo, right, is of me “cowboyed up” with those gift boots on.)
He often referred people to my website and boot reviews. Turns out that without even trying, my website has been fairly smartphone-friendly. People would come into his shop and ask questions about a particular brand of boots. He would refer them to the cowboy boots section on my website, and often I had those boots or at least a review on the boot wiki that I created in 2009.
My friend never told me much beyond that he was making referrals. But when he sent me an email to inform me that he was closing up shop, he explained that my website resulted in a number of sales. He offered to send me a gift of boots that he could not sell due to the price — the most expensive boots that he carried in his store.
Men (and women) would look at those boots, but put them back down because the retail price was rather high — MSRP was close to $1,200 for Tony Lama Signature Series boots.
Granted, Tony Lama Signature Series are the top-of-the-line of hand-crafted commercial cowboy boots. They are indeed very striking in their appearance. They have hand-tooled boot shafts and the vamp (foot) is made of caiman (alligator) belly. They also have lemonwood pegged leather soles. Top-notch boots!
At first I refused… surely he could sell those boots by offering a deep discount. But he insisted.
So here they are: Tony Lama Pecan hand-tooled caiman cowboy boots. Wow… what a terrific gift! Even my “you-have-too-many-boots” spouse likes them.
I am wearing them a lot lately to break them in. They are slightly small, but a size 10D was the only size he had. That’s okay, they fit fine, but they’re tight at the instep. My friend assures me that when they fully break in, they will be perfectly alright.
I wore them yesterday all day, while I took my spouse from hither-to-yon to run backed-up errands, while I took six LOLITS grocery shopping, and then to visit a Great Niece for her birthday. Everyone said how much they liked the boots and complimented them. Even two guys in a grocery store noticed and said at the same time, “nice boots!”
I seldom accept favors or gifts for doing what I do, or for my website. I do not have advertising on it because I do not maintain the website to generate revenue. I do it to display my boots — just ’cause I like ’em. (And also to keep my spouse from ever saying, “you don’t even know what boots you have! LOL!)
Life is short: wear and enjoy boots!