On the shelves of one particular store in Austin, Texas, stands arguably the most exquisite boots one can ever see. The pricing in comparison to most other brands, in the rather vast boot industry, is quite affordable. So which boot brand exactly are we talking about? Tecovas boots. Tecovas is an indie brand that has made seemingly significant steps in its first year of business and has managed to become a big thing in the boot industry. With the entire rave surrounding the shoe brand, this article seeks to detail the story of how Tecovas boots became a big name in boots.
The Journey Of Tecovas Boots
The journey of Tecovas began with one Paul Hedrick, who after college took up a job at a large finance firm in New York. Although he loved his career, he felt that his home was always calling him back. Additionally, he always felt that he needed to start a business, one that ignited who he was as a person. Hedrick had toyed around with the idea for a boot collection but always took that as a hobby. When he finally decided to quit and pack things up and head home, the boot business was seemingly his one way home. Hedrick always loved boots, and when he went to the retail store to get one, he would find the price a little too hefty. According to Cowboys Indians, the average cost of good boots will set you back $500 or $600. The price issue coupled up with his love for boots were just the motivation Hedrick needed. Hedrick knew that his boots had to be unique if they were going to appeal to the market. He not only needed them to be handcrafted with the finest leather, but should also be of reasonable pricing. What’s the best way to cut costs down without having to compromise on the quality of your product?
The answer is simple, cutting off the middlemen. Part of the issue with the pricing of his favorite boots was that the ones in retail stores meant that there were a lot of people involved who needed their cuts from the sales. This factor usually posed a problem, and he needed to get rid of the middlemen. Hedrick needed to access the consumer directly. With a dream and a couple of savings, Hedrick set out to the boot capital of the world Leon Mexico. He worked with a skilled team of boot makers in the region to try and come up with some of the most exquisite boots at a reasonable price. According to Austinot, Hedrick would head out to Leon every month for a week to see to it that his product got the best quality and personal touch that he required. He attended fun days, fairs, and market days and tried to sell his products to the consumers directly as much as he could.
The Making Of Tecovas into What it is Today
For Hedrick’s dream to be realized, he had to invest more than his money in it. He invested his time and effort. Hedrick opted for a minimalistic approach and decided to get into the boot market gradually with simple designs. Tecovas produces two simple boot styles for men and women. For the men, there’s the Earl, a versatile roper which has a sleek shaft and a low heel. There’s also the Cartwright design, which is a traditional 12-inch boot with a hand-corded shaft and hand-stitched toe. The Earl will set you back $225 while the Cartwright costs $235. For the women, the Penny, which is a calfskin ankle boot with hands stitches, costs $195 while the Jaime is a classic cowgirl boot with toe stitching that is a signature to Tecovas and corded shaft patterns. The Jaime costs $235. One thing Hedrick did to stand out from his competition was building a mailing list. He set up a website six months before the official launch and asked friends and family to visit the site and share their email addresses. In the case that they drive others to the website, they'd each get gift cards.
According to Forbes, this system enabled them to sell over $100,000 within their first eight weeks in the business. Hedrick stated that with the website, he has managed to keep in touch with his customers. However, as mentioned above, Hedrick believes in selling the product directly to the consumers.
He, therefore, takes his goods around with an SUV, and this helps him generate about 10% of his revenue sales. Hedrick also gradually decided to take on the internet and put it to good use. He began using paid ads of Google and Facebook to increase his company’s online presence. Of his expectations to hit $1 million in sales, he stated that as a startup, it is better to use an agency for advertising until you can do it in house. Hedrick’s Tecovas has been a one-person show up until recently when he contracted the service of a financial expert. Together, the two are raising additional capital for the business. Seeing as the company has been around for only a year, they sure have done a lot to establish themselves and gain the necessary exposure while still staying true to its core values of providing excellent quality shoes.
Advice For Startups From Tecovas’ Owner
The most significant takeaway Hedrick gives from his own experiences is try not to be risk-averse. He stated that he wasn’t afraid to quit a very comfortable job to pursue his dreams. He also took advantage of the fact that he was in his prime years, 28, single, and no mortgage or loans to pay to actualize his dream for the boot business.
While Tecovas is still focusing on its two simple designs, the company seeks to expand over the coming years. Meanwhile, the business seems content with their efforts and client list, their motto being good quality and affordable costs.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee