El Paso. It never ceases to amaze me. The only city in America with a mountain in the middle of it is also America’s boot capital. So I went boot shopping this week. Well it began as shopping, but quickly escalated to gawking as I found the mother of all that is miraculous in the art of bookmaking.
If you go boot shopping in El Paso. If you are serious about boot shopping. You only go to Rocketbuster Boots.
It’s the most unassuming joint from the outside. For now. (There’s plans to install a refurbished lifesize statue of a cowboy on a bronco to the roof. Then the outside will resemble the inside.) If I hadn’t seen pictures of the boots before entering the store, I could never have imagined what I found.
The red iron gate was open but the gray door was closed when we aproached the building. We rang the doorbell in the middle of the painted star before we even turned the doorknob. Of course it was unlocked. As we pushed through the door and set our first sights on the magic of this handcrafted boot factory, we were simultaniously greeted by the owner, Nevena. What a charmer. She immediately welcomed us into the showroom-office-studio-factory-fun house that is Rocketbuster Boots.
She’s a busy lady, no doubt. But just as concerned as I’m sure she is with deadlines and new designs, she concentrates on people. She doesn’t know me from Joe, but she took me all around her business with a warm heart and twinkly eyes. She told me where they’d come from, what they’re about, answered all of my silly questions, and gave me a tissue to wipe my chin when I was drooling over her boot designs. It was the most enjoyable gawking experience I have ever had. Aside from housing the most impressive boots I have ever seen, the store is a treasure trove of antiques and oddities, and joyful employees.
Nevena really struck me as the #girlboss I’d like to be if I ever was one. I only breifly encountered her, but she struck me as having the balance we’re all on our journey for; a balance of career, family, and self. To me it’s not just about doing something you love, but being able to put yourself and your creativity out into the world on a daily basis. People like Nevena remind me how I am barely scratching the surface. Customers come to her with ideas for boots as personal and intricate as you might a tattoo artist, or someone writing your memoirs. And what she and her staff make of the ideas is absolutely gorgeous.
I love art and I enjoy fashion. I’m not a serious shopper, but I can get serious about a purchase. It’ll take me a while to save up for a pair of Rocketbusters. But when I do… holy mother… look out… I don’t think I’ll ever stop walkin’. The above photo is me next to the largest cowboy boots in the world as per the Guinness Book.
For anyone interested Rocketbuster Boots is located at 117 Anthony Street in downtown El Paso. You can also find them on the web. If you’re a shoe-hound I suggest putting Rocketbuster in your Instagram feed.
I have to apologize, maybe, for not posting more photos of the killer boots. The fact is, that everything about the situation was so attractive to me that I didn’t focus just on the boots. Rest assured however, that when I get my pair of Rocketbusters you’ll see them right here first.