We took a tour of this historic boot factory located in Tucson's South side
Decades have gone by, but a local Tucson western boot manufacturer is still kicking.
Victor Borg, Stewart Boot Company’s president says he’s not letting age slow him or his company down — especially after nearly 50 years.
He knows rodeo week means not a lot of sleep. This year is no different. He currently has hundreds of cowboy boot orders to fill.
“We have never spent a nickel on advertising in 47 years and we have so much business we can’t even handle it,” said Borg.
Even though new technology could help, Borg believes making boots by hand and doing business the “old fashion way” is his secret to success.
The small warehouse in South Tucson is the last hand-made boot factory in the country. With only a handful of employees, keeping up with the demand seems like an impossible task from an outsider’s perspective. Luckily, Borg says he’s hired masters of the craft. Master craftsman that pump out more than 500 custom boots every year.
“The old fashion way works,” he says with a chuckle. “We use old machinery, old guys, old methods.”
It also takes a lot of time and patience. With an average wait time of 90-days, don’t expect a pair of quality custom-made western boots on the same day, but customers say it’s worth the wait.
Keeping customers happy and bringing money into South Tucson from all over the world is what keeps Borg going. He’s also dressed some well-known Hollywood feet over the years including Billy Crystal in the 90’s movie City Slickers, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Skipper from M.A.S.H and Clint Eastwood. Even Cuba’s current leader, Raul Castro.
He says, “Well I enjoy this. I have customers that come in here that can’t get what I do anyplace else.”
The price to pay for the perfect pair of handmade Stewart Boot Company boots starts at $450. They’re available in all sorts of shapes, sizes, colors, and even exotic materials like buffalo, crocodile, and ostrich.
As long as it has a hide, the Stewart Boot Company can craft a pair of boots.
Borg and his staff pride themselves on the durability and longevity of their product, saying, “there’s no sense in crafting a product that’s supposed to last 40 years out of leather that’s going to last ten.”
If its notoriety around Tucson is any indicator of the store’s future, it seems Stewart Boot Company is made to last.
For more information or to contact Stewart Boot Company, click here.