By Christy Nielson
You never know where inspiration will strike. Just ask Othell Welch, founder of the well-known Western brand, Corral Boots. Welch was on a trip to Mexico when he became inspired by the handcrafted quality and process of manufacturing Western boots that is so prolific in that country. With a burgeoning idea for a boot brand, bootmaker contacts in León, Guanajuato—the leather capital of Mexico—and the support of his family and friends, Welch founded Corral Boots in 1999.
It didn’t take long for the boot brand, which is headquartered in Edinburgh, Texas, to blossom and spread all over the United States. In 2006, Welch joined forces with the Cuadra family, who entered into a partnership with Corral. Together, they took the company to the next level.
According to the company’s executives, Corral’s success is due to its quality and designs. Corral has the best prices and styles in the market, so its customers really get the best of both worlds, they say. The value is so impressive that customers often say about the fashion-forward, avant-garde styles, “It’s too much boot for the price!”
Corral Boots are hand-tooled and handmade by artisans in Mexico using the finest leathers. Each boot is handcrafted, one at a time, to ensure the unique design and incomparable quality that has become synonymous with the Corral brand. These two processes are carefully carried out and supervised by the artisans, which gives a greater value to each boot. This means of manufacturing allows Corral to make unique and exclusive products for brand-dedicated clientele.
In the beginning, Corral focused on men’s boots, but too many similar brands were doing the same thing–exotic leather boots for men. That is when the company execs decided to focus on what other brands did not offer and began to fill a void in the market by manufacturing a good selection of ladies’ boots. The first collection of women’s Western boots launched in 2000, and the rest, as they say, is history!
Women’s boots are still the bread and butter of the Corral Boots brand. But the company is also creating new styles in Western and urban boots for men. Additionally, Corral has collections for teens and kids. This constant introduction of Western products and designs for men, women and kids is key to its success, creating a Western lifestyle and not just a brand.
Corral Boots’ clients are women and men–from teens to adults–who have a strong sense of style. The Corral customer is someone who wants to get fashionable designs at affordable prices.
From the beginning, Corral Boots has been a trendsetter. The company made the first Western fashion boot with lizard inlays and laser cuts, taking cowgirl boots in a whole new direction. The brand is also known for its heart and wings design, one of the most iconic styles in recent years.
On average, it takes six months for a boot to go from inspiration to store shelves. The design team at Corral Boots stays on the forefront of leading international trends by working with expert sources in the fashion universe. The inspirations for Corral designs emerge from many elements of nature. Designers also find inspiration–much as Welch did when he founded the company–by taking research trips to the fashion capitals of the world.
Today, the company employs more than 2,000 people in the United States and Mexico. The 400-plus style options of Corral Boots—which range from $200-$250 on average—are available at over 800 retailers in the United States. Find a store near you by visiting corralboots.com.