Can I order a pair of boots from your portfolio?
This is something we might discuss in our initial meeting. I own the copyright to all my designs but they are also usually imbued with personal meaning for the person who ordered the boots In the portfolio. So yes, it is a possibility, but also we might discuss how to make the boot design personal to you.
The boots that I have made as art pieces for exhibition are not reproducible.
Do you make other kinds of footwear or only cowboy boots?
I only build Western side-seamed boots, or cowboy boots. I do build “ropers”, a version of a western boot with a lower heel, also called a “walking boot”, but I choose not to make other styles of footwear because I love building Western boots so much. It takes a life-time of dedication to build boots well.
What does One of a Kind mean?
One of a Kind has two meanings: I build “bespoke” One of a Kind boots for a specific person’s feet. That means I don’t make boots in a range of sizes for you to try on hoping one will fit; it means I measure your feet and make a pair of boots from scratch for your two feet.
The boots will also be One of a Kind in the sense that we will agree on a design together specific to your wishes: color, materials, heel height, toe shape, and decorative design. I have not yet made the same design twice so your boots will be One of a Kind in the world. I honor the rich history of bootmaking stitch patterns and inlay patterns with my work through technique, but I do not (yet?) replicate historical patterns.
Do you ever make a different version of a One of a Kind design?
Yes, I can make a version of a One of a Kind design that is specific to your wants and needs. This is something we discuss in our initial design meetings and from experience, the customers who come in knowing what they want have usually discovered that together we arrive at a different design that is unique to them that they never envisioned when they walked into the Ten Footer. This design capability is what sets a pair of Saboteuse boots apart.
How long does it take to make a pair of boots?
It takes several months to build a pair of boots, and many of the 35+ processes are time sensitive, like the need for leather to dry between steps. I have more than one pair of boots going at any given time, and how long it takes to finish one pair depends on several factors: the complexity of the decorative design, how quickly you come in for key meetings like the Design Approval or Final Fitting, how many pairs I have going at once, and the needs of my family. I am the primary caregiver to my children and this is a reality in American life. There will be at least a 12 month wait from the day of the Design Deposit until you receive your boots; currently heading into 2023 it is a 15 month wait.
Are there any design elements you won’t put on boots?
Yes. I will not put any hate speech on boots for clients to wear, nor anti-LGBTQ+ or racist imagery. I will not put the American Flag on client boots.
Why won’t you put an American Flag on boots when your Flags of our Foremothers Boots are so well-known?
I have two parts to my bootmaking practice: building boots for clients to wear and making art for exhibition. I made the Flags of our Foremothers Boots for a museum exhibition, not to be worn but to convey meaning in a specific context. We are a military family and while I do not judge other people for wearing the US flag on their boots, I will not build boots for wear with the flag on them.
How much do boots cost?
In 2023 the base price of Saboteuse boots is $6,200. The price estimate for every boot design is based on material choices and the time/labor necessary to execute the decorative designs. The more decorative work that goes into a design, the longer the boots take to build and the price increases. Certain leathers are more expensive than others too. I will design within your budget. Average prices for boots with decorative tops are in the $8,000 - $12,000 range per pair. Some of the art pieces I make with a lot of intricate handwork are in the $18,000 - $25,000 range. I revisit my base price annually as my skills and knowledge mature, museum exhibitions with Saboteuse boots increase their recognition, and my order load increases.
Why are the boots so expensive?
Behind each pair of boots is centuries of traditional knowledge that took years to acquire and hone at my own expense. There is crucial knowledge not just in technique, but in material decisions, ancillary skill sets, and time dedicated to passing on this traditional art to sustain it, time not dedicated to bootmaking. When you invest in a pair of Saboteuse boots you become an active collaborator in upholding this valuable American traditional art.
Saboteuse boots are built with the best materials. The raw materials alone for handmade boots can cost far more than an expensive factory boot.
Do I have to come to Massachusetts to order boots?
In theory, yes. I require at a minimum, one in-person meeting to take the foot measurements myself. For optimal boot design, I prefer to have three in-person meetings: initial conversation/measuring session, a Design Review meeting, a Final Fitting meeting. If you are unable to make 3 visits to Massachusetts I am willing to work with just the measuring session. If you want to fly me to your location and put me up in a hotel for your measuring session that is also a possibility.