(Please scroll to the bottom of the page to see our Show Schedule and Customer Testimonials)
Native Texans Arlie and Debby Garrett have long admired the artistry and craftsmanship of cowboy boots. Arlie's brother gave him a cowboy boot birdhouse for Christmas one year and then...
Arlie was teaching and coaching football in Leander, Texas, when other coaches and faculty members saw his cowboy boot birdhouse and asked where they could get one. He enjoyed working in his shop, so he started experimenting with ways of making them as a hobby.
His cowboy boot birdhouse hobby soon grew into a business. He and Debby spent hours searching thrift stores and garage sales for cowboy boots. In the process, they found many beautiful cowboy boots, so in addition to making and selling birdhouses, they began selling vintage cowboy boots on Ebay.
After 33 years of teaching and coaching, Arlie "retired" in 2004 to devote more time to selling birdhouses and vintage cowboy boots. In 2005, Arlie and Debby moved to Morgan Mill, Texas, to be nearer their mothers who were beginning to need their help. After the move, Arlie began looking for more ways to use the beautiful vintage boots. Many boots had worn out soles and vamps, but still had beautiful tops. He decided to use some of those beautiful boot tops for another purpose... making cowboy boot purses!
This was quite a stretch from teaching and coaching football, but Arlie was anxious to learn something new. He bought a commercial sewing machine and taught himself to sew. He made up a few purses, and took them to a horse show, craft fairs, and Canton, Texas, where he and Debby had a booth for four years.Month after month, they listened to customer feedback, and new purse styles evolved. It wasn't long before he created his own original design, the "DIANA" cowboy boot purse.
Customers began inquiring about having "Custom" purses made from their own boots. Some were boots they could no longer wear, but most were sentimental boots that had been worn by someone they loved. This quickly grew into a large part of the business. People loved telling the stories behind the boots, and Arlie considers it an honor to be entrusted to make a special keepsake from their treasured possessions.
Somewhere along the way, Debby created the Rootin Tootin Boutique website to further expand the business...
In the meantime, The Hartford Insurance Company came up with an idea to create a nationally televised commercial with a cowboy boot purse in the storyline. The person responsible for hiring the "talent" for the commercial found the Rootin Tootin Boutique website and liked the "DIANA" cowboy boot purse. They asked Arlie if he would design a purse for the commercial, and he said, "Yes!"
In the commercial, two actors portrayed a father and daughter who made cowboy boots. The daughter suggested making cowboy boot purses to go with their boots, and the father agreed. In the next scene, another actress is shown trying on boots with a matching cowboy boot purse in front of a mirror. This purse is now known as the "Hartford Purse".
The Hartford Insurance commercial aired nationally on several major networks throughout football season and was seen by thousands. Although it didn't mention Rootin Tootin Boutique by name, many people searched the internet until they found the Rootin Tootin Boutique website. The floodgates opened, and orders began pouring in from all over the country. Arlie and Debby are sincerely grateful to The Hartford and all the nice folks involved in producing their commercial. Special thanks also to good friends Alvie and Christy Weed, who provided their home as a B&B and workshop prior to and during the production. Their support was invaluable.
The "Texas Country Reporter with Bob Phillips" TV show received a suggestion from someone to do a story on "Rootin Tootin Boutique and the football coach who makes purses out of recycled cowboy boots." Their production team called and asked Arlie if he'd like to do the show and he said, "Yes!". Bob and his film crew came to Morgan Mill and filmed Arlie making purses and discussing the process. It aired twice on local TV stations in Texas, and twice nationwide on RFD-TV. It was also picked up by "Mel's Video of the Day" for further distribution to his subscribers, and is also posted on YouTube. All of this attracted more new customers who had never heard of cowboy boot purses.
Arlie and Debby are extremely grateful for all the good fortune that has come their way. They are thankful for being able to work together in a business they love, and for having the best customers in the world!
I received my custom purse today and its perfect!!! Thank you for including your business cards..they are safely tucked inside the inside pocket so I can hand them out to friends!
My sister saw you guys at the Dulles Expo craft show in Chantilly, VA recently and loved your work. She bought a wine tote from you and since her birthday is next weekend, we decided to get her one of your purses. You do beautiful work! Thanks so much!
Congratulations Arlie and Debby! Years after receiving one of your purses as a Christmas gift from my husband, I’m still getting complements on my purse EVERY TIME I shop! A young lady at the drycleaners actually remembered my purse one day that I used another and asked me, “Where your cowgirl purse?!” Of course, I tell all of these ladies where it was purchased.:o) One of these days I hope to be able to purchase another purse in another color.
This comment would be in your "kudos" category, for sure! I just saw you guys at the Craftsmen's Classic show in Columbia, SC. I didn't buy a bag but it's only because I have frozen shoulder issues and need something that has absolutely no weight to start with so I have to avoid leather. That said, if I didn't have that issue, I would have wanted one because these bags are gorgeous and you are truly a gifted artist! I just couldn't believe my eyes! I will tell others about your bags and encourage them to look at your website. Wow...carrying one of these eye-catching bags would be like carrying around a work of art! Keep up the beautiful work and have safe travel to future shows!
Where's the "Love it" button on Facebook?
My purse always brings a smile to me and warms my heart since it was made from my Daddy's boots. I just took it to a couples shower Saturday and got compliments as I always do! Take care and please continue to keep me updated. I'm sure I will be ordering again in the not-too-distant future.
My boot bag - and it is AWESOME - arrived yesterday. This was perfect, because we actually celebrated my birthday on Thursday, so I was able to carry my new handbag to dinner! If you'd like, send me about twenty of your business cards, so I can hand them out when people notice my handbag. I'll run through the cards you sent by then end of next week!
I must say that I LOVE my boot purses. I discovered you at the Craftsmen's classic Craft show in Greensboro held back in March! I bought two, but find that I carry the beige one all of the time. I wish I had a dollar for each time someone ask me about the purse. I WOULD BE RICH! NO KIDDING! I have a question? What is the cost if I supply a pair of boots and have them made into a purse? Please let me know. Thanks!
This is the third purse I have purchased in the past three years. My wife can’t go anywhere that she doesn’t get a comment about how beautiful they are. Thanks!
I love my purse!!!!
I Google searched boot purses after that Hartford commercial a year ago or so and saved your site until I got ready to buy one. Thanks!
I was so excited to receive my purse. I was looking on line and found you. Love your merchandise!
I saw your purses on "Texas Country Reporter" show! Can't wait for my Birthday present to arrive!
I was turned on to your bags by the Texas Country Reporter show and had to have one!
I absolutely love the purse you made for my mom from my father's boots. I can barely wait to give her the purse as a gift. It will be awesome for her to carry something of my father's with her each and every day. Since his passing she misses him so very much. This is a way of taking him with her everywhere she goes. THANKS FOR YOUR AMAZING SERVICE. MAY YOUR BUSINESS BE GREATLY BLESSED!
Hi. I saw a preview of the Texas Country Reporter story on CBS news. I ordered a purse earlier for myself and got so many compliments, I've ordered another for my friend's daughter.
Hello. I just wanted to say thank you for sending my purse so quickly. It is a birthday gift from my husband to me. It is more beautiful in person than it was online. My birthday is not till next month, but I am enjoying the purse now :- ). You do beautiful work. Thank you.
The turquoise boot/purse I ordered Monday came priority mail today! The purse looks great!!
Thanks so much for the prompt attention and the great purse.
Just to let you guys know my wife flipped over the pocketbook!
Dear Debby and Arlie, i just want to wish you both a very happy christmas and new year. my mom was in the retail business and i know what it's like this time of year, but i just want to say that i love my purse. i get compliments everywhere i go and i carry your email address with me everywhere so i can share it with anyone that is interested.
I received my Rachel cowboy purse last night for Christmas. It was everything that I expected and more. My family was totally surprised with the purse; I saw the ad and put the item on my Christmas list; hoping I would receive it. I checked your website several times for updates and saw how many were out of stock. But I did receive mine. I love the sizing shown inside. Again, thanks - I cannot wait to show all my friends both here in Kentucky and Arizona.
Just received my handbag and I love it!! I’m an archaeologist (yep for real) and am always looking for the unusual and especially items that evoke a sense of time…
It is like it is painted on you, that you are wonderful sweet people!!!! You are the best example of how a simple GREAT idea can be turned into a thriving business. I have sent your web page link to ALL my friends and their wives and girlfriends...
It is RARE that I think nice thoughts about an insurance company, but I think the Hartford hit a home run here!! They have aided people with a NUMBER ONE business idea, and got national and international attention. People from all over the world, in scores of countries are seeing you and your fantastic products. It just doesn't get better than that!!
My Christmas present arrived late last week and my husband let me peek at it (to be sure I'd like it). It's a work of art!
Howdy! My husband looked up the Hartford ad on google. I rave about the purses everytime the ad comes on. Of course he went and bought one for me! They are wonderful!! Thank you Arlie! And thank you too, Debby. Christmas Blessings.
The package arrived yesterday afternoon. The purse is beautiful! My daughter is going to love her Christmas present. I simply must tell you, when she saw the Hartford commercial on TV, she got very excited and said, "That is so cool. They make purses from boots AND the bags are real pretty." Well, that got me scouring the internet to find you folks. I'm so glad I found your webpage. Thanks again for all your help with getting my order processed. We'll be checking back to watch for new items that might strike our fancy and I'm certain once her friends see her beautiful new purse, they'll want one too.
I saw the purses on the TV commercial and i know nice things when i see them! I knew i had to have one so i googled it and the rest is history! I love that they are handmade in Texas. I am proud to be a Texan and an American and nothing says that better than these purses!
I found you by googling "boot handbag". I kept looking until I found a site with styles that I liked. The purse is a Christmas present for my sister, but I will be back after the holidays for one of my own!
I saw your purse on the commerical and thought it was beautiful! I then went to Google and typed in cowboy boot purses and found your web site. They are all so beautiful it was hard to decide on one! I would love to be able to afford the one I saw on the commerical but I'll have to save up a bit to buy that one. I can't wait to receive mine.
Thanks Arlie! My wife loves it!
Hi Arlie & Debby! Received my boot purses... they're beautiful!! I had planned on giving them as gifts this year, but instead I'm keeping them for myself:) Each of your purses are individual pieces of artwork! Good luck with your Christmas season. Thanks again & Happy Holidays:)
I received the purse today and it is beautiful!! I can’t wait for my daughter to see it! I know she will absolutely love it. Arlie is so talented and blessed to have the talent. I will still add him to my FB page but like I said before, it will have to be after she gets the purse. She will know she has one, or at least suspect, if I add before then. Thanks again for all your help and have a very Merry Christmas!!
Hello! I received my purse and I love it! I saw your purses on a tv commercial and I tried to find them and I did! Thanks so much!
Received my boot purse today. LOVE IT!!!!! Didnt expect it so soon, Thanks so much!
I got my purse in the mail yesterday! Arlie...all I can say is WOW! It's so much better than I even thought it was going to be. I've got several ladies that have fallen in love with it now that they have seen it in person. I'm giving them your cards and will be telling them where they can get one. Thanks again! It was sooo worth the wait!
I received my purse yesterday. It is totally wonderful and I love it! Thank you so much!!
One of the saddest things I've had to do over the years is to wear out a pair of boots and have to get rid of them. Making something out of them like you folks do is a wonderful idea for keeping the beauty of boots alive. I really appreciate your efforts and wish you much success.
(Please check back in February for our 2014 Show Schedule!)
Rootin Tootin Boutique Show Schedule 2013
Craftsmen's Christmas Classic - Richmond Raceway Complex - Richmond, VA - November 1-3, 2013
Click here to see more Richmond show information
Craftsmen's Christmas Classic - State Fairgrounds - Columbia, SC - November 8-10, 2013
Click here to see more Columbia show information
Craftsmen's Holiday Market - Charleston Coliseum-Convention Center - North Charleston, SC - November 15-17, 2013
Click here to see more Charleston show information
25th Annual Christmas Made in the South! - Savannah Int'l Trade & Convention Ctr., Savannah, GA - November 22-24, 2013
Click here to see more Savannah show information
To provide unique and original, fine leather handcrafted handbags from recycled cowboy boots. As a small business, we pride ourselves on providing excellent customer service, and enjoy interacting with our customers in person, by email, or telephone. Our online store is designed to provide you with a safe and secure environment to browse and purchase our products, and we are always happy to help you. If you have questions or experience any problems using our website, please call or email us for personal assistance. Thank You for Shopping at Rootin Tootin Boutique - We Appreciate it Very Much!
Arlie and Debby Garrett
Facebook Fan Page: www.Facebook.com/RootinTootinBoutique