MERCEDES, Texas ( ValleyCentral) — People in the valley are no stranger to wearing boots for special occasions or even any day of the week. One local business has played a key role in this popular demand for over 40 years.
Camargo’s Boots opened back in 1980 and has been a staple for wearers in Mercedes and across the valley ever since. It’s just one of the reasons why Camargo’s customers have been coming back over the years.
“After you do it for 40 years, you can’t count,” Camargo said. “Some would come back because they would have a problem with shoes.. they need a soul or a heal or a boot shine or whatever. And others one well they decided they wanted a new pair of boots because they just got their stimulus check.”
On average Camargo makes around two to three pairs of boots a week. The shop also repairs all the boots people buy from Camargo. But it’s the creativity and unique style Camargo makes for every single one of his customers that keeps the job fun.
“When you do the whole boot it’s different, you go through a lot of different changes,” Camargo said. ” Your souls and your glue and your nailing and your mounting, you know you are doing different things so I don’t get bored. But if you do the same thing all the time it gets bored.”
While Camargo is constantly getting new requests to repair and make new boots, he said boot making is a dying art. Camargo is now trying to teach other people how to make boots to keep this unique skill alive.
“The craft is dying because not a lot of young kids want to learn,” Camargo said. “I’ve got my grandkid who 12 years old, I started showing him when he was 6 or 7 but he didn’t really pay too much attention because he was just a little kid, but now that he is 12 he’s paid more attention.”
While Camargo has been able to teach other people the craft of boot making, he hopes more people will discover the love for the art like he did.
“My thing was I like to draw when I saw this and I learned a little bit, I liked it and I just stayed on it,” Camargo said.
If you would like to get a customized pair of boots from Camargo’s you can visit his location at 710 W. 2nd St. in Mercedes, TX.