Perspectives - Winter 2016 - 29

MADE IN AMERICA: TRUMAN BOOT CO.
by Elijah Santos | photography by Vince Romano

I

f there's one thing that we all rely upon in our everyday lives, it's our
boots. As the old saying goes, "If you're not in your boots, then you're
in your bed." So you might as well have the best of each. There aren't
many companies handcrafting boots in-house anymore. However, in Eastern Pennsylvania there is a man doing just that. Vince Romano, owner
of Truman Boot Co., has gone back to making boots the hard way. He
and his small team make custom boots on a farm in eastern Pennsylvania, and they are making quite a name for themselves. They produce less
than 1,000 pairs annually, and they maintain a high standard of quality for
every single boot. Vince started Truman Boot Co. in 2014 after traveling
for several years. Here's what Vince had to say about his evolution as a
boot maker.
Q Tell us about how you became interested in boot making.
A Completely by accident. I traveled for years, mostly working on
grazing dairy and sheep farms in the Western U.S., New Zealand, and
Europe-I moved around quite often. So when you are traveling as
often as I was you really can't take six pairs of shoes and boots with
you-it has to be one or two pairs. The pair I traveled with was found
in an antique store. I had them resoled and wore them everywhere. They
held up great and looked amazing. When they were on their last breath
I looked at having them rebuilt. I couldn't find anyone to do it the way I
wanted, and with the prices for a totally custom pair of boots, I decided
to pick up a sewing machine and a few boot making essentials. I ran
pair after pair nonstop for almost a year until I was happy with what I
came up with. Never having that intention, it turned into a business.

Q How did you decide to start a boot company, and how did you decide
on your company name?
A After I started selling boots to casual buyers, I realized I was going
to have to work on a brand. My working border collie, Truman, was the
single most essential thing to my work other then a good pair of boots.
The place where he and I worked together most was in Oregon's Willamette Valley. We ran a large sheep and cattle ranch on grass seed farms.
This entailed putting up and taking down fence almost constantly. We
gathered and loaded thousands of animals a week regularly. At the end
of the day all you had to do was clean the mud off Truman and head into
town for a coffee-or a beer. Truman's ability to be casual and work at
the same time definitely had a lot to do with the idea for the brand and
what we hope to continue to bring into the market.
Q How did you learn to make boots?
A Trial and error. I watched lots and lots of promotional videos
from the boot companies. I could stop and pause a video and gather
a million details just from what was in the background. Getting an apprenticeship would have been ideal-or even working at a factory, but
any of the larger scale operations would have you doing one thing all
day, all year and you'd really never acquire more then one or two skills
in the process. Teaching myself was really the only option, so I made
it work.
Q Tell us about your history in the agriculture industry.
phoenixfeeds.net/magazine

Perspectives Magazine

29


http://www.phoenixfeeds.net/magazine

Perspectives - Winter 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Perspectives - Winter 2016

Contents
Perspectives - Winter 2016 - Cover1
Perspectives - Winter 2016 - Cover2
Perspectives - Winter 2016 - Contents
Perspectives - Winter 2016 - 4
Perspectives - Winter 2016 - 5
Perspectives - Winter 2016 - 6
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Perspectives - Winter 2016 - Cover3
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