Chase Custom Boots | About Me

About Me

I learned to make my first pair of cowboy boots from third generation master boot maker, Carl Chappel.

When I walked into his shop – literally off a board walk in the tiny Texan town of Saint Jo - I thought I had just walked on to the set of a movie.

It felt like the perfect place to craft the next act of my creative and professional life.

The trade of custom cowboy boot making exists outside of the world of academia and by and large, outside of the printed world as well. The practice is handed down, mouth to hand, by some of the few in the business. Shortly after I left Texas, I was very lucky to have been taken on as an apprentice by Buffalo Run Boots (pictured).

They were conveniently located in what is possibly one of the best small towns in the west:

Sheridan, Wyoming - Population 17,000.

I spent an idyllic winter

learning the trade, and getting comfortable with the idea of leaving the white collar working world, to make boots on my own.

A month after I left Wyoming, I returned to Washington, DC and was up and running in my own studio.

You could say that my path to boot making began long before this however.

In addition to the wonderful world of 4-H, my family showed Arabians on the professional circuit while I was growing up in Washington state.

In the long interim between then and now, I spent twenty + years in the arts working for the likes of Dale Chihuly

and the Clyfford Still Museum project.

Throughout this period I also received an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design.

I built custom furniture for clients and exhibitions -

a practice I referred to as an overgrown hobby. I sold my entire woodworking shop to fund the acquisition of all the boot making tools I needed.

It was entirely unexpected, to discover the world of custom cowboy boot making, but in doing so I was finally able meld my early, professional and creative life into one.