Asterisk House: Built From America’s Bedrock

A Cowboy Boot Company

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KEYWORDS

Branding, Design, Entrepreneurship, Systems Thinking, Value Chain

Era Asterisk

SUMMARY

This project came about from thorough research on one of America’s true, original crafts - making cowboy boots. By understanding the history, I was led to view this product as more than just its final phase of construction; all of the processes that lead to its creation matter, beginning with the life of the animal. I was inspired by the relationships I saw between cattle ranchers with their animals, leather artisans with their material, and bootmakers with their footwear. This project is a business designed to capture the beauty that exists within those dynamics and further create it by allowing these individuals to interact within the same environment. All of this is motivated by the collective purpose of delivering a product with sincerity and greatness.

challenge 

In the leather tanning process, I faced a challenge that people making leather have faced for thousands of years - weather. An uncharacteristically long winter in Texas forced upon me several delays and instances of problem solving to keep my project on the right timeline. Despite the initial feelings of frustration, I realized that this challenge needed to be embraced as an opportunity to really understand the legacy I was tapping into with this work. This led me to overcoming a broader challenge with this project - figuring out how to capture our collective history of craftsmanship while still pushing it further.

Outcome

The driving force of this company is aesthetics so the ultimate outcome is creating a beautiful product that is intrinsically distinguished from its competitors from start to finish. I uncovered moments of value within cattle ranching, leather tanning, and bootmaking through my research, and I will be able to make that value accessible to the consumer by designing the business model with this vertically integrated supply chain. Having control and proximity with the full supply chain enables our storytelling; therefore, the other main outcome I have executed is developing an approach to establishing a brand’s identity that can be applied to other companies.