C.H. Hyer invented the cowboy boot in 1875. Five generations later and it's still a family affair. Get to know the Hyer family and their roots as we set out on our journey.
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My name's Fred Hire. My great grandfather started the Hyer boot factory. He came to life in 1869. He was credited with being the inventor of the cowboy boot. He started making boots for the cowboys, the trail, the cattle here from Texas.
00:00:47:22 - 00:01:00:18
I'm Nanete Hyer Bohl. Her up to this day, It's been 70 years. So to me, it's like Back to the Future.
00:01:01:17 - 00:01:02:03
Hi, my name is Andrew Bohl. I'm the great grandson of Charles Hyer my mom is Nan Hyer Bohl. I'm currently living at 505 cedar, which is called Hycrest.
00:01:16:04 - 00:01:32:20
I'm Zach Lawless. I am the CEO of Hyer Boots. I am not the founder of Hyer Boots. This is 185. This is almost one 150 year old company. I'm fortunate enough to be the new leader of but not the beginner of.
00:01:35:00 - 00:01:55:01
My name is Alicia Azeltine and I am technically the chief of staff at Hyer Boots and I wear many hats. Like most people who work at Hyer Boots. Zach and I have been together for, gosh, almost 14 years now.
00:01:56:06 - 00:02:08:17
Yeah, well, the factory was three floors and they had a working elevator... running around, and all of shoemakers were on third floor. My grandfather, he was a very intelligent person.
00:02:08:18 - 00:02:28:11
Yeah, my dad showed me how to cut leather, and I used to paint heels and I used to pull the lasts out. Oh, gosh. I used to work in the shipping department. I used to go to the leather room to get leather for people boy I loved smelling that leather that leather smelled great.
00:02:29:00 - 00:02:38:18
When I was growing up, what I remember is a lot of the ex-employees that were family, friends and that talking about... retired employees and employees that had left.
00:02:39:17 - 00:02:56:20
I knew about Hyer boots growing up that we invented the cowboy boots, but I didn't know much about it. So I'd say that that desire to learn more really started about four years ago.
00:03:00:23 - 00:03:21:15
Yeah, so it all started when Zach's grandfather died a couple of years ago, and I think what sparked his whole mission with acquiring the trademark back was he really wanted to make his grandmother comfortable in a time that was uncomfortable.
00:03:21:15 - 00:03:48:15
It was as if my grandmother had waited 50 years for. Somebody asked me this question about what happened to Hyer boots. She started unloading all these incredible stories about different people who were the boots, about the factories and the were the workers in the factory, and about the different celebrities who were coming into the shop and the whole city kind of shutting down and going to see these celebrities at the store and what I took away from that was that my grandmother was extremely passionate about it.
00:03:48:18 - 00:04:10:12
This was an incredible family thing that didn't feel right, that somebody that wasn't in the family anymore. And so without really a reason or cause, I just decided to start researching, Hyer boots and figure out what happened to it. And I tracked the the trademark down to a really big entity who I believe didn't really even know that they had it.
00:04:10:12 - 00:04:24:15
And so naive me started calling them thinking, Oh, they'll give it back to me. It's a really nice story, you know, but but it didn't work out that easily. I ended up having to spend 18 months calling different people throughout this organization.
00:04:24:15 - 00:04:30:23
The guy was persistent. Every Wednesday at 11 a.m., you call this person trying to get the trademark back.
00:04:31:12 - 00:04:41:22
Every Wednesday, I would wake up, make a cup of coffee, call as many people there as I could. And for the next hour and then and then wait till next week to to start pestering them again.
00:04:42:04 - 00:04:44:00
It was it was a long process.
00:04:44:00 - 00:04:56:07
And it abruptly or randomly in the beginning of last year, they dropped the trademark and gave me the opportunity to relaunch Hyer boots and bring it back into the family.
00:04:57:07 - 00:05:01:05
But at that point, we're looking at each other like, Well, what do we do now?
00:05:01:12 - 00:07:47:06
At that point, though, I never really expected to get it back. So all of a sudden I had this trademark and thinking to myself, Well, what do I do now?