This article first appeared in Texas Lifestyle Magazine on March 19, 2020.
What do the University of Texas, Harvard Business School, the Marine Corp and Western boots have in common? The answer is one very fierce, super creative and entirely Texas-raised woman.
Sarah Ford proudly sports the founder and creative director hat (cowboy, that is) she wears at Ranch Road Boots. But before becoming a fabulous Western boot designer, Ford was living her best life in San Angelo.
The Texas native has been immersed in the American West culture since she was knee-high to a grasshopper. While her parents encouraged self-motivation and the ethic of hard work, her grandfather developed her love and appreciation for Western-style boots.
The idea of designing her own Western boots came after years of working for a tech-startup, serving three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan with the U.S. Marine Corps, and finishing her MBA at Harvard Business School. It was while customizing her own pair of boots at the same shop where her grandfather had his made years earlier that Ford’s aha! moment happened.
Inspired by her Western heritage and military experience, in 2012 Ford set out to make handcrafted leather boots that were fun, with timeless styles and classic designs made of life-lasting premium quality. What started as an on-the-road Boot Saloon in Phoenix, Arizona quickly launched into the highly coveted Ranch Roach Boots online brand.
Every boot is authentically made in Spain by experts using Goodyear-welt construction, which is the oldest shoe-making technique, to create traditional Western styles with earth tones reminiscent of American desert landscapes.
Today, Ford designs custom boots from her studio near Joshua Tree, California and enjoys family life with her husband and two daughters. Still paying respect to her military roots, Ranch Road Boots donates proceeds from every pair of boots sold to the Injured Marines Semper Fi Fund.
We wanted to know what this ridiculously creative and talented designer never leaves home without—also known as her Texas Essentials.
Presidio Short Cognac Boots
I wear boots, especially these, a lot because they go so well with almost everything.
Acqua di Parma “Colonia”
A tiny sample of my husband’s cologne.
Ray-Ban Polarized Wayfarer Sunglasses
They’re a classic.
Aquaphor Healing Ointment
I get panicky without it!
This is my dad’s 1962 University of Texas ring, also the year he joined the Marines.
Air King Rolex Watch
I love this cool watch with orange numbers. I bought it for myself before I started Ranch Road Boots in 2011 and I’m still obsessed. I wear it with everything.
Cover: Sarah Ford, Founder of Ranch Road Boots, courtesy photo
Lisa Davis lives in Austin and is the Editorial Assistant for Texas Lifestyle Magazine and an honors graduate of Concordia University Texas with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and Public Relations.