Our state shoe, the cowboy boot, is an alluring genderless icon.
Raised on a West Texas cattle ranch, Sarah Means and her sister, Lizzie Means Duplantis, grew up idolizing their father’s footwear collection.
“He only wears cowboy boots, custom-made. Never loafers or dress shoes,” Lizzie says.
The Means daughters had to wait until their late teens — when their feet stopped growing — to design their own cowboy boots. And that milestone directly inspired a new family enterprise.
In June, the Means sisters opened Miron Crosby, a western boutique in Highland Park Village named after a Means Family patriarch.
“Marion Otis Means was my great-grandfather,” explains Sarah. “We like the name Marion. But since we also carry men’s boots, we didn’t want it to sound too feminine.”
By letting their unbridled imaginations run wild, the name Marion became … Miron.
Crosby is the name of a pasture on the Means’ fifth-generation ranch. And there’s a Crosby Street that lines Manhattan’s SoHo shopping district — the sisters’ old stomping grounds.
Although eight years apart, both sisters moved to Manhattan after they graduated from Texas Christian University.
In New York, Lizzie planned corporate finance events while working for Forbes and Goldman Sachs. And Sarah joined the salesforce at shoe-and-handbag brand Loeffler Randall.
As the Means sisters strutted around the Big Apple, both experienced the same reaction: New Yorkers would gaze at their boots and ask where they could score a pair.
That experience was flattering … but also frustrating.
They’d explain that their cousins owned Rios de Mercedes, a boot manufacturer in South Texas. But unfortunately, the factory only allowed friends and family to dabble in custom designs.
When Lizzie got married, she walked down the aisle in cowboy boots. Wanting to raise a family, Lizzie returned to Texas to settle in Dallas.
“New York is a hard place to raise children,” the expecting mother of two says.
Once Lizzie moved away, Sarah became a homesick Texan and migrated to Big D as well.
In Dallas, the inseparable Means sisters’ entrepreneurial spirits spawned an idea: What if they teamed up with their cousins to start their own boot brand?
“Rios de Mercedes doesn’t typically design women’s boots. But they were willing to work with us to head up a collection,” Lizzie says. “And Miron Crosby snowballed from there.”
Instead of first embarking on an online or pop-up store venture, Sarah and Lizzie wanted to create an experience where they’d emotionally connect with customers who could touch, feel and see every design element.
Inside their 490-square-foot studio, customers can create a one-of-a-kind pair inspired by a silhouette, by selecting from calfskin, ostrich, stingray or crocodile. They can also choose colors or add a monogram.
Handmade boots are always an investment. And the turnaround time for a custom order is always part of the bargain.
“We can get you into our customized program for about $1,500 to $1,800. And turnaround time is about four-to-five months,” Sarah explains.
Like a luxury fashion house, each year, Miron Crosby plans to introduce two collections, featuring 15 styles for women and seven for men.
Their spring-summer collection includes some eye-catching details.
Sometimes the stitches’ twists and turns invoke realism, like the candelabra branches of a saguaro cactus. And sometimes an inlay’s decorative fancywork makes one’s mind hopelessly wander — like Miron Crosby’s Margretta boots, which feature “springing stars.”
“Rather than falling, our stars jump. We love that type of optimism,” Lizzie says. “We love it when cowboy boots tell a story.”