Resident sizes up boot business
A Paraburdoo woman has plans to make waves in the fashion industry with her business making western boots featuring designs inspired by the Pilbara environment.
Kara Lauder, a former fly-in-fly-out worker of eight years who now lives locally, said she started her business Kader Boot Co four years ago to address the lack of affordable Australian-made western boots, despite having no fashion background.
“I’m a country girl and I noticed there was a gap in the market,” she said.
“There really weren’t any western boots that were by an Australian-owned company, or any that had Australian themes on them.
“I wanted to be affordable and offer something Australian and unique.”
“A lot of my boots have Australian themes to them, and you can’t get anything like that (overseas).”
From then on it had been a steep learning curve, with the company’s first pair of boots taking 12 months to make as Ms Lauder learnt the different components involved from scratch.
Years on, her first big shipment of boots is arriving this week from Mexico, where they are manufactured, and she is building a mobile shop to tour over Christmas.
She also plans to start producing clothing through the brand and attempt to expand into the Eastern States, American and Canadian markets within the next year.
Though the business is only now about to start large-scale production, Ms Lauder said her boots had already gained a following.
“I’ve actually had a few people out in remote Aussie stations who will travel six hours plus to buy my boots,” she said.
“Weddings as well — I never even considered that as an option. I’ve had brides contact me to buy boots for their whole bridal party.”
Lauder said most of the unique designs on her boots were inspired from scenes of the Pilbara landscape she had seen working in her former job as an environmental officer for a mining company.
“I get a lot of inspiration from the environment, and a lot of it was from when I’d drive around at work and see things and I’d think, ‘that would be really cool on a boot’,” she said.
“And I send it to my manufacturer and he tells me if he can or can’t do it.”
In another recent development, popular American cartoon strip Horns and Hooves Cowtoons is about to publish a cartoon centred on her boots with Pilbara ant mound designs on the leg.
Ms Lauder said she had no plans to leave Paraburdoo.
‘I worked FIFO for about eight years so I’ve very used to being remote,” she said.
Kader Boot Co owner Kara Lauder wearing a pair of her western boots, featuring a Pilbara-inspired ant design.