Right fit

Res­i­dent sizes up boot busi­ness

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Ali­cia Per­era

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.

Pic­ture: Kara Lauder

Kader Boot Co owner Kara Lauder wear­ing a pair of her west­ern boots, fea­tur­ing a Pil­bara-in­spired ant de­sign.

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