Making DTC western wear work with Paul Hedrick from Tecovas

Making DTC western wear work with Paul Hedrick from Tecovas

Tecovas: A Western Wear Brand

  • Paul Hedrick, the founder of Tecovas, identified a gap in the market for affordable, stylish, and comfortable cowboy boots.
  • Despite facing skepticism, he launched Tecovas in 2015, sourcing boots from Leon, Mexico, known for its leather tanning and shoemaking industry.
  • Tecovas initially operated on a direct-to-consumer model, eliminating intermediaries and offering high-quality products at a fair price.
  • The brand's marketing strategy emphasized the universal appeal of cowboy boots and used social advertising for efficient growth, reaching over $10 million in revenue in the second year.

Challenges and Growth

  • Raising capital was initially challenging due to the niche perception of the D2C brand, but the company gained traction and attracted investors after showing significant revenue growth.
  • The founder's background in private equity, including experience in various business aspects, helped in building the company.
  • Tecovas prioritizes quality and sustainability by using leather from the food supply chain and creating durable products.

Transition and Future Plans

  • Paul Hedrick transitioned from CEO to Executive Chairman to focus on the creative side of product building and experiences.
  • The company plans to continue expanding its retail presence, diversify its product offerings beyond boots, and incorporate innovation into product development.

Footwear Industry Insights

  • Contrary to popular belief, most cowboy boots are made in a specific city in Mexico known for its high-quality leather.
  • The footwear industry, particularly the shoe segment, has experienced ups and downs, with some brands finding success in both online and physical sales.
  • Establishing consumer trust is crucial for online shoe shopping, as customers need to be confident in the fit and quality of the product.

Founder's Journey and Reflections

  • Paul Hedrick's personal journey involved turning a rejection into an opportunity and building a customer-led business with a focus on creating an amazing workplace and retail experience.
  • He realized that following one's heart and creative instincts can lead to success, even if it may seem unconventional.
  • The transition from working in a rigid corporate environment to being a founder can be challenging due to the contrasting levels of freedom and responsibility.
  • Many founder CEOs dislike the CEO role but feel obligated to stay in the position due to their attachment to the company.
  • It's important for founders to assess their strengths and determine if they are well-suited for the CEO role or if they would be better off in a different capacity.

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