But times were changing, and though the Texas boot industry had weathered many ups and downs over the course of its 100 plus years of tradition, tastes were evolving and that meant lower boot sales. Outsourcing was beginning to put its pressure on once venerable US companies and with Miss Enid’s death in 1990, it looked once again as if the town’s boot making days and its fame as a leather goods hub were numbered.
Justin Industries bought out the Nocona brand and in 1999 they closed down the sprawling Art Deco-inspired factory that Miss Enid built on the outskirts of town and moved production of the boots to Mexico, which many in Nocona felt was sacrilegious–a Texas boot should be made in Texas, not in Mexico or China. That was a tradition that began here. It was a tradition that a few skilled bootmakers who were left without a job when the boot company closed down decided to keep alive.