Turning Boots Into A Work Of Art
The royalty for the North Park Never Summer Rodeo has been dressed from head to toe in beautiful gear from a variety of their sponsors including Boot Barn of Cheyenne, Steamboat Western Wear, MJ Belts, P Diamond Livestock and Colorado Boot Bags & Upholstery. The patriotic colors of the red, white and blue are the theme for the rodeo and are carried over into the durable and beautiful designs our royalty chaps are made with. Seven years ago, Millie Mathies donated her time and talent to make these beautiful chaps that have become a signature piece of our rodeo.
Millie started out with an upholstery business over 20 years ago. Her work quickly went beyond repairing truck seats and furniture. She began using her talents as an artist reconstructing old cowboy boots into something new and useable. Her boots have been mostly made into purses; sometimes new and sometimes used as a memorial to a memory of someone special. She’s created each purse as a one-of-a-kind piece and made an incredible business from it.
Millie takes trunks of boot bags to shows across the country, including the National Western Stock Show in Denver and the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. Her booth attracts thousands of people and adorn the shoulders of people from every walk of life. When she isn’t selling them at a show, she’s working in her home studio building custom purses to sell on her website or for private orders. Her custom designs are always a show stopper and loved.
Millies craft has expanded even further than upholstery and boot top bags. She works with leather of all kinds and fur as well. Another piece she can add to her work is full length buffalo coats. “What inspired me was a way to support my family and help my daughter Courtney.” Millie’s daughter Courtney, also a talented artist and jeweler, was injured in a car accident 10 years ago and left paralyzed. Millie has faced the struggles head on and become quite successful by doing so.
This is the sixth year Millie has been working
with furs, which started after sewing for a trapper. Her work has become renowned and in much demand. She has a website you can purchase items directly from, www.coloradobootbags.com. She currently has a new site being reconstructed and her brand being trademarked due to the high demand, under the new name J. Hambleton Ltd. Her work can also be found on her Facebook page, Colorado Boot Top Bags.
In the spare time, Millie and her husband manage the Clark Peak Cabins in Gould. They have a store showcasing their fur, boot bags and upholstery work in the Clark Peak restaurant. Millie has graciously donated a boot top bag to the North Park Never Summer Rodeo Royalty silent auction for the last seven years. Look for Millie and her beautiful work at the Vendor fair in the indoor arena at the North Park Never Summer Rodeo.