It's been a quick trip around the sun for native Houstonians Mike and Krystle Lodzinski, who just last summer crossed paths with Portuguese boot maker Tiago Maximo at his shop in Barcelona and set into motion their newest business venture—bringing Urban Shepherd Boots to the States.
“We were immediately struck by his passion and story,” recalls Krystle of Maximo's humble beginnings with 300 euros and a desire to craft artisanal boots in traditional Portuguese fashion. A few months after meeting, the couple reached out to Maximo to gauge his interest. By October, they were convening in Portugal to visit the fourth-generation boot manufacturing facility and local tanneries, and by January, they had launched online in the U.S. with six timeless men's styles featuring premium materials, heritage craftsmanship and the brand's signature red stitching. Just last month, they were featured at SXSW's marketplace, and they've got plans to expand with more styles and women's sizes. What a year, indeed. $260-$290, urbanshepherdboots.com