VALDOSTA – Anyone who thinks the mall isn't doing well should visit Dallas Wayne Boot Company.
It's not uncommon to see mall goers lined up outside of its doors before opening, with many people making the trek to the mall solely for this store.
“I think it's a misconception that the mall isn't doing well,” said Katie Dasher, store manager. “We thrive in the mall.”
Todd and Joanna Jones opened Dallas Wayne Boot Company in 2011 in a small storefront with only 10 styles of boot. Joanna already had a boutique in the mall and the couple were asked if they'd be interested in opening a boot store once the previous one left.
While the couple may not have had a foundation in this specific type of inventory, they tackled the challenge head-on and opened a store with a name that honored Todd's father. The store has since grown to the ultimate South Georgia apparel storefront with 100 styles of boots, a variety of clothing, outdoor accessories and a wall of hats. Brands range from Yeti to Southern Fowler.
The original store was only 20x20 and has moved four times since opening. The current location was acquired when New York and Company left. Now, the store has 11,000 square feet of space to accommodate its ever expanding styles.
It may be true that the idea started with a boot, Dasher said sales are pretty even between boots and apparel. The idea of the “boot” isn't limited to just the cowboy style; the store also carries a collection of work and fashion boots and casual shoes.
“Our work line is huge and some businesses have accounts with us to buy employees boots for work,” Dasher said.
The store became such a hit, a second 10,000-square-foot location was opened in Thomasville and the couple is in the process of opening an archery center within the store.
There are approximately 20 employees between the two stores and Dasher said, as it is a local company, it strives to employ locally and frequently gives money back to the community through charity.
Dallas Wayne Boot Company is located inside the Valdosta Mall, 1700 Norman Drive, and at 715 Smith Ave. in Thomasville. The store can also be found online: dallaswaynebootcompany.com.
Desiree Carver is a reporter at the Valdosta Daily Times. She can be reached at (229) 244-3400 ext. 1215.