Pilbara boot business stepping out

STEPPING OUT: Kara Lauder wearing her tan boot design and her pooch Charlie in the Pilbara. Kara started her own boot business, Kader Boot Co.
STEPPING OUT: Kara Lauder wearing her tan boot design and her pooch Charlie in the Pilbara. Kara started her own boot business, Kader Boot Co. Contributed

IN A small Pilbara town, tucked away in a home office, a former fly-in-fly-out mine worker is crafting designs for western boots.

Although thousands of kilometers away from her nearest capital city in Paraburdoo, Kader Boot Co managing director Kara Lauder believes her remote location isn't holding her back from creating a successful business.

She believes there is a market for an Aussie owned boot company, and has chosen to capitalise on the opportunity.

"It was about four or five years ago, I was travelling a lot when I was fly in fly out, I was travelling overseas and to America and all throughout Australia to rodeos,” she said.

"I noticed there weren't many Australian owned options when it came to boots.

"They were mostly imported from America.”

Seeing a gap in the market, Kara started to investigate making her own boots to sell.

"I looked into getting my boots made in Australia but it was a minimum of $1500 per pair, and the mark up I would have had to do would have made them unfeasible.”

She had her first pair made in Mexico while she was still working as an environmental officer for a mining company and living out of state.

After having her first child and moving to Paraburdoo, Kara decided a boot business would be the perfect 'mum job' and she dove in head first.

Today, she has launched her business Facebook page and is planning to hit the road in a custom-made mobile shop to sell her products in Western Australia, and down the track all around Australia.

As a rodeo fan, Kara has always been the kind of girl who had a closet full of boots.

"I probably have about 15 pairs,” she said.

Kara joked that she can't wear any of them as they are now considered to be her 'competition'.

Drawing has always been a hobby, so sketching designs came quite naturally.

One of her signature styles is a boot that has a white leather leg, with black ants running across them.

"In the Pilbara we have these gigantic ant mounds,” she said.

"My job when I was fly in and fly out was an environmental officer. So I was out in the bush all day long. I saw a lot of things that I thought would look really cool on a boot.”

Now at home with 14-month-old Ally full time, Kara has transformed one of her rooms into her makeshift headquarters for Kader Boot Co.

The whole room smells like leather.

Her husband, Nathan, has made her a rustic shelf where she stores her new boots and leather samples.

The juggle of motherhood and business hasn't been too much of a struggle.

"It has worked in my favour if she stays up at night because I can message my manufactures,” she said.

"There have been many times where I am rocking her to sleep and over the back of her I am texting my manufactures in Mexico because they are wide awake. It's the middle of the day for them.

Kara said people shouldn't be deterred from starting their own business because they live remotely.

"I think the Pilbara actually is a really great place to start a business,” she said.

"A lot of people probably don't think that but rural places can be really supportive. I don't think people should feel put off by starting a business in the country, I think you get a lot more support out here than what you would get in the city.”

Search Kader Boot Co. on Facebook for more information.

Topics:  pilbara rural woman

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