CowboySpirit.com – The dizzying array of cowboy boots in outlandish colors like Easter egg blue or shocking pink fills the aisles of the store.
In a corner of the Cowboys Western Wear store at 1938 S. Sixth Ave., amid the smell of exotic leathers, Larry Mahan Western hats and Western pearl snap shirts, lay a few simple Mexicanhuaraches, or indigenous leather sandals.
Few believe store owner Mauro Muñoz when he tells people that he started out by selling six pairs of huaraches on a street corner.
Even fewer would have predicted that Muñoz’s store would turn out to be a hit. From Tucson’s working-class laborers to lovers of Western flair like U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva (who is really into cowboy boots), the store sees a steady string of customers all day.
An easygoing, burly man with a mustache, Muñoz has a voice — loud — that carries over the entire store when he talks in Spanish in his lively accent from his home state of Sinaloa. He makes it a point to personally greet every customer.
Muñoz, 54, loves Western clothing, but he readily admits that he’s no fashion expert. Still, businesswise, he said he is emboldened by two key factors: He believes that he has God on his side and knows how to treat his customers well and make them feel at home.
On a recent Friday, José Hernández, a construction worker in his 50s, seemed at home at Muñoz’s store. His wife and nephew took him there so he could choose something for his birthday.
“He has always wanted a hat, some boots and a belt,” said Diego Ramírez, Hernández’s nephew, as his uncle tried out a straw hat.