One of the best things about working in the design industry is meeting such creative people, like Nevena Christi of Rocketbuster Boots. Nevena and I worked at Nicole Miller together for a short time and Nevena certainly made an impression on me. I remember one of my first days on the job, Nevena had decorated Nicole’s office for her birthday with about 100 potato chip bags hanging from the ceiling and the design team would just reach up and grab a bag as they worked into the wee hours on a new collection. Margaritas sent in from Virgil’s and street push carts sent into the showroom for employee birthday parties were the norm. Nevena thinks outside the box, so it’s no wonder she is creating the finest custom hand-crafted boots for clients and celebrities like Taylor Swift, Julia Roberts, Billy Bob Thorton, Tom Cruise, Oprah Winfrey, Meg Ryan and Sharon Stone, just to name a few.
Nevena, aka “the boss lady” runs the studio out of an old fur trappers warehouse in the oldest part of El Paso, Texas. Marty Snortum had purchased the boot company in a bar back in 1989. Marty, an advertising photographer, got into a conversation with a European man at the bar that had just started a boot business here but longed to move home. Long story short Marty traded his 1953 Cadillac hearse for the boot company and they toasted the deal with a bottle of Tequila. Nevena met Marty in 1995 when she went to El Paso to commission 6 pairs of boots for Nicole Miller’s runway show. Sparks flew and after two years of a cross country relationship Nevena moved to Marty’s home in Texas in April of 1997, which is in a 1930’s Pueblo movie theatre. Nevena quickly took the helm of the company and the rest is history. Speaking of history, they created the Guinness Book of World Records “World’s Largest Boots” at five foot tall. One of Rocketbuster’s mottos is, “anything is possible and the possibilities are endless”. Nevena tells me they are even in the works for a TV show at their shop. (I can’t wait to see that!)
You can visit Rocketbuster in El Paso and if you do it’s best to make an appointment with Nevena to go over what you would like. They will also be setting up their yearly shop at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas in December. If you can’t do either, browse their online shop and certainly their Facebook page, that’s where you really get to see all the creativity behind the scenes. – Lynn Butler Beling
Nevena Christi at the Rocketbuster Boot studio in El Paso, Texas.
Marty Snortum and Nevena Christi with their “World’s Largest Boots”.
Marty and Nevena’s home is in a movie theatre. They can seat 150 guests to watch tv & movies and the creative pair have a “back lot” filled with vintage trailers.
Want a little piece of Rocketbuster for Christmas? How about their stockings, $75, which come in many different designs.