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Your Original Western Wear Stores

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Pictured on the left- L-R: Scott Meade with his father Gary Meade, owner of The Bullrider in Harlingen, Texas
Pictured on the left- L-R: Scott Meade with his father Gary Meade, owner of The Bullrider in Harlingen, Texas

As originally published by Texas Border Business newsprint Edition

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Martin Masso, better known as Marty Masso has been running Boots N Jeans of Weslaco for the last 37 years. His father Julian Masso, who founded the original Boots & Jeans Western Wear, is best remembered for his love for God and how he valued the family.

Julian’s determination, ethics, and a work hard attitude were a formula that got the job done. He was the oldest of 10 children of a Christian Lebanese family that left their homeland of Palestine in 1948 and emigrated to Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico to start a new life. Julian believed if he worked hard, he would reap the rewards. When the peso devalued he decided to go to Lubbock, Texas with the family following. They settled in Plainview for a few years; always working hard.

Eventually Julian and his wife Cornelia set their eyes on Weslaco and opened up a retail store at the Palm Plaza Shopping Center naming it “Boots & Jeans Western Wear. They worked 7 days a week; Julian would open the store on Sundays after church.

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Martin Masso grew up learning the trade, but first he graduated from high school and subsequently earned a degree in Business from Southmost College in 1979.

Julian always knew that Marty his son would be taking over the store someday.  In 1979, Marty met Beth Whitley, whose family owned Borderland Hardware in Mercedes; they were married two years later.

Marty has always been community minded and served showing strong leadership in the Weslaco Chamber of Commerce, and the Weslaco Lion’s Club where he was the past club president.

As a believer, it is important to give back to the community; Marty is also very involved and serving on the finance and the building committees of St. Pius X Catholic Church of Weslaco.

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In the late 1980s Marty became a partner in the family business. By 1995, he and his father Julian had the vision and invested in property by US Expressway 83, for a future home for Boots N Jeans of Weslaco. They chose the perfect lot close to Luby’s off the expressway.

In 1998, Marty and Beth Masso became the sole owners of Boots N Jeans of Weslaco.  There is no doubt Julian left a lasting impression on him as Marty has the same love and deep faith in God. He follows the same principles and the morals that brought his father Julian so much success.

Still today when you walk in those front double doors you will be received and greeted by Marty Masso standing tall behind the rustic western style service kiosk with a Bible on top of the counter.  Marty stated that he always starts his day by reading Psalm 91; he pointed out that it helps to set everything in the right direction under God’s hand of divine protection.

Boots N Jeans of Weslaco is one of two boot outlets that buy boots directly from the factories in Mercedes. The city of Mercedes is home to two factories with 110 employees that produce over a couple hundred pairs of quality leather boots every workday.  These two factories operate from a 20,000 sq. ft. facility, and house three different boot brands that also sell to distributors worldwide. These boot brands are Rios of Mercedes Boot Co., Handmade in Texas Since 1853, Anderson Bean Boot Company, and Olathe Boot Company; they have given Mercedes, Texas its title of Boot Capital of Texas.

The second boot outlet that inventories the same leather boots from the factories in Mercedes has a 34-year history of service; Bullrider Western Wear of Harlingen is just 15 minutes East of Mercedes.

Bullrider Western Wear is owned and operated by the Meade family. Gary Meade and his son, Scott, share the responsibility of the administration, management, and sales of the business.

They started in 1979, Gary’s wife Charlene Meade grew up in the retail business of selling western wear clothing, and jewelry, along with boots, hats and belts.  Most of Charlene’s family, like her father, aunts, and uncles were all involved in different aspects of the family business of western wear.

In 1971 Gary Meade married Charlene and 8 years later they decided to open Bullrider Western Wear in Harlingen, Texas. In November of 1979 they started the business with a location at the Treasure Hills Shopping Center.

Ten years later, the current location at 1606 S. 77 Sunshine Strip in Harlingen was purchased outright.

By 2006, their son Scott had joined them working in the family business.  Scott, Gary, Don, and Jennifer all grew up in the western wear store.TBB

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