With the right boots, a mama can do anything. Need proof? Look no further than Lizzie Means Duplantis, co-founder of bespoke cowboy boot brand Miron Crosby and mama to three kids under four. We caught up with her on balancing business with family and blending New York fashion with Texan authenticity.
First up, tell us about the kids who made you a mama.
June, my oldest, is 4. She is independent, willful and wonderful. She is a bright, beautiful love, and I admire her spirit, her humor and her zest for life. Bates is almost 3. He is kind, sensitive, loves everyone and everyone loves him! We call him “the mayor.” The boy loves a party – of my three children, he’s probably most like me. Fields, my baby, just turned 1. He is enamored with his older siblings, strong willed and fearless.
Three under four, wow! So of course we know it’s possible to have the most fulfilling careers we can dream up while also being the best mamas to our kids. We also know it can be tough to balance. How do you do it?
I’m still learning! Balancing the demands of three small children (all under four years) with a growing business means my day starts early. I’m up at 5:30 am to schedule my day, answer emails and spend some time with my husband, Seth. After a whirlwind of bottles, waffles and Mother Goose Club – literally breakfast at my house is an obstacle course! – I head to the store. My days are full of meetings, calls, emails and appointments. When school lets out, I try to meet my kiddos for an ice cream or park date, then squeeze in errands before our evening routine of dinner, bath, dance parties and bed. I’ve always been social and find that time with friends fills me, so I’m often out for drinks and dinner, or expecting people over, once the kids are down. To help keep my head clear, I try to squeeze runs in with my chocolate lab, Marfa, as much as possible. I also LOVE a good party. When things start getting overwhelming, I book a band and plan a party. Ha!
Truly, having children has given me such perspective. Life is precious and meaningful and fleeting, and spending time with them reminds me to treasure time with family and friends. A mishap with at the factory or a glitch on the website pales in comparison to the blessings in my life, especially my family. I try to remember that focusing my energy towards the meaningful relationships in my life and living to make a difference in other’s lives is what is most important. And I want that to play out in my work as well as personal life. But I want to have fun along the way, and I am having the best time building our brand!
How much did the fact that you’re a mom yourself impact your choice to offer a children’s line?
It drove the decision for Miron Crosby to offer children’s boots. I grew up in them, they are very much a part of my heritage, and I want cowboy boots to be available to my children. Also, I loved the idea of June having boots that matched mine, and Bates and Fields having boots that matched Seth’s. I’m a sucker for the mommy and me/daddy and me garb!
Do your children inspire you creatively?
Absolutely! The June Bug was directly inspired by my daughter, we call her June Bug. We wanted to add a children’s boot to the line that reflected a carefree and adventurous spirit. The lady bug, forget-me-not and heart detailing, coupled with the metallic silver, portrays a sweet little one that is curious, growing, and a little sassy!
Beyond the influence your kids have on your brand, we hear your business is a family affair. What is it like to work with your sister and other family members?
It is such a blessing! With so many creative and business minds, we all bring different strengths to the table and balance each other out. The best part is we’re family AND best friends, and we really do prioritize each other over the business. We are committed and convicted that nothing is worth a rift in our relationship. On the flip side, the difficult part is that we are family AND best friends, and we find that the business bleeds into our personal lives. It’s hard for us to meet for a walk or have a dinner date and not spend our time talking shop!
Many of your style names come from family members. Is there a particular family member (or two) who’s inspired you in business?
So many! But, especially our dad. He is a fourth generation rancher and we’ve never not seen him in cowboy boots – he doesn’t even own a pair of loafers! He was who really pushed us to launch the brand. In the beginning, he picked out several of our leathers and even provided his opinions on décor for our design studio! In the back of my mind, he’s always the benchmark for our designs. Our Juanito boot is named for him.
Let’s talk about your boots. Tell us about the design and construction processes that make Miron Crosby boots unique.
My sister, Sarah, and I are constantly looking for inspiration for each collection. We find it everywhere – in art, nature, even our family. We also take periodic inspiration trips to help us hone in on our ideas.
Once we’ve landed on the final designs for the season and they’re all sketched out, each boot is handmade in the 160-year-old Rios de Mercedes factory in Texas. Master artisans with decades of experience select the luxurious leathers and exotic skins for each boot, then cut, last and stitch every pair by hand.
We know you’re from Texas, but we hear you spent some time living in New York. How do New York influences shape your brand?
Well first, Miron Crosby is named in part for one of our favorite SoHo streets – Crosby Street. This little area in Manhattan has definitely influenced our brand – we love the quiet, cobbled street. Even though are in this gigantic city, it feels intimate. And it is just oozing with this feeling of creativity! This is reflected in our boots through our intricate and artistic detailing; we love fusing the fashionable creativity of New York with the authenticity of West Texas. Also, New Yorkers love a good black shoe, so we made sure to have a variety of black boots.
Secondly, I spent 10 years in New York working at very established finance firms before I moved back to Texas. In many ways, those jobs that prepared and shaped me for owning and operating Miron Crosby.
For the non-Texans among us, styling cowboy boots can be tricky. Please, give us some tips!
What I love about cowboy boots is actually how versatile they are! Plus, short, midi and tall versions can offer a totally different vibe depending on the occasion.
A few of my tips:
What are your thoughts on “mommy and me” dressing?
All day. Love. You can only pull of the mommy and me for so long so embrace it!
I think it’s easy to lose yourself in your children. And it’s easy to feel guilty when you’re forfeiting time with them to pursue your dreams. I’ve worked hard to embrace the truth that my children will benefit from watching me work hard to grow and sustain a business. I am convinced that’s the truth.
There is no perfect time to go for it. I call my kids “startup babies,” because they’ve been around through the chaos of launching our business and embraced it with me! June learned her numbers by helping with inventory, Bates offers M&Ms to customers when they come in the store and sweet Fields was 1 week old when I started bringing him to work. He’s spent the better part of his life napping in the cash wrap! Life happens, and starting a business with three babies is tough timing, but embracing it has made it all the more special (albeit WILD!). Go for it. Don’t wait for a perfect time there is no such thing.
Keep perspective. Having children has given me such a pulse on what truly matters. Harken back to that on tough days!