After spending 12 years on the trail chasing rodeos from town to town to sell western hats, Bob Judson has settled his business down, appropriately enough in Payson, home of the world’s oldest continuous rodeo.
“I am really happy we are here, we have been welcomed with open arms,” Judson said Monday.
Judson and a staff of six opened Bob’s Western Wear last week at 605 S. Beeline Highway, in the former space of Git A Rope Trading Company.
The store offers western apparel, cowboy boots, hats, belts, buckles — big and small — and Montana Silversmiths jewelry.
They also offer name stamping in belts and free western hat shaping and steaming. Judson explained even if you did not buy the hat with him, he would clean and shape it free.
Western hats are Judson’s specialty. For more than a decade, he traveled from rodeo to rodeo selling them along with western accessories. Payson was always a favorite stop along that circuit.
“I had been looking (to open a store) for years,” he said. “I saw an opportunity when Corral West went out of business.”
Corral West was one of the only stores in town selling Wranglers, hats and boots. It went out of business, like so many other retail businesses, as a product of the economy.
With the new store, Judson said he is thrilled to settle in Payson and “anxious to meet the western wear needs of community and visitors.”
Judson is confident his staff of six including manager Brittney Law, former manager of Corral West, can help shoppers find that perfect hat or holiday gift.
Law was recommended to Judson as the perfect manager for his store. With her years of experience and reputation for excellent service, Judson said he is lucky to have her.
“I am really happy to find Brittney,” he said. “She is an intricate part of the store and key to my success.”
Bob’s Western Wear is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. For the holidays, the store is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. beginning Dec. 19, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Christmas Eve.
For more information, call (928) 474-9586.