Introducing: La Botte Gardiane, French boot making company
La Botte Gardiane is a French boot making company located in Villetelle in the Camargue region, a small village between Nîmes, where the word Denim comes from, and Montpellier (and pretty close to where I grew up!). The company has been in activity since 1958 and is a Certified Living Heritage business since 2007 (more info about that here).
"Botte" means boot and "gardiane" comes from the word gardian which is the French equivalent of an American cowboy or an Argentinian gaucho (great video about the history of gardians here).
La Botte Gardiane is the only company in France that's still specialized in "French cowboy" boots. Would you imagine Texas having only one boot maker left? Frightening, I know. Over twenty craftsmen work for the company and their goods are made solely using chrome-free leathers from the Alsace region but also Belgian and Italian ones. There are 60 steps to the making of one pair of boots and the whole process takes 3 hours. The process hasn't been altered for the past 50 years. Being originally designed and created for herdsmen, La Botte Gardiane's products boast a great sturdiness as well as a high degree of comfort.
La Botte Gardiane managed to handle the challenges of a globalized economy after being in a difficult financial position for years. Indeed, half of its turnover is made outside of France, with retailers all over the globe, from Japan to the USA.
Prices begin at 120€ for sandals and 250€ for boots
Here's a video about the boot making process (you can understand most of what's going on even if you don't speak French).