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Ranchwear Company Opens First Store in Fort Worth

A store that prides itself on being the biggest Texas-made western wear company in the entire country has now set up shop in Fort Worth.

Schaefer Outfitter sits off Interstate 20 on the west side of the city.

It's been selling ranchwear and outerwear since 1982 but never at its own store.

That changes Saturday when its new flagship store opens in Fort Worth.

"It's exciting because it gave us the opportunity to meet my dreams of having our flagship store that's tied in with our distribution center and offices, so it's all in one place," said Rick Grant, president of Schaefer Ranchwear.

Grant took over the company in 1991. By then, it was nine-years-old and struggling.

"It was basically defunct at that point and [I] was handed over a set of patterns and account list," Grant recalled.

 "So, I took on the task of coming up with new branding and new styles, and basically starting over."

Schaefer Outfitter started in 1982 in Steamboat, Colorado, moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico in 2008 to get closer to the company's factory in El Paso, then went to Houston "which is sort of a chapter we like to skip over," Grant jokes.

Through all this time, though,"North Texas has been our number one market in the country from Fort Worth all the way to Amarillo," said Grant.

So in 2016, it made sense to Grant to sponsor the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, to get closer to his customers.

In 2017, the company returned to sponsor the Fort Worth Super Shootout Rodeo and set up a booth to sell ranchwear and outer wear.

Grant couldn't come those first few days, but what happened at the booth set the course for the big move to Fort Worth.

"I called 'em up that first night. 'How are things going?' 'Well, we hit record numbers,'" his wife and son told him. "The next day [he called again], 'How are things going?'" he asked. "'We beat Saturday's numbers,'" they told him. "And, it just kept going and going and going."

"By the second week, I'm deciding what's [the] feasbility of relocating to Fort Worth," Grant said.

"We've never had a show, whether it was Houston or Denver or Vegas at National Finals Rodeo, never had a show like we had at Fort Worth Stock Show, not even close."

Customers kept asking if there was a Schaefer store. The answer was no.

Schaefer sold apparel through other retailers, catalog or online.

Starting Saturday, November 11, there will be a store.

Schaefer Outfitter opens its flagship location opens in a new business park on Corporation Parkway in far west Fort Worth.

Grant calls it a dream location. And, throughout, he proudly displays items with Made in Texas or Made in U.S.A labels. 

"It's all in one place, and whenever we run out, we go out in the back and fill it up again. If there isn't something you don't see here, there are 50 more styles in the back, on the other side of the doors," Grant smiled.

And, for Grant, a marketing man with a confessed love of clothes, the Fort Worth location brings the business full circle.

"We've been making in Texas since '92. We just haven't been based in Texas," he said. "Plus, we're the largest Texas-made western wear and outerwear clothing company in the country, and we're proud of that."

Schaefer will return in 2018 as a sponsor of the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo.

NBC 5 will also repeat as a sponsor. The 2018 show runs January 12 - February 3.

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