The Ariat Superfan
We'd like to introduce you to the official BootDaddy Ariat Superfan of the Century--Gary Cornelius! It's been a crazy ride with Gary as we helped him find the perfect boots for his growing collection, and it’s been such a privilege to become his go-to western store in the process.
So, How Many Boots Does the Biggest Ariat Superfan Own?
As a gesture of friendship and appreciation, we've teamed up with Ariat to award him his 100th pair of Ariat alligator boots. Gary’s story is a true testament to the memories that can be made in your cowboy boots. Take a look at his incredible collection!
How the Superfan Got Started
When we met Gary, he had a stunning collection of 52 Ariat boots. So how does one decide they need another pair of boots after their 52? Let us introduce you to Gary so you can find out.
1. Where did you grow up? What do you do now?
I grew up in the little community of Mt. Mourne in North Carolina. There's a real advantage to growing up in a rural area and being able to learn and do many things at an early age. Around the age of 11, I learned to drive my dad's 1947 Chevrolet--I could hardly see over the steering wheel. When I was in high school, I even drove our school bus.
After college, I served in the United States Air Force. I later went to work in a bank, and after a series of promotions became the Assistant Manager of the branch. I was there for eight years before joining a partnership with a commercial meat processing business. When I sold my half of the ownership, I then began to work as an Agricultural Loan Officer and Senior Loan Officer for 29 years before I retired. I have operated and maintained a cattle farm for 46 years and continue to do so.
2. Do you remember the day you bought your first Ariat Boot?
Yes, I do remember the first boots I purchased. They were Ariat purchased at Stages West in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Since around 1995, my Ariat boots are worn everywhere I go. And I still have my first Ariat boot.
3. What do you love the most about Ariat?
Ariat boots always fit perfectly right out of the box. There is no "breaking in" period. Also, they are very attractive boots.
4. Among your first 99 pairs of Ariat boots, which one is your favorite?
It is extremely difficult to choose a "favorite", but I think I would choose the Ariat Men's Fireside Texaco Tan & Red Performance Boot... Beautiful and classy and truly Ariat.
5. What does your wife think about your collection? (Hi, Suzanne!)
She has put her approval on many boots I have purchased but is NOW telling me to "window shop" as much as I want but "do NOT click add-to-cart." And definitely do not click the PLACE ORDER button.
6. Where do you keep all of your boots?
In the den, in the spare bedroom, in the kitchen, in the dining room, in the office...
7. Why did you choose to work with PFI Western on so many of your Ariat boots?
I have never met Sierra because I order online, but know she is a genuine person who cares for PFI customers. She is always very helpful and goes the extra mile.
8. What's your favorite thing about working with PFI Western?
All businesses should have a Sierra on their staff. It is a pleasure to be able to trust what a sales rep tells me when I have a question concerning product. I have found Sierra to be a genuine person who will go beyond the call of duty.
9. Now that you've reached your 100th milestone, what's your next goal?
We have thought about renovating the old barn to move our living space since the boots have taken over the house 🤠
10. What are the things you value most?
My salvation through Christ, the freedom we enjoy in America, my wife, being ordained as a deacon in my home church in 1972, our farm, being elected by the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Cattlemen's Association to serve as President of the NCCA, and being able to work with the farming community all over the state of NC.
It has been an honor working with Gary to grow his Ariat collection, and we can't wait to see what he adds to his collection in the future. Do you have a boot collection that's worth showing off? Send us an email with your photos!