After raising millions for expansion, an Austin-based cowboy boot and western apparel company Tecovas brings new leadership.
Paul Hedrick, who founded Tecovas in 2015, will step down as CEO this month and become the company’s executive chairman.
The company’s new CEO will be David Lafitte, who is currently COO of Deckers Brands, which operates brands such as UGG, HOKA, Teva and Sanuk.
In January, Tecovas raised $56 million to expand the business with new retail stores. Before opening its first location on South Congress Avenue in 2019, the company generated all of its revenue from online sales.
Tecovas currently operates 20 stores in 10 states. With the new funding, the company plans to open 15 stores over the next 18 months.
The company has raised $120 million to date. The most recent investment was led by Elephant, a venture capital firm founded by Andy Hunt, co-founder of eyewear retailer Warby Parker.
Tecovas’ business model is similar to Warby Parker, where people try products in-store and then go online to shop. Tecovas is one of many retailers that were initially online-only before embarking on physical expansion. San Francisco-based shoe brand Allbirds, which also launched on the web, opened a store on South Congress Avenue in Austin in 2020.
Tecovas cowboy boots are designed in Austin and made in Leon, Mexico in one of the oldest boot factories in the world by a team of artisans. Using a process of more than 200 steps, each boot is made from custom tanned leathers, according to the company.
The company said it saw revenue growth of 70% in 2021 over the previous year and expects more than 40% growth in 2022. Tecovas said it expects to achieve more $200 million in sales this year.
“Tecovas is an exciting young brand with huge potential and opportunity, and I don’t see that slowing down,” said Lafitte. “With the great foundation Paul has laid, I look forward to working with him and the rest of the management team to further establish America’s next great footwear and apparel brand.”
Tecovas got its start in Austin with a store at 1333 South Congress Avenue, where the company was headquartered upstairs.
The company has since moved its headquarters to WeWork’s offices on Barton Springs Road. And soon, it will move its South Austin store from its current space at 1500 South Congress Avenue, a site that is set to be vacated by the closure of Tesoros Trading Company.
The 4,000 square foot Tesoros Presto space will provide an opportunity to offer more public gatherings and live events, Hedrick said.
“I think it’s probably the best retail space in Austin,” he told the Statesman. “It’s almost double our size now and we’ll have the opportunity to create a true flagship store experience.”