Starting a dropshipping store that sells western cowboy clothing can be fun and lucrative if you are passionate about the subject. A dropshipping store is easier to start than a brick and mortar store. You also don’t need as much overhead–you won’t need to hire as many staff, pay utilities, or install store fixtures. But, before you open an online store selling western cowboy clothing, you will need to create a plan.
You will be able to market your western cowboy clothing store better if you choose a niche. You could specialize in selling authentic cowboy boots, hats, leather belts and buckles as well as western dresses, women’s clothing, and clothing for ranch hands or farm workers.
Get the permits you need to become a retailer in your locality. These permits may include an assumed-name certificate, DBA, resale license, tax identification number, employer identification number (also known as an EIN), and resale permit.
You can purchase a domain name from a domain name registry and pick a name that is specific to your niche. For example, if you sell custom belt buckles, the domain name “CustomWesternBuckles.com” is better than “BobsWesternWear.com.”
You must decide where to store your western cowboy clothing. A dark space that is free from dust, moisture and odors is ideal; an empty spare closet or commercial, temperature-controlled facility would be appropriate.
You can sign up for an e-commerce platform that offers payment processing, hosting, templates, and shopping cart functionality. This will save you the hassle of having multiple accounts or hiring a web designer to handle all your dropship products.
Wholesale accounts can be opened with western clothing suppliers. You may need to submit business documentation and place a minimum order of $150-$500 in order to open an account.
You can purchase retail and shipping supplies to your dropship western clothing shop, including corrugated shipping boxes and adhesive labels.
Promoting your western cowboy clothing store dropshipping includes listing it in print and online directories, placing ads online on forums and websites frequented frequently by your target market, being a vendor at rodeos, flea markets and carnivals, and starting a promotional blog.
Pfiwestern – Top Cowboy Clothing Company
The Clothes Came With the Building
PFI Western Store was founded in 1975 by Preferred Farmers Incorporated. This was a small, dusty farm supply and livestock feed business on Springfield’s northwest corner.
Farming has always been risky. The partners decided to concentrate on the farmers who have the best track record and the highest chance of being paid their feed bills. They could pass on better prices by focusing their attention on the “preferred farmer” customers.
Although the initial store had only one desk, two chairs and a telephone, PFI had big dreams from the start. The original five partners shared this goal: to be the top livestock feed company in the area.
The store became a very successful feed store. But then, something funny happened. PFI purchased the Western wear clothing shop right next door when more space was required to accommodate the expanding line of farm supplies. The clothes were included in the purchase of the building.Then, something even more hilarious happened. The original plan was for the clothing inventory to be sold as soon as possible and replaced with farm supplies. However, Larry Burks, Randy Little and the other partners discovered that Western-inspired fashions were popular. They agreed to keep the clothes in stock. They restocked the original merchandise when it was sold out. They were restocked. Restocked. Soon, the feed bins were empty to make way for more clothes.
Randy Little became sole owner of PFI in the 80’s with his college sweetheart-turned-wife Johnelle serving as his fashion guide. She grew up with horses and was able to recognize Western styles better than her husband, who is an agricultural economics major at the University of Missouri. The Littles were a formidable force in Western fashion. They took Preferred Farmers, Inc. through many names before eventually settling at PFI Western Store, a multi-million-dollar empire with the largest Western retail centre in Missouri, at U.S. 65 and Battlefield.
It was quite an adventure for a company that had never intended to sell other than farm products. PFI is a wonderful and genius idea. Little created PFI by listening to the people who visited his feed store, and then creating PFI around them. He gave them the functional, but Western-inspired clothes they desired, instead of the feed they originally needed.
So far, so good. There have been no complaints from underfed livestock, or underdressed cowboys and cowgirls.
What are the Challenges Faced?
In the early days of PFI, there were very few problems. The original feed shop was located on the once-fashionable northwest corner of town. At the same time that the Urban Cowboy trend was waning, the transition from feed store into Western fashion outpost occurred. PFI’s initials were wrong. Preferred Farmers Incorporated did not accurately describe the Western retailer’s products and services.
Randy Little has no previous retail experience.
There’s nothing that can’t be overcome by a little horse sense or lots of humor. Little used both in his early ads, which played on the dual universe that he unintentionally created when selling clothes in the feed shop.
Two voices were heard in early radio ads: One voice said, “I got my dog food here.” The second voice replied, “Well, these boots were $99.99.” The tag question was then asked: “Is this a feed store, or a Western store?”
Little’s philosophy? Let the customers decide which type of store they want. Or, you could create a retail space that defied all rules and refused to be categorised.
PFI’s 30,000-square-foot retail center was the perfect example of this. The new store was opened in 1993 and addressed the problem of location. It also helped to establish PFI as a retailer unlike any other.
Little was aware that he needed to be able to meet his competitors head-on. Little did this with enthusiasm, creating a better, better, and best buying philosophy that was appealing to everyone, regardless of their taste or budget. PFI boasts a surprising and even extraordinary inventory of 15,000 boots, which is far more than the stock at discount megastores or the franchised shops in the mall. They are available in sizes 4 through 16 for children, and in leathers ranging from cowhide, ostrich, and kangaroo.
PFI was able to recognize that the Urban Cowboy trend may be gone, but that the Western lifestyle was just as important as the Grand Canyon and the Ozark Mountains. It has survived, and even endured, even though its initials don’t make sense.
Act, don’t react
PFI’s mission statement is simple: To be America’s most creative, customer-respected and people-oriented retailer.
It’s simple but not easy. This is especially true since the typical PFI customer does not exist. PFI fashions are loved by everyone, from federal judges to country musicians to police officers (when not working) and stay-at-home mothers (when working).
How can you serve these customers? PFI can act instead of reacting to customers’ needs and wants by adhering to a rigid philosophy of flexibility.
This means that we combine superior customer service and a team made up of top-notch professionals, many of whom have been with us since the beginning. We can deliver today’s customer’s needs whether they are a custom-blocked cowboy cap or boots that fit like a glove.
Regular trips to New York, Dallas, and Denver are necessary to find out what customers want next season. Keep in mind that one PFI shopper may want a $10 henley shirt while another might prefer a $10,000 designer jacket.
It is also about recognising that Western is much more than just fashion. It is a lifestyle choice that encourages adventure and freedom.
It makes sense that shopping for this lifestyle should be enjoyable for both the customer and the employees. PFI believes that Western fashion shopping should be as easy as getting on your favorite pair of cowboy boots.
Everything but the Ordinary
Anybody can hang a shirt of denim on a rack and consider it a Western store. PFI’s 30,000-square-foot retail center, which was modeled after a turn of the century train station, is no ordinary place.
This is not your average train station. The massive video wall, an old farm truck, and the huge mural in the foyer depict wild horses in stampede.
You can often find real horses in the parking lot trying on saddles (more than 300 are always available) or getting fitted for a custom-made saddle made by PFI’s skilled saddlemakers. The PFI secret to saddles works in both cases: Make the horse happy and make the customer happy.
The “anything but normal” theme is a constant theme at PFI. The retail center is unmistakably not a mall. Fashions are sometimes displayed on wooden shelves instead of metal racks. Customers may be able to see bobcats peering down from the woods. The Western is PFI Western’s flagship store, thanks to the incredible array of boots. Kenny Rogers once sent 15 pairs of cowboy boots in a limousine to PFI.
PFI Town is split into different boutiques. This is a fancy way to describe Big Spur Hat Co. Hats are made for each customer and custom-fitted. Saddle City is the best place to buy a saddle or just to watch a professional saddlemaker in action. Diamond Annie’s stocks a variety of specialty foods, spirits, and many of our family-owned brands. BootDaddy is our most popular brand, and it carries some of the worst boots on the boulevard.
PFI serves the wired cowboy through our websites PFI & BootDaddy. Randy Little and his sales team have a lot of fun fitting horses with saddles in parking lots while blocking owner’s cowboy hats while helping customers choose exotic lizard skin boots. It’s even more fun when the horse and hat are all part of the same customer.
Donate to Children Who Can’t
The phrase “pulling oneself up by ones own bootstraps” is familiar to almost all Americans, regardless of whether or not they have ever been on a horse. Because independence and self-reliance are just as important as faded blue jeans in our country’s fabric.
There are also those who are less capable of pulling themselves up by their bootstraps because they have physical, mental or economic limitations. These are the people PFI helps.
Randy and Johnelle take their responsibility to give back to children who cannot. PFI sponsored the Boys & Girls Town of Missouri Wagon Train Ride, and provided holiday shopping sprees to the residents of Boys Ranch. PFI was also a Grand Giver at the Developmental Center of the Ozarks. A percentage of the boots sales was donated to fund a bone marrow donation for a Springfield child with leukemia.
PFI holds Camp Barnabas a special place within our hearts. Children with disabilities and diseases can enjoy the same outdoor activities (swimming and camping, making crafts for mom and dad) that they enjoyed as children. The camp is located in Purdy, MO. Toby Keith and Montgomery Gentry performed at an outdoor concert sponsored by PFI in 2001 to raise awareness and funds for Camp Barnabas. This was done to ensure that more children with life-threatening illnesses and disabilities can enjoy a summer without any cost to their families.
It’s always fun to combine charitable giving with family entertainment. PFI was instrumental in bringing the PBR Extreme Nationals Professional Bull Ride (Hammons Student Center) to Hammons Student Center, September 2002. PFI also donated $20,000 from ticket proceeds to Missouri State University. PFI’s scholarships are another way to reach out to people who just need financial help to pay for their education.
PFI throws an annual Party In The Parking Lot every year to help the Rider Relief Fund.
PFI’s Western Invitational PBR event is a popular annual event at JQH. PFI even owns a BootDaddy bull.
One last thing… A attitude of gratitude
It is tempting to believe that PFI’s success is due solely to a savvy management philosophy or a rich company history. PFI’s success is due to the people who work there every day, both as employees and customers.
Randy Little knew from the beginning that he needed to hire people with more experience than he. Not just in retail.
Little knew that he needed to find traditional craftspeople who could still make saddles and block hats to create the retail experience he was looking for.
It was a blessing that so many talented people lived right here in Springfield, or were willing to travel. Because of this, Springfield is just as important to the success of PFI as Randy and Johnelle Little or all those thousands upon thousands of cowboy boots.
PFI would not be the same without its loyal customers. PFI is the place to go when you need some Western flair in your life, whether it’s to buy a casual shirt or a pair of cowboy boots for your child.
It is a testament to both the timeless fashions and our proud history that Americans still long for fashions that reflect our history. Randy Little and all of us at PFI are grateful for the opportunity to feed that longing for a pure, honest Western lifestyle every day.
As Springfield helped PFI grow so has PFI helped Springfield. PFI is a popular tourist destination. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people visit the electronic counter. This helps to strengthen the connection between Springfield and Branson.
PFI and Springfield have been growing up together for the past forty years. Both are determined to keep up with technological advances, but neither is willing to give up the solid roots and traditional values which got them to where they are today.
PFI’s roots, which were originally about taking care of the family farmer, and all the values that they represented: honesty, hard work, friendliness, and being willing to help are still at the core of PFI today. Their focus on quality brands is paramount and they listen to their customers.
Old-fashioned? Perhaps. Maybe that’s not a bad thing.