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Carter's Boots gets ready to say goodbye to downtown Bozeman location

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Posted at 5:09 PM, Dec 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-03 19:09:55-05

Carter’s Boots in Bozeman is filled with energy, the smell of leather, and the sounds of cobblers. As people come and go, the loud sounds of downtown Bozeman traffic fill the store.

Carter's has been a staple of downtown Bozeman for more than 20 years; they have been here for residents, whether it’s a simple polish or a heel redo.

“We're busting at the seams. We need more room,” says owner Jeff Carter.

After more than 20 years at their downtown location, Carter's is getting ready to say goodbye to downtown, but it’s not a goodbye to their customers.

“We're just a family business and man, I like to talk to people,” says Carter.

Family is at the center here. The father and son duo who own and manage the store greet their customers on a first-name basis, and their customers are just an extension of their family.

“There's the people that need a lift on their shoe, and they can't walk without us,” says Garrett Carter.

“So many of my customers have been customers for a long time. So, they really feel like family,” says Jeff.

Their move isn’t the only change. Jeff’s son Garrett will soon be in charge of the store where he watched his dad work.

“I grew up here, right over here, and this is where I'd play and watch my dad work and go out and I'd talk with customers before I was even,” says Garrett.

Growing up in the business, Garrett didn’t see himself taking it over.

“I never wanted it at first,” says Garrett.

Garrett says as he’s grown up with the business and become more involved, his passion for the store has grown. He’ll be able to leave his own mark.

“Being a local staple was really cool just because you know, as a kid I grew up watching Bozeman grow and I’ve always been community-oriented,” says Garrett.

As for Garrett's dad, he’ll take a step back so that he can have more fun.

“You know, I'm going to miss the downtown. There's a lot of things about downtown. I love it, I grew up here. We've been downtown for 40 years,” says Jeff. “He can take over and I can come more semi-retired.”

As the doors close on their downtown location one last time.

"Kind of looking forward to the next chapter,” says Jeff.

Carter’s last day in downtown is December 24. They open at their Four Corners location on Jan. 2.