The story of Rider Boot Co. began in the late 1980’s in Baltimore, Maryland. Ron and Lisa Rider met playing pinball at a local bar and quickly hit it off. Not long after, they were married and in the early stages of starting a family. Ron’s father worked in the shoe industry for nearly 50 years, which made it natural to begin working in shoe shops himself. Lisa took small jobs with less demanding hours, which enabled her to be at home to take care of the family.
After nearly ten years in Baltimore, the Rider family packed up and moved south to Richmond, Virginia in search of better opportunity. Ron started working with Franco’s Fine Clothiers where he became the buyer for men and women’s shoes. His time with Franco allowed him to make many trips to factories in Italy and see first-hand how things are done. Ron and Franco sought to get more involved in the back end of the industry and began to handle the distribution of select brands in the US.
In 2008, Ron debuted the first selection of Rider Boot Co. products at Franco’s marking the unofficial beginning of the company. Lisa started working with Ron shortly after, assisting with line building each season and managing the financial aspects of the business. The company then got into private label development for brands and businesses, thus creating F&R Partners.
Ron’s objective when starting the company was to provide an alternative to the selection of boots available on the market, and the Rider family continues that mindset today.