"I used to watch my dad and told him I wanted to learn the family business. But it was that old thing Ö he didnít think girls could do that kind of stuff. After working on him for several years, I finally convinced him to let me learn, and Iím glad I did. Iíve stuck with this for more than 25 years now." - Deana McGuffin
A native New Mexican, Deana has been making custom cowboy boots for 25 years. You could say it's in her blood -- she comes from a family of distinguished custom boot makers.
Deana's grandfather, C. C. McGuffin, was 27 when he left Texas to set up his own boot shop in the Roswell, New Mexico courthouse square in 1915. His son L. W. (Deana's father) showed early natural artistic ability that turned him into one of the southwest's finest and most sought-after leather-craftsmen.
In 1981, Deana McGuffin began learning from her dad, and worked with him for five years before striking out on her own in Clovis, New Mexico. She then relocated to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she continues to work today.
Father and daughter have demonstrated their craft at the Smithsonian, at New Mexico Folklife Festivals, at the University of Wyoming Art Museum in Laramie, the Gathering of Gear in Elk, Nevada, and were featured in the "Sole Mates" exhibit at the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe in 2010.
Their boots have been displayed at Arizona's Desert Caballeros Western Museum, and in the exhibition "Sole of the West" which was toured by the Arizona Commission on the Arts. Deana is an annual participant in the Boot and Saddle Maker's Round-Up -- the largest boot-making convention in the world, held in Wichita Falls, Texas -- a veritable "who's who" of custom boot-making.
In 2004 Deana won the prestigious Open Class Award at the annual Boot and Saddle Makers Roundup. In 2005 she was one of the judges.
Deana has taught boot-making through the New Mexico Arts Division's Master and Apprentice program, the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, and private classes.