After famous boot maker's death, family tries to pick up pieces left behind
HOUSTON – When ordering boots from Rocky Carroll's RJ’s Boots, customers knew in a year’s time, they would receive a beautiful one-of-a-kind custom-made western boot.
Many customers also said it wasn't the most organized of shops. When Rocky passed away last year, it left his family trying to pick up the pieces and some of his customers asking what happened to the thousands of dollars they paid up-front for their boots.
Charles Flournay is one of those customers.
He knew Rocky Carroll's boots were worn on the likes of presidents, celebrities, even a pope.
The boot maker to the stars was also generous. He would donate boots to charity auctions.
Flournay won a pair of Rocky’s charity auction boots back in 2016.
“I had upgraded them to crocodile hide from bull hide,” said Flournay.
Flournay says he paid, “about $5,000 for an upgrade and I think I paid $1,500 at the auction.”
But, since June 2017, RJ's boots has fallen on hard times. Rocky passed away last year and then months later, his son died too.
Flournay says he tried to reach the shop when he heard the news. He was first told by a worker that his boots were almost ready, then he couldn’t get anyone on the phone.
“I actually drove over there and there was a padlock on the door and there was really no way to reach them,” said Flournay.
Other customers sent us their receipts.
One woman said she was out $2,700 dollars. She too had upgraded boots she won after Rocky had donated them to a charity auction.
Another man said he paid $3,800 for boots.
Yet, both customers say haven’t received the boots and they can't reach anyone to learn more about what’s happening.
Working to clear the store property today was Rocky's daughter, Sherry Carroll. She's dealing with the loose ends of the business and her family's tragedies.
She did not want to talk on camera but told KPRC the property is under contract to sell. She wants to use the money from the sale of the property to pay back as many people as she can.
Rocky's daughter tells us she has some partially made boots that she is trying to get to the customers who ordered them. She’s hoping the customers can find someone to finish them.
Flournay hopes that’s the case with his boots.
“If I could get the boots, I would be happy,” said Flournay. “If they would refund my money, I would be happy with that too!”
Carroll says she also has about 80 orders that were placed last year but the boots were never made.
As an incorporated business, Carroll says she could just close the doors. But Carroll wants to make things right because, as she says, “It's the right thing to do.”
Carroll says customers with inquiries about their boot orders should e-mail her at: email@example.com
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