Update: In November 2016, the Texas Junk Company’s Houston location closed. The owner is planning to open a new store in Moulton, TX, about 2 hours from Houston. As of March 2017, it’s not yet open. For updates, follow the Texas Junk Company on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Texas-Junk-Company-149390095103924/
You won’t find it in most travel guides and the locals are glad about that. They would prefer that not too many people find out about the Texas Junk Company.
Located in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston, the Texas Junk Company carries a huge selection of used items at bargain prices. You’ll find tennis rackets, frames, vintage luggage, artwork and other knick-knacks, but the main event here is the rodeo wear and more specifically, the boots. This warehouse-type building is well organized with rows and rows of “pre-owned” boots, arranged by size, from the very simple to really fancy, from practically new to very well worn. I saw many pairs with a lot of miles still left in them, that were priced between $30 – $70. The fancier ones with more detail and exotic leathers will naturally run higher.
The owner is Bob Novotney, a baby-boomer hippie kind of guy with long, gray hair and a soul patch on his chin. He spends his weeks scouring his connections across Texas for the goods – nice used boots, denim jackets, cowboy hats and other miscellany that he can reload his shelves with. And, because he is shopping during the week, the store is only open Fridays and Saturdays. Bob says that over 30 years ago with just $50 to his name, he started the company selling various odds and ends, but he came to realize that the boots were a big draw for his customers. As his selection of boots grew, so did his customer base. “I’ll go just about anywhere to pick up some new stock. I buy boots in any condition and I’ll buy every pair I can find.” These days, there are plenty of “regulars” who come by to see what’s new as well as people who include this unique stop on their itinerary every time they visit Houston, especially around rodeo season.
I decided to pick up some boots for myself and I figured I’d walk out with one of the $30 pairs. Then I saw this pair of alligator boots for a little over $200, which I couldn’t resist. A friend who is a boot aficionado told me I got a steal. I think I saw a gleam of envy in his eye.
Make time for a stop here on a Friday or Saturday during your next visit. And bring cash or your checkbook – no credit cards accepted. You’ll love browsing through this cool store and you just may walk about with a pair of “new” boots.
Texas Junk Company
215 Welch St.
Houston, TX 77006