Ricardo Barcenas has been a part of Lucchese for over 25 years. He is the quality control manager and oversees the returns department in our factory in El Paso, Texas. With fourteen inspectors throughout the factory, their number one goal is to have the best quality reliable product available for the customers.
Ricardo is originally from El Paso but grew up across the border in Juarez, Mexico. He came back to El Paso when he was 11 years old and started his middle school years there.
What’s your day-to-day schedule at Lucchese?
My day-to-day is never the same, as there are several different functions apart from overseeing quality and returns including: hand-selecting leather for special orders, handling special orders throughout the factory, factory tours, inspecting sourced products, measuring customers feet, and working directly with our factory artisans daily.
How did you learn how to measure and fit customers?
Measuring and fitting customers is something that I have learned on my own over the years. I never think or talk about it, but it's something I inherited when the person that was responsible for measuring and fitting customers was no longer with Lucchese. It is a complicated and difficult process, but I learn something new every time I do one.
Explain the process of customizing a boot.
Customizing a pair of boots is a unique process, which is something Lucchese is well known for! There is always a catch because you must know and understand what variations you can do to a specific style and for this; the customer needs to be educated. You must be careful and know what changes and combinations you can do on any specific style, from the last, toe and heels, to the designs, leathers, and colors available. It’s wonderful because you are walking through the factory, and you can see all these different boots with unique and special details running through the line. Lucchese is about customizing – there are plenty of options available to the customer, and they can basically build their dream boot.
Why do you enjoy working at Lucchese?
It’s all about my love and passion for the brand. I enjoy working at Lucchese because every day is different – no two days are alike. However, it can be difficult for me to plan ahead. Anything that I plan, I need to execute early in the morning because as the day progresses, the days starts changing dramatically. I always mention on my factory tours how proud I am that Lucchese boots are handmade in El Paso and that I am part of the process along with our artisans.
What brought you to Lucchese?
I was looking for a job one day and I stopped at the factory. Little did I know, I began working at the shipping warehouse, which was still under Margy Davis, our wholesale customer service manager, supervision. From there, I did a little bit of scheduling orders and then I moved with customer service in special make ups for about 12 years. That has been a great experience for me!
What is it about Lucchese that stands out to you? What makes it different than other boot brands?
The people that come to work every day and give their best is what really stands out to me. These are the people that make all the difference. They keep us on the top! The difference is in the detail and the care of the product, aside from the best leathers and materials. The artisans that maintain the traditional way of making a Lucchese boot separate us from everyone else.
What is your favorite Lucchese memory?
There are so many great memories that I have experienced throughout the years, but one that really stood out is when I was assigned to work an annual party for Unilever. The company brought employees from all over the world to Houston, and among their activities was for them to select a pair of Lucchese boots. That night, all my help was another employee from the local boot store. At the end I was able to write up orders for 100 pairs of Lucchese Classics in three hours. It was not about what I had done; it was that sense of pride in bringing new exciting orders for the factory that made that night special.
How did you get into boots?
There is no specific reason, but when I look back and think about it, it has been a blessing for me to have come across a cowboy boot. To have learned the construction and the anatomy of the cowboy boot has had a huge influence on my life.
What’s your favorite pair?
Tell us about your collection.
My collection is not as broad as it used to be, but the contemporary line has inspired me to increase my collection. I love cowboy boots, but I cannot stand on them all day, so the contemporary line has brought to me relief and has encouraged me to keep wearing Lucchese.
What do you feel every day when you put on your Lucchese boots?
My intention is to try to feel like the customer because the customer to me is everything. If the customer is not happy, I’m not happy. If I feel good and comfortable in a Lucchese boot, then there is a pretty good chance our customers feel the same way. I know what goes into making a pair of Lucchese boots, and our artisans do a great job. That’s something I never take for granted. I have been here since March of 1994 and I love every second of it.