It all started with Captain Richard King in 1853. The New York City runaway-turned-confederate, a prominent steamboat pilot for whom the town of Kingsville is named, purchased grassland along the Santa Gertrudis Creek in South Texas. The 68,500 acres of "creek-fed oasis in the Wild Horse Desert" would grow to more than 825,000 today as King Ranch, a 160-year-old agribusiness larger than the entire state of Rhode Island.
In the years following the Civil War, King failed to find lightweight, comfortable saddles to his liking, so he hired craftsmen to make them, marking the birth of King Ranch Saddle Shop in 1867. The custom saddlery drew cowboys and ranchers from all over, and King's business eventually grew into more leather goods like luggage, wallets, and other outdoor gear. Goods are still sold today under King's name through the shop's flagship location in Kingsville and a seasonal pop-up-turned-year-round venture in College Station.
Next month, you can add Houston to the list when King's Ranch Saddle Shop debuts its first permanent urban outpost in CityCentre in early September. The 2,594-square-foot store on Town & Country Boulevard is flanked by Altar'd State and Hemline.
It's a familiar location for King Ranch Saddle, who's hosted three successful holiday pop-ups in CityCentre since the district's 2009 opening. "We've always received a warm welcome at CityCentre, and we're excited to bring a part of the King Ranch experience to Houston for the long term," King Ranch retail operations manager Lance Hancock said in a press release. "While always looking toward the future, Houston appreciates the past and the quality synonymous with a bygone era. CityCentre's location also gives us easy access to international travelers intrigued by the western mystique."
Beyond the saddles and other leather goods King's has built its name on, the CityCentre location will also sell decorative accessories, tabletop items, furniture, handbags, and men's and women's boots.