We're toasting the half-century mark for this family-owned business.
One might say it started with a boot jack — or a thousand boots jacks, to be more specific. In 1969, brothers Mickey and Frankie Eddins came up with the idea to sell these useful, “newfangled” devices, and after securing a loan to purchase 1,000 of them, the brothers hit the road, and their company, M&F Western Novelty, was born.
“The sum of the parts equals the whole, and that is what makes this company successful,” says owner Mickey Eddins (pictured above with his wife, Linda, and their sons John, Paul, and David).
Eventually, M&F added new items to its distribution catalog, including another staple, the rain hat cover, followed by a string of boot and hat accessories. Sensing the Western popularity boom of the Urban Cowboy era, M&F added a series of new products that captured the Western lifestyle, including horsehair belts, buckles, hand-tooled wallets, and hat feathers.
Now called M&F Western Products Inc., the 50-year-old family-owned manufacturing and distribution company has has grown to 175 employees, conducts business in 35 countries, produces eight major catalogs each year, and has continued to widen its number of categories and increase its warehouse inventory. Mickey Eddins, whose family continues to operate M&F, says part of the key to their success is “being in a good industry and continuously adapting and changing to meet the customer’s needs.”
The Eddins family also heavily credits their “great team,” the sales force, employees, customers, suppliers, and friends, with helping the company thrive during its first half century. “The sum of the parts equals the whole,” Mickey Eddins says, “and that is what makes this company successful.”
To celebrate the company milestone, M&F will host a party for its customers, salespeople, employees, and friends on Saturday, July 13, at its headquarters in Sulphur Springs.
Photography: Courtesy M&F Western Products Inc.