By Charlotte Mulhern
Name and age: Michael Anthony Carnacchi, 34
Company name and description: Custom Boots by Michael Anthony designs and manufactures custom Western-style boots by hand. "If you've never had a pair of Western boots made for your feet, then you really haven't worn a pair of boots."
Based: Sebastopol, California, about 90 miles north of San Francisco
Business began: 1994
Boot basics: Seven measurements are taken per foot; each pair involves 372 manufacturing steps and an average of 50 hours to complete; prices begin at $750.
Boot buyers: Carnacchi's customers include local, affluent business owners and other business professionals.
Details, details: Clients select everything from the leather type and color to heel type and toe style; all boots are unique creations.
Hides to seek: French calfskin, ostrich, lizard, alligator, mule, snake, shark, bullfrog, stingray; anything that's not endangered.
Inspiration: "I had been fixing boots for so long, I was starting to notice the quality of factory boots had begun to deteriorate. I decided it was time to learn to make them by hand."
Words of wisdom: "My mentor told me, `When you make your first pair of perfect boots, call me because I haven't made one yet.' "
Enduring sentiments: "It's a dying art, and I want to preserve it. If I could make boots the rest of my life, [I'd be] happy."