Belt buckles on display at Work and Western Wear in Redmond. Aaron Kunkler/Redmond Reporter

Gear up at Redmond’s western store

Since it first opened in 1970, Redmond’s Work and Western Wear has been saddling riders with gear and clothes for competitions, festivals and everything in between.

Micah Chhong works at the family-owned business, and said there used to be three stores, but the owners made the decision to downsize a couple decades ago.

“We’re looking at just keeping the one store,” he said.

Back when Redmond and the surrounding areas were still fairly rural, they sold a lot of their wares to competitive riders, he said, with some big-name national rodeo winners stepping through their doors.

Nowadays, most of their business comes from local riding schools, Microsoft tourists and of course, festival goers. Watershed festival in particular provides a big boost to business, Chhong said.

But the majority of business comes from the first category, and with a wide array of products for horseback riders, Chhong said they’re happy to serve that demographic’s needs.

“We’re helping the community of riders a lot more,” he said.

The store boasts a massive selection of work and riding boots, belts and buckles, hats, jeans, blankets and rodeo shirts for men, women and children.

Racks of cowboy boots, ranging from practical to decorative, sit in the store, some made with exotic animal skins like alligator, lizard and snake.

They also carry more novelty items for the casual tourist, like humorous buttons and magnets.

Chhong said they’re fairly unique in the area for their well-stocked store, which could rival eastern Washington competitors.

“It’s sort of the one and only place to get western stuff,” in the area, he said.

Despite their packed store, Chhong said the business has been moving into online sales in recent years.

They do around 60 percent of their business online as downtown construction has put somewhat of a brake on in-store business.

But the store hopes to stick around even as they begin adapting to a changing business environment.

“We’re still here and we’re still serving Redmond,” Chhong said.

The store is located at 7829 Leary Way.

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