For 25 years, Ropes Western Wear has been a consistent presence in Clayton, New Mexico. As the go-to store for western wear, Ropes has built up a solid customer base in and around Clayton, but still struggles with the challenges of being a small business in an online, big box retailer world.

Current owner, Rita Chaparro worked at Ropes for 11 years before purchasing the store from founder Gloria O’Bryant. When asked why she decided to purchase Ropes, Rita said, “I worked in Ropes for many years – it had become a part of my life. I knew Gloria was ready to retire and wanted to sell the store. I hated to see the possibility of Ropes leaving the community, and thanks to my experience and history with the store, I felt I could make a go of it and decided to purchase it.”

For the past 4.5 years, Rita has worked tirelessly to ensure that Ropes stays a part of the Clayton community, which is no easy task. In today’s digital world it’s hard for small businesses to compete with the sophisticated online shopping platforms of big box retailers. Small businesses have to constantly adjust to keep up with the changes. But what’s the one thing that the bigger retailers can’t offer? Customer Service.

“You can’t get that personal aspect from the big box stores like you do from a small community business,” said Rita. She continued, “We know our customers. We know what they like, what their family likes and strive to carry products they want. I have husbands that come in and ask, “What did my wife like in here the other day?” and we can help point them in the right direction- because we know them.” While customer service is something special at Ropes, Rita also recognizes the importance of keeping up with the times, having recently launched online shopping at

Rita is also active on Facebook and Instagram, keeping clients informed of new arrivals and deals- like her Christmas specials throughout December. But by far, Rita’s favorite part of being a small business owner is the people she meets. “If I seriously had to think about it, my favorite part of this job is the people. Not only the people in our community, but the ones that stop in as they are traveling. I have had the opportunity to meet people from all over the country that decided to stop in Clayton and chose my shop for a visit.”

As Small Business Saturday enters its 10th anniversary, we want to take a moment to remind our community about the importance of supporting local businesses whenever they can. It’s businesses like Ropes Western Wear that help keep our community alive. So, if you have a moment today, share a Facebook post, like a photo on Instagram, pass along the Ropes website to a friend and remember to shop local this holiday season!

Follow Rope’s Western Wear on Instagram here.

Like Rope’s Western Wear on Facebook here.