When Sam and her partner, the artist Paige Gratland, got involved in the same-sex country western dance scene, they quickly realized they needed some good looking dancing boots. Paige, of course, wanted to make them herself, and proceeded to research bootmakers in North America. Out of approximately 250 traditional cowboy boot makers, two were women, and one was the incomparable Deana McGuffin, third generation New Mexico bootmaker. Paige and Sam travelled to Albuquerque to do a three week course in traditional cowboy boot making. Paige was inspired by the 1949-51 State Boots, a series designed by the famous Texas boot company Lucchese, with a pair of boots made to represent each state. She wanted to add The Gay State Boot to the collection, and Sam got to tag along to help.
Paige and Sam were so inspired by their mentor Deana McGuffin, that they made a short film about her, entitled, BOOTWMN, that has been successfully navigating the international and domestic film festival circuits.