Today’s blog guest has been on my list for ages, and I’m so happy we finally got a phone call to chat about her life as a designer, horsewoman and visionary.
Brit West is one of my favorite western designers and a major influence in my own personal style. She creates high end western fashion that every woman could wear, and her style is timeless. Residing near Jackson Hole, Wyoming, her pieces have a vibe that not only fit her story, but her home.
If you love classic, chic western fashion – big blue turquoise – unique leather and hides – Brit West will be among your favorite designers for sure.
Whether you’re a fashion aficionado, a small business boss or an every day woman just doing her best, you’ll be inspired by her story.
When asked about her personal style, Brit laughs and asks herself how she ever got into fashion. These days, she finds herself joking about checking to make sure her pants are zipped and her shirt is clean, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t love getting dressed up now and again.
“I love high fashion western wear – cashmere, silk, and good leather. I like to keep things simple that accentuate accessories. I love jewelry and belts and buckles. I really adore classic western clothing that accentuates the statement pieces.”
Brit has an incredible eye for style and a brand worth bragging about, but getting this far came with a set of challenges that led her to drastically change her path in life. She became a true believer in manifesting her reality through believing in her own potential, which led to the start of her design journey.
Brit’s story began in Atlanta, Georgia where she was going to school for art, but felt a pull in another direction.
“With the school I was going to, I was going to be spending my life in front of a computer. One day I was walking around downtown, looking up at all the high rises and said this isn’t me.”
She started praying about her path and began putting feelers out west, halting the work she was doing with TV and film. Before she knew it, a Durango brochure showed up at her door, and she was off to ranch. Little did she know, that would only be a step in her journey.
“I was outfitting and got badly injured. I started working for a hat company shaping and selling hats because I couldn’t lift a saddle, I couldn’t ride, I couldn’t do anything. I ended up having to wallow in my sorrows for a bit, but told myself: wait a minute, figure out what you’re going to do with your life because you can’t wait tables for the rest of your life.”
Brit describes the start of her business as a response to actively manifesting her reality after going through this rough time in her life. She had recently gotten a divorce and needed to care for her animals, so the business began.
“The business came about by default. I just needed to take care of my animals. I started making hats and hatbands on the side and it just grew into this design business. I’ve learned to shoot, how to build a website, how to market all by default. I had to find something that I could do to support my animals, they are my heart.”
Now the business has grown far past hatbands and into beautiful western fashion designs. And to many customers’ surprise, she is still a one woman show most of the time.
“People are always shocked when they hear me pick up the phone for an order. What they don’t realize is that I’ve done everything from the ground up – there’s no corporate, my marketing just looks bigger than it actually is.”
It’s no surprise that Brit has been able to build her brand single handedly when you know her secret to success: believing in her own vision.
“Once I learned how to manifest, everything opened up for me. I learned to lay there at night and realize how blessed I was. I became able to lay out what I wanted and know it was all attainable. I never say I can’t anymore. That’s the emphasis behind the brand – positive manifestation.”
Fast forward to now, Brit’s inspiration for the brand is still rooted in manifesting bigger and better things. She describes her brand inspiration as creating every line better than the last, and making things that her customers fall in love with.
She regularly asks herself these questions:
How can I make things more creative?
How can I make this better than before?
How can I make things more attainable?
Her current challenge as an artist comes with that last question – how can she make her pieces for attainable for people.
“Being a one-off artist is hard because it makes things very expensive. I’m trying to figure out how I can get more product to my customers without being in such a high price bracket that no one can afford me. I want there to be something for everybody.
It’s not every day that you’re wearing a gown for an event. I want to design pieces for the public that they’ll gravitate toward and wear on a regular basis. I want them to grab my piece when they’re going out for dinner. While I would love to design runway wear, it’s not what the public wears. I want everyone to find something they can and would wear from my designs. I’m working towards finding the right balance.”
But when you ask about her view on struggles in business or life, she speaks positively.
“I believe our struggles are in our own mind. You have to just put things out there and figure them out. I’ve put thousands of dollars into designs that weren’t received well, and I’ve had to go back to the drawing board and ask why.”
Brit thrives off being creative – in fact, it’s her favorite part about designing. In the western fashion industry, her designs, artistry and photography stand out in a sea of competition. But competition doesn’t play a part in her vision – she only focuses on her passion for creativity and the process that goes along with it.
“My creative thrives when I’m designing. I get that rush of endorphins when something comes in and I put it on, it fits, it looks great when we shoot it. I love when it all comes together – the model, the backdrop, the clothes are all on point – to watch the process come together and see the end product well received.”
I hope you guys enjoyed my look into Brit’s world – If you are interested in following her work or purchasing one of her pieces, here’s where you can find them.
Facebook: Brit West
If you are headed to the NFR this December, you can shop Brit West at Cowboy Christmas in booth 748.
Have an artist or designer you’d like to see featured? Leave a comment!