I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas and are enjoying the last couple days of 2017. After all the busy-ness of NFR season and the holidays right after, I’ve taken a small hiatus from social media to just unwind and enjoy time with those closest to me. As I’m writing this, I’m enjoying a homemade latte, a cozy sweater and a steady snowfall from the comfort of my living room, plus the company of my two mini aussie children.
Marshall plows the roads when heavy snow comes in, which means I’m spending a quiet Friday night by myself so I thought I would use the time to reflect before we enter into 2018.
It’s so crazy to me how fast a year has flown by. I still remember when I decided to start a fashion blog this time last year, simply because I love to write and have a passion for rodeo and the western industry. I scheduled my first photoshoot with a great friend of mine who shot 16 outfits in one day. (that’s exhausting, by the way) I was so excited to start writing my posts and sharing the photos we took that day, but I never would’ve guessed so many opportunities would come from it.
Within the first few months of writing, I realized I really wanted to start working with brands and style new outfits that would inspire those who were reading what I had to say, so I began to reach out to businesses. I was so lucky to have stumbled into opportunities to work with Ariat, Kimes Ranch Jeans and many others. Whether I was modeling or simply writing blog posts, I was having an awesome time working with brands who I truly loved.
Once I realized I really loved to do this, I decided to quit my job and run with writing. I picked up some freelance work for a time to help with my travel expenses and made a plan of where I was going to travel on the rodeo circuit throughout the year. I won’t sugarcoat it for you – taking trips with a hundred dollar bill to last you the week is rough, but it was also a blast.
We never stayed in hotels – we slept in the car and drove across the country, sleeping on friend’s couches when we got the chance. But, it was so humbling to cross off every trip on my list and having memories to take home with me. When we finally got to NFR this year and I was able to afford a nice hotel and round trip flights for Marshall and I, I was BEYOND grateful.
Whether we were running around Texas seeing Blink 182 at Rodeo Houston, getting floor seats at Rodeo Austin (we got the hookup as former interns!) or walking into the Daddy of em All in Cheyenne for the first time with my best friend, I’ll never forget that you don’t have to be rich to make memories. Pay for experiences, not things.
By the time NFR came around this year, I was blown away each day with how much had changed for me since the year before. Last year was my first time in Vegas as a fashion influencer, and I use that term lightly as I only had about 40 followers to my name when we checked into the hotel. I remember feeling very overwhelmed, seeing girls I followed online but was scared to introduce myself to. I wasn’t invited to any events, I just went to post outfits for my blog and enjoy the rodeo with my family. I left with bittersweet feelings about my experience, loving this industry as I always had but looking at the mountain I had to climb to find my way in.
After a year of meeting amazing friends, brands and boutiques, everything had changed for me in Vegas 2017. I was fully booked working with boutiques, was invited to influencer parties, was a model for a professional photo shoot and got to meet SO many friends and make even more as the week went on. Every time we left the hotel to tackle a full day’s work, I felt incredibly grateful to even be there and be busy. I learned this year that doing just one thing every day to press towards your goals will put you on the path to success. Just a little bit at a time makes that mountain easier to climb.
2018 is already shaping up to be a very busy, but rewarding year. I’ve spent the last few days planning out my travel schedule and getting business projects set in motion before we ring in the new year. My travels are starting early this year as I head to Denver, Colorado for WESA market. I’ll be attending the Western Summit, a western business conference put on by the Boutique Hub, which I’m super excited about. Don’t worry, I’ll be live streaming and updating my Instagram story with the highlights so you don’t miss out!
In addition to attending the summit, I was invited to be among the first WESA Wranglers ever, a group of fashion influencers with exclusive access to market to cover the event. I’ll be attending their spring fashion show, as well as demonstrations and seminars that feature some amazing brands and new styles. Again, make sure to keep an eye out for an exclusive look on what’s going to be hot in the western industry this spring. Plus, I have some fun spring fashion up my sleeve to unveil while I’m in Colorado!
I wish I could tell you all more about my projects, I can barely keep them a secret anymore. But, stay tuned over the coming months as I’ll be announcing some exciting news about the blog and new opportunities for you guys to get involved in my brand. I’m so excited to start on the next adventure, I hope you’ll come along with me.
While 2017 definitely had its challenges, it’s been an incredibly blessed year. Here are a few of the biggest lessons I’ve taken away from my experiences:
- Dream huge and believe it can truly, truly happen.
- Don’t get discouraged hearing the word no.
- You appreciate things much more when you learn to do without first.
- Don’t compare yourself to those around you – believe you are worthy.
- Be yourself unapologetically. Be bold enough to stand alone on your beliefs.
I hope you all have a happy new year and I can’t wait to see you in 2018.
Stay unique, sisters!