The Boutique Boss Babe

Bobbie Eskdale, the successful boss babe behind Bold & Brassy Boutique. Photo Credit: Callaghan Creative Co.

Bobbie Eskdale owns and operates Bold & Brassy Boutique, an online fashion boutique that totes itself as offering “today’s trends with a touch of twang!” Eskdale’s energy and positive is infectious, and she manages to run a successful business while also being a wife, and mother to two. WHR sat down with Eskdale to discover the ins and outs of running a boutique, and the lessons she has learned along the way.

1. What made you want to start your own boutique?

I wish I could tell you all that it’s been an idea that I’ve had since I was a little girl. Really, the idea didn’t show up until I was looking for my answer in my adult life. My inspiration came while driving home from my 9-5, in a rusted out ford pick up truck after a bad day at work. I was blasting Miranda Lambert on the radio. I remember saying out loud ‘this isn’t what I am meant to do’ – I wasn’t meant to work someone else’s dream for the entirety of this short time here. Almost as soon as I said those words out loud the Pink Pistol [Miranda Lambert’s Boutique] popped into my head. Immediately I got goosebumps, it was the thought that showed up that was my answer.

That was over 5 years ago now. I sat on that idea that maybe I could open my very own “Pink Pistol” and manifest my own, unique dream. Over the course of quite a few years, the vision and the plan changed to take my business online, to really align myself with timing and the trend of online shopping.  The combination of longing for a life that is bigger than my wildest dreams for my family and the desire of wanting more in my closet than hand-me-down clothes (and passing that along to my customers) and  the courage bring my vision to life is the dream that has now manifested into Bold & Brassy!

2. How did starting your own boutique all come together? 

The whole coming together thing really can be summed up in one tiny saying. It was a hot mess! There really isn’t one, single glamorous behind the scenes thing. The process didn’t flow easily to me, haha! I officially launched Bold & Brassy online boutique on November 19, 2015. I chose this date because it is both my husband and I’s birthday and he’s also a huge driving force behind this dream. I really want to be his sugar mama and just take care of him, the way he has taken care of me. He works as a power line man, out in the cold. When I let him in on my vision and expressed that he was a huge part of it and one of the reasons WHY, he was totally on board. So it was in 2014 I really spent the whole year planning, researching, researching some more..basically devoting the entirety of the year to the vision and my plan.

Two years later, I don’t have it all figured out. I imagine the moment I do have it all figured out, the business will fail. I always strive to be green and growing, not ripe & rotting. I honestly can say to bring something together, it’s not about the “one thing”. It’s about seemingly insignificant things, compounded over time that gives you results. My business is still coming together, one foot in front of the other. Day by day. The vision is what keeps growing and moving forward even though the way to get there sometimes changes.

The Eskdale family. Photo Credit: Olive You Portraits.

3. What was the biggest lesson you’ve learned in opening a boutique?

The biggest lesson I’ve learned through opening my business is it’s not about what you do it’s about who you become. I’ve also learned a lot about people because the funny thing about “lessons” is they often show up in the form of people. One of the things I heard most about this industry before diving in was that it was tough. That it’s “cut throat”. I chose to ignore that stigmatism because behind every business is a person. A person with a WHY. A person with purpose and a person with a story. The moment I allow ego to separate myself from that truth, a lesson shows up. It can show up in the form of my “competition” writing a not so friendly message or social media post to me, to people offering their opinion on what I should do better etc. These are all, for the most part, pretty humbling experiences and allow me to connect back with my truth. It’s not about selling clothes, it’s about becoming the best version of who you can be and how you can serve others through the lessons you’ve learned.

As I continue to learn and grow and see things for what they are, the reward just keeps getting better and better. For every person out there that may have a negative nancy thing to say, there are 10 more that are rooting for you. People that love you, that support you and want to bring light and joy to what you are doing. I receive that through increased sales, people attending my pop up events, people posting great reviews, being invited to participate in events, a private message that says something really sweet etc. We are all just people doing the best we can with what we are given. The only competition we have is with ourselves so keeping connected with women who are fun, joyful and positive through fashion is seriously the best and surrounding yourself with people who elevate you and have strengths you can learn from is key!

4. What makes Bold and Brassy different than the other boutiques?

We are all selling a bunch of clothes and accessories, so we are more or less the same. The uniqueness, authenticity & character comes from the person behind the business. There are so many amazing women in this industry that totally rock and I’m not about to put myself on a pedestal and come across like I’m doing something better. I’m certainly not. I strive to just be myself, keep my blinders on and do me. I find if I remain authentic, nurture the seeds I’ve planted and be quick to change what isn’t working for me and my business it will continue to flourish. I don’t have time to compare my business to other businesses. I haven’t walked a mile in their shoes, nor have they mine so I just keep moving forward and taking action to the ideas planted in my mind. I have partnered with some pretty amazing women to have brought that vision to life so I’m going to keep doing that. My photographer is outstanding and that part totally elevates my business. My media wizard helps bring my ideas to life through her design expertise etc. I am going to just keep aligning myself with people who have skills to pay the bills! HA!

Eskdale says that her family is her “why”. Photo Credit: Olive You Portraits.

5. How do you balance being a mom and wife, with also being a boss babe business owner? 

First things first, I’m a realist. LOL Sorry, I’m getting a little gangster. That tends to come out in me when my little mob is hanging around. I don’t think balance exists. It doesn’t for me anyways so please if you know of someone who REALLY does it all, send her my way, take all my money because I’ll pay for that advice. I cry a lot. There’s a ton of coffee and wine being drank on the regular. I don’t sit around and watch shows because there’s always something that I could be doing that will set me up for a more productive afternoon, week etc. My husband makes me make lists, ha! Even if I have 17 different lists.

I also received some amazing advice from a mentor and she says, do one thing every single day that will move your business forward. So instead of feeling like a failure because I didn’t complete the 17 different lists, I can feel accomplished because I at least did one thing that day for my business. My kids are my priority but sometimes I have to choose my business over my family and friends. It’s taken me a long time and a ton of tears to learn that that is ok. I’m a still a great mom and wife. They know they are my why, they know why I do what I do. My kids are learning so much through my grit and commitment to my business. If my kids one day look at me and say “Mom, because you did it and you showed me what it takes, I know I can do it too.” it will all be worth it. My kids are 5 & 3 years old and although this time in life with them being so young can be super hard, It’s a choice I made. I constantly have to remind myself that one day they are going to be bigger and this stage is temporary. I don’t want to be wishing it away. If I need uninterrupted, focused time I ask for help. That’s something I never used to do because of my independent nature and stubborn pride but it’s helped me so much. I’ve accepted I can’t do it all and that’s a-ok!

6. When you’re buying clothes for the boutique, where do you draw your inspiration from? How do you know what will “work” and what won’t?

One thing I’m pretty good at is visualization. That has come in VERY handy with styling outfits and looks for my website. For the most part, my inspiration comes from my friends. They are the Bold & Brassy tribe. God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason and when my friends and family offer up their opinions on what they think will look good, or what they’d like to see in my online store..I listen. In the beginning, I was drawing inspiration from what I THOUGHT people would want to see. Looking for validation outside of you never works, so clearly the stuff that I purchased that wasn’t totally me, or something I wouldn’t wear because it’s what I thought people would want, did sell. Now, I only buy pieces I personally would wear or my friends whose opinions I really value would wear. Basically, what works is when I’m authentically loving up on a piece! Looking within for that validation instead of looking at my peers in this industry and what they are selling.

Eskdale at a recent WHR photo-shoot. Photo Credit: Callaghan Creative Co.

7. What advice would you give someone who wanted to go down a similar path of business ownership?

If I was going to offer up some advice (which I’m totally not qualified to do hah!) it would be this; You must have grit. You must be tenacious. You have to be willing to do what other people aren’t in order to fulfill your goals and dreams. I’ve had people ask me for every little step along the way looking for me to give the easy answer. Looking for the “HOW”. It’s not about the how. It’s about the willingness, eagerness and the unique WHY that needs to come from within in order to make it happen.

You need to have an attitude of gratitude. Business fluctuates and when it does you need to be grateful for all the ups and downs because what is the other option!? You need to be open to creative solutions and possibilities in an effort to keep your business moving forward. This is where you need to honour your authenticity and your unique special touch that only you have.

There is also no room for ego in a successful business. I would suggest not allowing yourself to get sidetracked by someone who isn’t even on your tracks! Lastly, commit to who you will become along the way and you will achieve greatness and whatever you do. Just have fun!

CFR Fashion Inspiration

If you’re headed to the Canadian Finals Rodeo next week, we’ve got some outfit inspiration for you! There’s no denying it’s the perfect venue to bring out the good stuff. We also know it can  be tricky to stay warm in a Canadian winter and look amazing at the same time. Not to worry, we’ve got you covered! No matter your preference – boho, traditional, vaquero, urban, haute couture, or gyspy – this blog aims to satisfy the cowgirl fashionista in all of us.

Layering is a big deal this year. As seen in this look by The Wacky Wagon Fashion, a turquoise kimono and tee are paired with strands of beautiful turquoise necklaces.

Cody & Sioux just brought in these perfect new poncho arrivals, just in time for a winter storm! Unlike a wrap, these cozy beauties slip over your head and promise to keep you warm and fashionable all evening long.

Savannah Sevens can seemingly do no wrong. This faux fur boa fling is the ultimate accessory. With its gorgeous variation in color and lined satin inside, it’s the perfect item to drape yourself fashionably in warmth. Shown styled with The Lonesome Dove hat, Tallon Necklace and Burke Necklace.

 

This adorable (and comfortable!) fleece “slouch” sweatshirt from Rodeo Tuff is feminine, cozy and versatile. It’s designed with an exceptionally plush fabrication, in a classic pullover fit with a wide neck that can be worn pulled off the shoulder.

 

Sweaters and tees with cheeky sayings are all the rage. Wear them on their own, or pair them with kimonos, denim jackets or dusters. This one from Tonic Equestrian will make you look fabulous no matter where you are and is an essential for any fashionable equestrian! This stylish, easy to wear top is designed to drape comfortably over the body with a wide neck and ribbed waist.

Mustard is the color of the year this year. If you’re looking for a dressier look this CFR, then a mustard colored duster is the way to go. We love this look from The Lace Cactus.

Denim on denim, plus an ivory silky faux fur vest by Dylan, literally warms our hearts on a chilly day! This is another look from Savannah Sevens, featuring a Ryan Micheal shirt and a puffer style vest by Dylan. Shown styled with The Doc Bar Wallet, Calhoun Earrings, Rogue River Necklace and The Bronc Buster shirt.

This look from Classic Rodeo in Nanton, AB, features a shirt from Double D Ranchwear, a Goldspring Hat, and Navajo Pearls.

Don’t let your CFR outfit planning be overwhelming this year. These looks will take you stylishly from day to night and keep you warm in the process. See you in Edmonton!

 

Adventures in Fashion: Behind The Scenes of our Fall Photoshoot

Alex Callaghan, the talented photographer behind Callaghan Creative Co. captures three of our fabulous models – Allison, Nancy, and her fabulous horse Rooster, in front of Todd Lemieux’s Citabria airplane.

The September/October issue of Western Horse Review is now on stands, and the team at WHR has been loving all the positive feedback we have been receiving on our fall fashion shoot entitled “Adventurous West.” They say that it takes a village, and that saying is no truer than when you embark on a photoshoot that includes a variety of locations, amazing models, outfits from a wide range of boutiques, a gifted photographer, a talented team of hair and makeup artists, and the staff at the magazine to get it all done. Oh, did we forget to mention houses, horses, vintage vehicles and even a plane? It was an amazing shoot, and we want to share with our readers some of the action that occurs behind the scenes of the final product that is published in the magazine.

Callaghan Creative Co. at work photographing 2017 Calgary Stampede Indian Princess, Savanna Sparvier and one of Sally Bishop’s talented horses, Frosty.

Something that we truly enjoy at Western Horse Review is the fact we use authentic true-to-life horse persons as models in our fashion shoots. For example, above is Savanna Sparvier, the 2017 Calgary Stampede Indian Princess, who also graced our cover this issue. This young lady is not only beautiful, and kind, but a great ambassador for the Calgary Stampede, as well as a true role model for young women in the indigenous community and beyond. You will also find accomplished and incredibly strong horse women in this feature, including a professional  Professional Rodeo Cowboy’s Association roman rider and stunt performer, and a FEI North American Junior Young Rider gold medalist in reining, among others.

Wrangling photoshoot horses is no joke. Here is WHR’s own, Sally Bishop, with two of her beautiful horses, Frosty (left) and Mattise (right).

 

WHR’s own, Louisa Murch White, holds Frosty in-between takes.

We are very grateful to the Vulcan Flying Club for allowing us to take over their beautiful facility as one of the locations for our shoot. As you can imagine, it’s not always easy to wrangle horses, humans, and planes to get the beautiful shots we did. Thankfully we had the use of Sally Bishop’s exceptional horses, such as Frosty and Mattise pictured above, and Nancy Pratch’s wonderful Rooster, who were ever the professionals, didn’t bat an eye at a plane taxiing down the runway, and allowed the models to be comfortable and relaxed to get those perfect shots.

Louisa Murch White modeling Savanna Sparvier’s beaded tack. Photo Credit: Liz of The Aria Studios.

There were many funny moments throughout the day, but one of our personal favourites was WHR’s Sally Bishop and Louisa Murch White wrestling Savanna Sparvier’s beautiful beaded tack onto a pre-existing bridle. Sometimes, as you can see above, you just have to throw the bridle on yourself and go with it.

Callaghan Creative Co. capturing a stunning moment of Savanna Sparvier modelling a Janine’s Custom Creation jacket.

Finally, we would remise to not mention the team that pulled it together. Our talented photographer, Alex Callaghan of Callaghan Creative Co., stunning makeup by The Aria Studios and hair by Meagan Peters and Amber Bigplume. A massive thank you to Todd Lemieux for providing the 1960 Chevrolet Apache, Citabria, as well as some of his own modelling skills. To Hailey Stewart who lent a much-needed hand in all areas of the photoshoot. Finally a thank you to Kimes Ranch Jeans, Janine’s Custom Creations, CR RanchWear, Bold and Brassy, Cattle Cait, #NotInMyCity, Classic Rodeo, Cody & Sioux, Paige Leather and Stick and Ball for their amazing fashion contributions that truly made this fall shoot as spectacular as it was.

Louisa Murch White scoping locations, we felt this turquoise antique bench out in the pasture was a great backdrop.

Meet CS Princess Lizzie

Princess Lizzie addressing the Grandstand during the Calgary Stampede 2017.

The Calgary Stampede Royalty competition is in full swing for the next royal trio. Western Horse Review sat down with Lizzie Ryman, one of this years Calgary Stampede Princesses, about her experience, her fondest memories, and her sweet “Prince”, Kansas.

1. What have been some of your most memorable experiences, since your reign as Princess began, to date?

I would have to say that my most memorable experiences as a Princess thus far have happened right here at home in Calgary! Although we have been fortunate enough to travel to place such as Las Vegas and Berlin, you definitely don’t have to travel far to find something special. We attend “Happy Trails” once a month, where we visit seniors homes and bring the Calgary Stampede to those who live there. I met an elderly man who was a member of the Calgary Police Service for 45 years. Not only did we get to sit and chat about everything CPS – he also gave me some fantastic advice about how to apply for the police force, something I am very interested in doing in the future. Following this, he asked me to dance. Soon after he told me that his wife had passed 5 years ago, and I was the first person he had danced with since. He was so grateful for the time that I had spent with him at that particular evening’s Happy Trails, and I genuinely did not want to leave when the time came. The most important moments throughout your year as Royalty happen in the most unexpected ways, and I will never forget that evening!

The 2017 Calgary Stampede Royal Trio

2. Can you please tell us about your experience applying to become part of the trio? How did you feel the night you became a princess?

The contest portion for the Calgary Stampede Royalty was actually one of my favourite parts of the year! Throughout the month long competition, I met so many amazing girls that not only had the same interests as me, but helped me along my journey in being crowned as one of the 2017 Calgary Stampede Princesses. The contest entails many events such as public speaking, panel interviews, mix and mingle events, as well as an equestrian portion. Crowning night was one of the most thrilling yet nerve-racking nights of my life, and definitely an experience that I will never forget! I remember driving home after being crowned, walking into the house full of my friends and family – all wearing plastic tiaras with cake to celebrate! I had never felt so much love, support and encouragement.

A younger Lizzie with her beloved grandfather.


3. How has this experience changed your life?

I never could have imagined a more amazing year. Since being crowned one of the 2017 Calgary Stampede Princesses, I have travelled, met some of the most interesting people and made life long friends along the way. Forever will my Stampede family surround me, and although I pass on my crown very shortly, I have so many memories and skills that I have gained throughout this year to take along with me.

 

Lizzie, and her Prince, Kansas.


4. Can you please tell us about your Royal horse?

My Royal horse is named Kansas! He is the sweetest boy and I feel so lucky to ride him throughout the year of my reign. Kansas and Snoopy both came from John Scott as a duo to the Royalty program 7 years ago, and were actually used as stunt doubles for one another in the movie production industry!

Lizzie with one of her horses, Juno.

5. Can you please tell us about some of your best beauty tips/secrets? 

Get as much sleep as possible! Drink plenty of water and take your vitamins. These are the real secrets to feeling fresh and ready for the day!

6. Any favourite outfits?

I would have to say that my favourite outfit would be what we call our “Blue Leathers” made by Janine’s Custom Creations. Simple, yet noticeable and elegant!

Lizzie, running the Canadian Flag, as one of the CS Ranch Girls.

Sept/Oct WHR available now!

Photo by Callaghan Creative Co.

As if the invigorating editorial and photo journalism of the September/October issue of Western Horse Review weren’t enough, there are so many behind-the-scenes aspects that we thought we should let you in on the action!

 

In one of our competitor interviews, Louisa Murch White had the chance to speak with Kirsty White, the Canadian professional barrel racer on a consistent hot streak in 2017 with no plans of slowing down. White tells us about her go-round win at Calgary, her main mounts and a little bit about what it’s like to live a day in her life.

Then we featured Donna Wilson of the rural community around Chain Lakes, AB, and  a fourth-generation rancher who passion and main discipline is bronze artistry. Wilson says, “There is such rich imagery in the life we lead here!”

Wilson’s Anchor Bar Bronze is situated in a gallery she shares with good friend and photographer, Debra Garside in Longview, AB. From her trademark works utilizing the intricate use of antlers within a bronze, to her Longhorn cattle pieces, to the artworks that display horses and the western lifestyle, you can read about them all in our Sept/Oct issue.

Carman Pozzobon. Photo by Covy Moore.

In our Fall Run health profile, we spoke with several top professionals in our industry and asked them how they keep their mounts in top condition, during peak fall competitions. Barrel trainer Carman Pozzobon (Kamloops, BC) told us about her Equifit Nerostim Massager, while trainers Dale Clearwater (Hanley, SK) and Dustin Gonnet (Cayley, AB) open up about their feed programs and the importance of versatility in training. Reining specialist Locke Duce of High River, AB, mentions the benefits of Pulse Therapy in his daily regime. Learn their top tips and more in our in-depth piece for the final gauntlet of the show season.

Savanna Sparvier, 2017 Calgary Stampede Indian Princess. Photo by Callaghan Creative Co.

 

On pages 42-49, we showcase the best in autumn western fashion. Shot by the talented Callaghan Creative Co., this special photojournalism piece took us from the Calgary Polo Club, to the backyard our own Sally Bishop’s in Nanton, AB, to the runways of the Vulcan Airport. We were so lucky to be joined by a group of beautiful models and authentic horse women, for this amazing feature. On the cover and in the picture above, you’ll find the stunning Savanna Sparvier, the 2017 Calgary Stampede Indian Princess.

Did we mention – we had the turquoise, coyote fur jacket (with Pendleton®️blankets) by Janine’s Custom Creations, custom-made for this issue of the magazine?

If readers could have been with us on that day they would have seen a huge crew of talented people, hustling at every location to get the models in make-up, hair and dressed for an optimal moment in front of the camera.

Stay tuned for an upcoming blog solely about on our behind-the-scenes action from the Fall Shoot!

A solar waterer. Photo by Esteban Adrogue.

In our How-To feature, we tell you about an innovative solar waterer created by Rob Palmer of Nanton, AB, that got his ranch off the grid. Even in the brunt of a cold winter, Palmer can rely on solar power to water his cows and keep his monthly service provider bills to a bare minimum.

Paul Brandt has taken his success as a musician and used it as a launching pad for many incredible philanthropic purposes.

 

We also had the chance to interview the iconic Paul Brandt in the Sept/Oct issue, the most awarded male Canadian country music artist in history. In this compelling editorial, Louisa Murch White got the chance to speak with Brandt about music, his philanthropic work and his most recent #NotInMyCity campaign.

Launched just prior to the 2017 Calgary Stampede. the #NotInMyCity campaign raises awareness about human trafficking in Calgary, AB. A tough subject to talk about and an even tougher one to fight – but Brandt feels strongly that with awareness and recognition of the serious problem in our own backyard, the public can stand together against it.

Brandt partnered together with local designer Paul Hardy to design scarves and bandannas to help raise funds for the campaign. Hardy says of his design, “…Visually, I hoped to create a motif throughout the bandana and scarf that would not only be bold from afar, but also suggest a community of friendship and a worthiness of trust for those who wear it to stand in solidarity with victims against human trafficking.”

We had the opportunity to photograph these beautiful scarves in our fall fashion shoot. Blowing in the wind, the image suggests freedom. It’s a campaign Western Horse Review supports wholeheartedly.

The #NotInMyCity scarf. Photo by Callaghan Creative Co.

 

The September/October issue of Western Horse Review is available now but with more inciteful editorial on the horizon, you don’t want to miss an issue! Get your subscriptions up to date at: http://www.westernhorsereview.com/magazine-subscription/

Paige 1912 – The Wild West Fashion Show


Silhouetted against the “big smoke” of Calgary, AB at the modern-west venue of Hotel Arts, the complete fall line for Paige 1912 was unveiled to attendants under the moniker, ‘1912 – The Wild West Fashion Show’. Paige Callaway, of Millarville AB, is the creator behind Paige 1912, as well as Pursue Victory, a line of shirts developed for functionality and fit. For the former trick-rider, It was her love for the wild west – the days of box cars, rambling cowboys and wild women – that brought forth the inspiration for her newest line.

Callaway says, “Paige 1912 takes what we know, the fit and functionality of the classic shirt and ads a fashion forward ‘wild west meets high fashion’ look. However, since creativity can be like a run away horse, it isn’t limited to the new styles of shirts. This line includes accessories that compliment the shirts and the brand.”

Unique designs and patterns at The Paige 1912 fashion show. Images:@TheBrandPaige1912/@PursueVictory

 

The designs and patterns at the show were certainly unique. Bold patterns were seen on the runway in the form of polka dots, bright colours and florals. While couture accruements like delicately placed cuff ruffles, or the fan-favourite front-facing ruffles, as seen above, were complimented by authentic turquoise pieces and Kimes Ranch denim. Models wore silk scarves in their hair, or paired their outfits with felt hats while they walked in Alberta Boots. The runway was also host to accomplished trick ropers and live music, including Brandi Phillips, who has had the honour of performing her rope tricks to the Queen of England, among others. Matt Robertson, a cowboy musician, serenaded the crowd with a song that harkened back to the old west.

Cowboy singer, Matt Robertson, serenades the crowd at the Paige 1912 fashion show.

At the pre and post-show reception, guests were invited to shop Paige 1912 t-shirts, as well as the line of felt hats seen on the runway that Callaway designed and are available at Smithbilt Hats. An authentic turquoise collection was also for sale which included squash blossoms, cuffs, bracelets, necklaces and rings. Callaway says, “Pursue Victory started as the melding of two significant areas of my life, the rodeo/equine world and my education as a couturier. Paige 1912 is an addition that that, melding my love for high fashion and the wild west.”

The Paige 1912 is certainly unique and bold, designs that are eye-popping and show stopping that deliver something different than the average button-up. Callaway is currently in the process of solidifying which stores will be carrying the fall line, and will be announcing the details shortly via her website: www.paige1912.com.

Details from Paige 1912. Images:@TheBrandPaige1912/@PursueVictory

Meet CS Princess Brittany

Calgary Stampede Princess, Brittany Lloyd, in Berlin.


The Calgary Stampede has come and gone, and a new trio will soon be crowned. Western Horse Review sat down with Brittany Lloyd, one of this year’s Calgary Stampede Princesses about her experiences, her beloved Stampede horse, Snoopy, and much more about her exciting life experience as Stampede royalty.

1. What were your favourite parts of the 2017 Calgary Stampede?

Wow! I can’t believe the Calgary Stampede has come and gone. Over the ten days we had the opportunity to attend Paul Brandt’s #NotInMyCity event (thank you, Sal Howell!), visited many of the infield suites and scored a seriously good view for the Alabama concert. But amidst all the madness during the Calgary Stampede, I absolutely loved hopping on my horse, Snoopy, for Grand Entries. I will always remember that quiet moment walking up the alley way towards the arena knowing we would soon be greeted by friends, family and rodeo fans from all over the world!

2. What have been some of your most memorable experiences, since your reign as Princess began, to date?

There are many highlights from the year including the Calgary Stampede, National Finals Rodeo, Canadian Finals Rodeo, Grey Cup and International Tourism Conference in Berlin; one of my favorites, however, was Aggie Days. This is a convention rodeo that is closed to the public, but open to schools in Calgary and the surrounding area for grades three through five to give students the opportunity to learn about rodeo and agriculture sustainability – two things I am very passionate about! I absolutely love doing things in our hometown because there is an overwhelming sense of community spirit and pride. It was our first grand entry and first time I really felt a part of the horse and livestock community at the Calgary Stampede. The children at Aggie Days had the most unbridled enthusiasm for meeting competitors and royalty, which will be an experience I will cherish forever.

The 2017 Calgary Stampede Royalty

 

3. Can you please tell us about your experience applying to become part of the trio? How did you feel the night you became a princess?

I still find it a little surreal! For me, the Calgary Stampede always came before the title “Princess”. As a born and raised Calgarian, it has been a lifelong dream of mine to be a part of the Calgary Stampede organization. The Calgary Stampede to me represents so many key elements – celebration of community, celebration of history, spirited competition, pride in our heritage and true hospitality at its best. What I identify most with about the Calgary Stampede, is what is at the heart of this 10-day exhibition; the animals. Having the privilege to see the wild horses of the Calgary Stampede at the Stampede Ranch, I sincerely believe these animals are integral to Alberta’s history and future. I am so proud of the the Born to Buck breeding program and the Calgary Stampede’s commitment to excellence.

4. How has this experience changed your life?

This past year, I have had to the opportunity to turn strangers into neighbors by helping host people from around the world during the Calgary Stampede, and I have never been more proud to call this city home. Cowboys and cowgirls have defined Calgary’s values, influenced how we do business and inspired generations to come. It has been an incredible opportunity to help foster these traditions and help tell the great story of the Calgary Stampede to the world. While my year as a Princess may be coming to an end, I hope to stay involved in the Stampede in another capacity.

Princess Brittany, with her “Prince”, Snoopy.

5. Can you please tell us about your Royal horse?

I am so grateful to share this experience with the palomino gelding Snoopy. Prior to being owned by the Royalty Program, he was a movie horse and certainly likes to be the star of the show! He can get a little hot, particularly at the end of “Oh Canada” during grand entries, but he is one of the safest, kindest horses I’ve ever ridden. I come from an english riding background, and he has been the perfect horse to transition me from jumper to cowgirl (with a little help from Eamor’s Saddlery and Clay Webster.) I know he will make the next Princess as happy as he has made me!

A future Princess Brittany at the Calgary Stampede

6. What’s a typical day in your life as Princess look like currently?

Aside from the 10 days of Stampede, there is no “typical day” for a Princess! Our schedules are constantly changing and each event brings something new, unexpected and exciting. We attend all types of things from school visits, to rodeos, Calgary Tourism events and charity functions. What makes this program so unique is that we are truly ambassadors for Calgary’s community spirit, our western heritage and cultural values – with a touch of rodeo on the side! I feel most honored to be included in charity events such as the Calgary Stampede Foundation fundraisers, visiting the Ronald McDonald house and having the opportunity to meet people touched and inspired by the Calgary Stampede.

7. Can you please tell us about some of your best beauty tips/secrets?

Before becoming a Princess, I wasn’t very glamorous, so this year has been full of learning in terms of hair and makeup. I think my best tip would be to start with your skin! I’m very disciplined about taking my makeup off before bed and washing my face in the morning. I also think being healthy is so beautiful so I try to stay fit, eat healthy and drink lots of water. My biggest beauty indulgence is eyelash extensions. Leigh Glover of Luv Leigh Lashes does an amazing job of making sure they look natural but also long and full. The trio is also very fortunate to be sponsored by Aria Studios for all our makeup needs.

Princess Brittany waving to rodeo fans, friends and family during her grand entry lap.

8. Any favourite outfits?

It is so hard to pick just one favorite outfit! We probably have close to 50 pieces to mix and match, so I always love when our wardrobe committee gets creative and changes things up. I feel most comfortable when we are in our riding or rodeo attire because its extension of my personality and style. My favourite look would have to be our white Wrangler jeans with our navy blue “fringe” shirt. The top was made by Janine of Janine’s Custom Creations and I absolutely love how they look in grand entries! My most cherished wardrobe item are our custom Alberta Boots that match our Canada 150 leathers. They are so unique and I love anything patriotic! They also have crowns and our initials on them so to me they represent our trio’s place in the legacy of Calgary Stampede Royalty.

9. Anything else you would like to add?

I’m so grateful to share this experience with so many people, but I’d love to say a big thank you to my trio – Princess Lizzie and Queen Meagan – for making this experience so memorable. I’d also love to say thank you to all of my friends and family for their support during this busy year! It has been an honor to represent the Calgary Stampede and a privilege to be a part of be a part of showcasing western hospitality. I’d like to reach out to everybody I’ve had the fortune of crossing paths with this year. May we meet again. Happy trails!

One of Princess Brittany’s favourite parts of the Calgary Stampede was the interactions with all the amazing animals – from rough stock to back in the barns.


Tomorrow is the LAST day to enter the Calgary Stampede Royalty Contest. The Royalty Committee is accepting applications until August, 11, 2017. If you are interested in becoming a member of the 2018 Calgary Stampede Royal Trio, you can find more information at www.csroyalty.com.

Meet CS Queen Meagan

Photo by Tara McKenzie.

 

The Calgary Stampede is in full swing! Western Horse Review sat down with Meagan Peters, this year’s Calgary Stampede Queen about her experiences, her Stampede horse and much more about her exciting life experience as Stampede royalty.

Q. What are you most looking forward to during the 2017 Stampede?

A. During our year as the Royalty Trio, we attend about 400 events. All those events prepare us for the 10 days at The Worlds Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth! Thank goodness for all that experience because during those 10 days alone, we will attend 150 events. Throughout our year, I have most enjoyed getting to know the many committee members, volunteers, employees and sponsors involved in Calgary Stampede. I’m very much looking forward to spending some time with them during Stampede and celebrating what we have worked so hard to represent all year.

Although, I am most looking forward to the grand entries at the rodeo. As horsewomen, we work very hard keeping the horses conditioned so they are prepared for anything that may come along the way. The feeling I get in my heart before we race into any rodeo arena is like no other. It is such a thrilling experience to hear your name announced and the crowd cheering. Every year that I have watched previous trios at the opening ceremonies at the rodeo, I have hoped and prayed that some day that could be me. The first day of Stampede was one of the happiest days of my life.

Photo by Tara McKenzie.

*

Q. What are your most memorable experiences to date?

A. There are so many wonderful and inspiring people that I have met this year and I am tremendously honoured to have been given the opportunity. I have loved traveling to Toronto for Grey Cup, Las Vegas for the National Finals Rodeo and Berlin for the International Tourism Convention.

My favourite trip was at the NFR, as the Calgary Stampede’s bucking stock were featured in it. I think that is when our role as an ambassador finally hit me as to what we represent, along with our western values and heritage. One of my favourite events most recently was attending the Presidents Rodeo at the OH Ranch. We did a grand entry before the rodeo, joined 300-400 of Stampede members for dinner and were entertained by the talented Gord Bamford. I loved mingling with the guests and at this time, I really felt part of a huge family with the same passion for Stampede. I remember leaving that night thinking, “This is where I belong and I’ll never forget this day for as long as I live.”

A young, future queen Meagan.

 

*

Q. What was your experience like applying for the trio and your feeling at the crowning?

A. I have auditioned 3 times to be in the Royalty Trio and twice I had made it to the top six contestants. Each year of auditioning, I had so much fun in the competition. I have met so many lovely competitors and volunteers involved that I wanted to stay in touch with them. Coming so close in the finals of the competition each year gave me the fire that I would do what ever it took to be in the trio. In preparation for my third time auditioning, I had taken a Dale Carnegie Public Speaking course. It was an 8-week program with intense speech preparation and impromptu practice. This gave me so much more confidence to speak publicly as I was more timid in my first two years auditioning.

 

On crowning night in September, this was the most nerve wracking experience of all. I had stumbled on my impromptu speech and my music did not work properly for my choreographed ride. I was dying of embarrassment and defeat. I was thinking, “Great, I have just had the worst performance in front of 200 people and I just blew my chances of being in the Royal Trio.”  …And then my heart dropped when I was announced as Stampede Queen. I had never been so shocked in my entire life! Thank goodness the rest of the competition before crowning went well. I am only human and everyone has bad days. Every day since being crowned, I have worked hard to support my team with Princesses, Brittany Lloyd and Lizzie Ryman. They are amazing individuals!

  • The Royalty Contest is now open and applications are being accepted until August 11, 2017! For more information, visit: www.csroyalty.com

Queen Meagan’s personalized boots, spurs and hat.

*

Q. How has this year changed your life?

A. Everyday this year, I think how lucky I am to have been given this opportunity. I try not to let this year slip away too quickly and take in every experience to the second. Personally, I have become more focused on what all this has meant to me and how it has changed my life. I will always be involved with Stampede after my year is over. I would love to volunteer more of my time in the Queens Alumni and support future trio members. I cherish the ability to talk to people I do not know and value the life experience this program has given me for future careers and personal relationships.

Check out the Stampede Queen and Princesses on Instagram @stampedeqandp.

*

Q. Please tell us about your royal horse?

A. “Blue” has been one of my favourite experiences this year. She is a 6-year-old blue roan and it is her first year in the Royalty Program. She has taken over for “Hawk,” as he will be retiring. She is very sweet but will throw some sass my way every now and then. She has been very quiet in parades and has found out recently just how fast she can go in grand entries which is every Queen or Princesses’ dream. She has been trained by Clay Webster himself before our Equestrian Committee found her. Clay is a sponsor of our program and I cannot thank him enough for all the training he has given us a trio this year. I will be heartbroken to say goodbye to Blue and the end of our year but know she will be in great hands!

*

Q. Please describe a typical day in the royalty life?

A. Stampede time is really busy. But even prior to the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, we were busier than ever and had many events to attend in a day. Our usual wake up time is around 5, 6 or 7 AM to get ready. Doing our hair and make-up has become routine and have become much faster than when were were first crowned! Before Stampede we attended pancake breakfasts in the morning at various schools and many fundraiser events. In the afternoon, we visited sponsors if we have the chance and either head home to change for the evening or grab lunch. In the evening, we attend Stampede Foundation meetings, Happy Trails at retirement homes, events that are going on at Stampede park or additional training on Stampede related events. If we did not have an event or training in the evening, we will ride our horses in Mossleigh, AB – which sometimes involves bathing the horses before a parade. In the summer months, we have been attending local parades and rodeos surrounding Calgary every weekend. I usually do not get to bed before 10 PM most nights but every day is worth packing it all in!

Q. Best beauty tips?

A. All of my beauty tips I owe to The Aria Studios! Liz has been an amazing sponsor and I use all of her make-up in my morning and evening routines. Liz’s signature products is her lipsticks. We are constantly talking, smiling, taking photos and must always be “camera ready” in case a surprise interview comes up. A lipstick that stays on all day is key! The Aria lipsticks do just that! I also love her skin care, face masques/scrubs and foundation powders. I will always use her line of skin care and make up for life!

 

Q. Favorite outfit?

A. My favourite outfit is our new “Blue Leathers.” It consists of a turquoise fringe, suede skirt and a matching vest. Its has “CS” embroidered on the back, and a horseshoe concho on the front. And to top it all off, our turquoise and brown pointed boots sponsored by Lammles and our three ringed diamond jewellery set from Montana Silver. One of our other amazing sponsors is Janine’s Custom Creations! Janine sews a lot of our shirts, skirts, and leather formal outfits herself. We have advisors that request a certain look and Janine will shape that idea and bring it to life. What would we ever do with out her and our wardrobe experts, Kary Otto and Laverne Peckham!

There are many sides to the talented and beautiful Calgary Stampede Queen Meagan Peters. If you get the chance to see her this week, be sure to say hi!

Meagan on a family fishing trip in Saskatchewan last Thanksgiving. She says, “For my family this is a tradition. I love sturgeon fishing there – It’s always a challenge. The competition is tough but there are huge fish!”

Country Festival Survival Guide

Photo by McKenzie Fotos.

Summertime country music festivals always promise great fashion, fun with friends and the musician line-ups are becoming bigger and better than ever. Two festivals that should be on everyone’s bucket lists are the two Canadian Country Thunder stops. For the overnight camping experience, the ticket is Country Thunder Craven. Held July 13-16, Craven always promises a rocking good time, and this year headliners include Blake Shelton, Keith Urban and Toby Keith. For more info: www.countrythunder.com/festivals/craven-sk. Meanwhile, for day concert-going, Country Thunder Calgary is back for it’s second year at Prairie Winds Park in North West Calgary, August 18-20. Headliners for the event include Blake Shelton, Braid Paisley and Thomas Rhett. For more info: www.countrythunder.com/festivals/calgary-alberta. Western Horse Review is bringing you the definitive survival guide for fashionable festival go-ers that need to beat the heat, while still looking cool and comfortable.

Necessities

Photo Credit: McKenzie Fotos. Outfit by Cody & Sioux.

1. Sunglasses, Sunscreen and a Great Hat

These aren’t just fashionable items, these items can save your skin and head from the sun on a long and hot festival day. Sun-stroke and horrible sun-burns aren’t cute, make sure to regularly apply sunscreen, and mesh current fashion-trends with necessity by picking out an adorable pair of sunnies and on-trend western hat to protect you from the rays.

2. A Water Bottle

Speaking of staying comfortable in the heat, it is so key to make sure you have a refillable water bottle on hand to stay hydrated. We recommend S’well water bottles, not only are they chic and will compliment your outfit, they stay cool long throughout the day. www.swellbottle.com


3. A Phone Charger

Long days swaying to the music and instagramming your favourite bands and outfits mean for low batteries on your phones. Make sure to pack up a back-up phone charger source, personally we are totally crushing on these unicorn battery packs, perfect for a country music festival.

4. Quick and Easy Snacks

You will be the hero of your crew if you pack some light and easy snacks to munch on during your favourite set. Bananas, apples, granola bars, nuts for protein and some candy will keep you guys rocking long into the evening while everyone else had to bail to grab dinner.

5. Travel Sized Beauty Products

Keep yourself looking polished and photo ready with travel-sized beauty products. We recommend packing a small cosmetic bag with mini-deodorant, dry-shampoo, blotting wipes, mascara, lotion, chapstick and a small brush to keep yourself feeling fresh and ready even if the temperatures sore about 25C.

Fashion Musts

Now we get into the fun stuff, this is what country festivals are all about, showing off your cool and eclectic style with your crew, while enjoying some great music!

1. Comfortable, yet Chic Footwear

This is one of the hardest things to achieve, nothing is worse than stumbling around the festival grounds with blisters on your feet because you chose the wrong footwear. Pick cute, low-heeled booties to protect your toes from the crowds, provide some support through those long days and still look on-trend while doing it.

2. A Great Light-Weight Bag

Pair your cute booties with an adorable cross body bag, unique fanny pack, or long strap bag so that you can carry your necessities, phone, and set-lists all in one place! We are majorly crushing on the long fringe cross body Vintage Boho Loves Louis bags, cute, western, and comfortable. A perfect combo – no sore shoulders here! www.vintageboholoveslouis.com

3. Flash Tattoos

Flash tattoos are a must at festivals, but be one step ahead of the crowd and take your flash tattoos to the next level. Head to a craft store and pick up a glitter marker so you can turn your tattoos into your own semi-permanent set lists. Never miss an act when you can look down on your wrist and it’s glittering right there for you!

Photo: McKenzie Fotos. Accessories by Classic Rodeo, Nanton, AB.

4. Layered Accessories

Compliment your flash tattoos with great layered bracelets, hand-cuffs and body chains to fully achieve festival-level cool.

 

Photo: Mckenzie Fotos. Outfit by Classic Rodeo, Nanton, AB.

5. Cover Up

This is both fashion must and necessity. A great light weight jacket, shawl or poncho that is light enough to tie to your cross-body, or tuck in your bag, is a perfect accessory to any chic boho outfit that can double as a blanket to sit on, or to wrap around yourself, if the temperature gets a little chilly at night.

6. Your Tribe Effects Your Vibe

The saying is true, who you surround yourself will make or break your day. Grab your best friends, show off your own personal unique style and enjoy your favourite music together. As festival style has been ramping up the last few summers, it’s important to remember the outfit doesn’t make the event. It’s key to have fun out there and dance like no one’s watching – if you have your best crew with you, it will make it even better!