Creature Comforts

Photo by Krystina Lynn Photography.

Our Gift Guide for the beloved equines on your list!

SHOW-STOPPING Pads
Show-stopping style is always a wise choice when it comes to gift giving and horse lovers. You will find a huge selection of cutting edge show pads, show shirts and other accoutrement at the Ranch by Design shop near Lacombe, Alberta. Luxx show pads are beautiful premium quality blankets made with 100% New Zealand wool. Oversized and just under nine pounds, these saddle pads come in a wide variety of colours and designs. $236. Online at: www.ranchbydesign.com

FOR YOUR HERD

The Equistro line of products is specifically designed to serve the needs of the equine athlete. With a range of supplements, their goal is to help your horse deal with the challenges of heavy training, frequent travelling and staying on top of the game. Use the promo code CLAY10 for savings on online purchases. www.equistro.ca

Use the promo code CLAY10 for savings on online Equistro purchases.

MAKE PAY DIRT
Not all gifts are meant to be under a tree! Put a big red bow on Conterra’s EquiGroomer-TR and watch them run (or drive) in circles with excitement! www.conterraindustries.com

EQUI-NUTRITION BOOST
Warm the bellies of your equine friends during colder days with locally-owned and operated. Equiboost Feed and Oil. Flax-based and made with zero soy products, this feed will have your furever friends feeling, looking and performing their best! $55 for a 30-day supply. Find them on Facebook @equiboost

FEELIN’ GOOD

Spread good cheer and good feels in every way, with Cavallo Pulse Therapy, based out of Cochrane, Alberta. Owner and practitioner, Keely Gibb, travels to her clients to help them feel their best. Specializing in equine bodywork and PEMF for the performance athlete. Gibb also offers massage therapy, K-Taping, myofascial release as well as stretching and mobilization services for your equine and canine companions. Find her on Facebook @cavallopulsetherapy

BARN DANCE
Why put gifts under a tree when you can put them in a barn? Make dreams come true with Affordable Barns, a company who has been building high quality barns for affordable prices for years! With base pricing starting at only $20,695, all barns come complete with finished 12×12 stalls, and many options to choose from. www.affordablebarns.com

Gifts Out of the Ordinary

Photo by BAR XP PHOTO

A unique selection of curated gifts, for the hard-to-buy-for. As it is more important than ever to shop local, many of the amazing gift ideas on this list are from local, small businesses.

HEART OF THE HOME
Unique western style area rugs that convey your western style within your home, are like artwork for the floor. Find a number of interesting shapes and designs at Cody & Sioux. Inquire for pricing. www.codyandsioux.com

FOR THEIR TUMMY
A gift that embodies the best of Alberta: solid, bold, rich, authentic, and spirited. Alberta Whisky Cakes come heat-sealed and most elegantly packaged, ready for gift giving, and with a lithographed ‘Artist Card’ promoting the work of a local emerging artist. True local spirit and taste in every sense. $40. albertawhiskycake.com

FOR THE TIME-STRAPPED RANCHER
The greatest gift you can give someone is time. Better Than Home Coin Laundry located in Okotoks, Alberta is a drop-off dry cleaner depot that caters to customers with western roots! Custom ironing and alterations for cowboys, cowgirls and cowpokes alike. They have designated machines for your pet and horse blankets, saddle pads, Navajo blankets and heavily soiled attire – perfect for those hectic days on the ranch! Leave the heavy cleaning to them. (403) 938-7788

Better Than Home Coin Laundry can handle the toughest laundry jobs, including heavy winter horse blankets.

IMPRESSIVE AMBIENCE
Just in time for the holidays, the all new ROMAL RAIN candles from Shannon Lawlor Galleries are ready for the giving! This thoughtful pairing of leather and Cuban cigars will offer you memories of the West through a luxurious scent, as the candle burns with great ambiance. Snuggle up and appreciate the sensory delight curated by one of Alberta’s foremost western virtuosos. $45-$70 www.shannonlawlor.com

THE WINE IS SO DELIGHTFUL
It may be frightful outside, but wine is always delightful! Toast your host or the ones you love most with horse themed wines this holiday season. Everyone will be trotting up to the bar for another glass of these fun and naturally festive selections of holiday cheer! Find them at your favourite local liquor purveyor.

FOR THOSE WHO HAVE EVERYTHING
Don’t know what to get the people who have everything? Memberships and subscriptions make wonderful gifts that keep on giving throughout the year and come with a host of benefits for all the people on your gift list. Alberta Equestrian Federation? Reining Alberta? American Quarter Horse Association? Subscription to Western Horse Review Magazine? Support local clubs, publications and your loved one’s passions all with one thoughtful gesture.

www.westernhorsereview.com

Gifts for Him

Photo by BAR XP PHOTO.

A wonderful collection of gift ideas for him!! For under the tree, under the saddle, in the barn or in his belly. All are amazing presents from local vendors.

OUTDOOR COVER
This Powder River Outfitters collection fleece bonded softshell jacket from Panhandle features a full zipper front, interior wind flap, adjustable cuffs and is water and wind resistant. Perfect for the man who lives in the outdoors. $139.95. www.lammles.com

Powder River Outfitters jacket from Lammle’s Western Wear.

A NIGHT OUT
A night out is a sweet surprise for anyone. Give a gift that includes great service, a spacious western atmosphere, a fantastic steak and a house-specialty mashed potato wrap. Silver Slate Steak house by Stavely, Alberta offers high fashion dining in a home-style way. Gift Certificates available at www.silverslatearena.com

A hearty meal at Silver Slate Steakhouse is exactly what he wants this year!

Sole Mates
He’ll get a kick out of a Christmas gift from Alberta Boot Company! Outfitting royalty, movie stars, athletes, public figures, and most importantly – ordinary people from all over the world! Alberta Boot Company has a wide selection of ready-made boots and can also help you create the perfect pair for your sole mate this holiday season. www.albertaboot.com

Alberta Boots carries a wide variety of boots for him.

SOLAR PROTECTION
BEX sunglasses are engineered to stay comfortably on your favourite wrangler’s face. Complementing active lifestyles, every pair is lightweight, polarized durable and designed to look great on everyone. The company understands that an active lifestyle causes normal wear and tear on the nose pads, which is why each pair of sunglasses comes with a replaceable set. bexsunglasses.com

Bex Suglasses and a wild rag by Brown Creek Wild Rags. Photo by BAR XP PHOTO.

GRAND TOPPER
The holidays just aren’t the same without a great topper, whether you choose a star, a tree and angel or a gorgeous hat from Prairie Wind Hatworks! Located in Pincher Creek, Alberta, they can make a custom hat from the band up or give a current hat a little bit of TLC. Find them on Facebook @prairiewindhatworks2018

Prairie Wind Hatworks will make the custom lid your guy is looking for.

Western-Styled Gift Guide

Our gift for you is this wonderful collection of gift ideas! As always, we are all for spreading some local cheer with amazing gifts for you and yours.

By MONIQUE NOBLE

PUT A RING IN IT
What’s a gift without a box to put it in? For a little extra western flair this holiday season, wrap your special someone’s gift in this extra special jewelry case available at Classic Rodeo Boutique (DeWinton, Alberta). It’s the store that has a little bit of everything for everyone! $250.

@classicrodeo on Facebook

TOWEL SETS
These amazing towel sets are a great way to add some western flair to any décor, a set of three towels includes one bath towel, one hand towel and one face cloth. Deliciously soft and fully washable, these medium thick towels are a quick and easy way to change up a bathroom and add a splash of on point style. Find them on Facebook at Starbound Horses and Western gifts – you won’t be disappointed in their huge selection of locally handcrafted baby blankets, jewelry, décor and more. $50 for a set. www.Starboundhorses.ca

ICING FOR HER
Add a little extra sparkle to the tree with treasures from Sweet Iron Silver located in Didsbury, Alberta. Using Canadian sourced precious metals, Shawna Whiteside handcrafts every piece with artistic western elegance. Gorgeous pre-created items are available, however if you have something more personal in mind, one-of-a-kind heritage pieces that include designs such as a family brand, meaningful designs or nicknames, or even a company logo can be lovingly rendered.  sweetiron.com

SAY WHAT
Gift your bohemian babe this Stellar military jacket emblazoned with a quote from Z. Stardust himself. No gift is ever boring when it comes from Cody & Sioux, one of our favourite local purveyors of all thing’s new west. $144.95. www.codyandsioux.com

Custom Wine Glasses
Wassailing festivities mean so much more when done with a personal touch. Customized glassware is a thoughtful and sweet way to honour your loved ones, loved ones. Award-winning Airdrie, Alberta artist and fellow horse lover Marni Koelln can produce your pets on washable glassware, tree ornaments or canvas with photorealistic detail and/or heartwarming humour. Inquire for pricing. Share your ideas with her at www.marnikoelln.com

FESTIVE CHARCUTERIE
Nothing says Christmas like Charcuterie! These amazing, locally made boards are almost too pretty to cover up with your favourite delicious delights. But who are we kidding? They will be emptied quick enough for everyone to marvel at the artistry below! Below the Bark Designs and Brand it Designs can both be found on Facebook.

TRULY UNIQUE
Looking for something that is truly special? She’ll love anything from renowned silversmith, Scott Hardy. From custom-made buckles, to jewelry, to flasks or saddle silver, Hardy has the perfect signature piece for your one of a kind. Inquire for pricing.
www.scotthardy.com

Photo by Twisted Tree Photography

STAY COZY
WILD RAGS – Wrap yourself or a loved one in the warmth of a 100% silk wild rag from Brown Creek this winter. Starting at $55
www.browncreekwildrags.com

TEE TIME
These tees and tanks from Saskatchewan entrepreneur, Prairie Girl Couture are the staple she wants this year. Designed in a variety of colours and sizes, all are super soft and comfy. $30-$40 each. prairiegirlcouture.com

The Tahoe Verona

Are you still looking for the perfect gift for the horseman or woman in your life? The new ‘Tahoe’ shank from Tom Balding finds inspiration in the Vaquero style that is part of California’s history. This beautifully crafted bit features a Tahoe© shank in a stainless finish with antiqued silver engraved plates and dots. This shank measures 8″. The mouthpiece is Balding’s Verona© with roller.

The Verona© mouthpiece with roller.

When you’ve made a decision and are ready to place your order, you may want to consider extras, such as initials or brands to customize your bits. The ultimate, personalized gift! Plus, Tom Balding Bits and Spurs does offer rush delivery. 

Call them at 307-672-8459 or e-mail for more information.

Visit Tom Balding Bits and Spurs online at: www.tombalding.com


Holiday Giving – For Her

 

Stuck on the perfect gift idea for her? In this four-part blog series, Western Horse Review has rounded up several of our favorite tidings of joy. This is Christmas shopping made easy! You’re welcome.

By Louisa Murch White & Jenn Webster

 


POP SOCKETS – Never drop your phone again with these sweet handcrafted, Canadian-made pop sockets from Sweet Iron Silver. Sterling silver and can be personalized. Starting at $95
www.sweetiron.com

 


WILD RAGS – Wrap yourself or a loved one in the warmth of a 100% silk wild rag from Brown Creek this winter. Starting at $55
www.browncreekwildrags.com

 

Credit Twisted Tree Photography.

ANYTHING FROM SCOTT HARDY – Looking for something that is truly special? She’ll love anything from renowned silversmith, Scott Hardy. From custom-made buckles, to jewelry, to flasks or saddle silver, Hardy has the perfect signature piece for your one of a kind. Inquire for pricing.
www.scotthardy.com

 

WHR NECK WRAP – Wrap yourself in one of these neck wraps, hand-made in Canada by Janine’s Custom Creations exclusively for Western Horse Review. Crafted from real Pendleton® Blankets, these wraps are stylishly functional and look attractive with any style of outerwear. Light weight and lined with a soft sherpa for comfort and warmth. Easy snap closures. With fringe or without. Can be worn over the shoulders or as a wrap. Many colors and styles to choose from.

whr-boutique.westernhorsereview.com

 

CREDIT: Twisted Tree Photography. All hats from Smithbilt Hats. Tan hat with beadwork is a custom design by @thechiefsdaughter_.

CUSTOM HAT – The right hat is the perfect way to accentuate her western lifestyle. Choose from a variety of styles and colours at Smithbilt Hats to compliment her unique sense of style. Inquire for pricing.
smithbilthats.com

 

YOU CAN’T GO WRONG WITH TURQUOISE – Featuring one of the largest selections of high quality, vintage, Native American turquoise and sterling silver jewelry from Navajo, Zuni and Hopi artists, the Lost American Art Gallery & Museum has some truly exquisite pieces. Inquire for pricing.
www.thelostamericanartgallery.com

 

SEW CUTE KITS – These adorable mason jar sewing kits from Cattle Cait are the perfect stocking stuffer for the crafty lady in your life. Handmade from 100% recycled wool and jars, each kit contains needles, pins, buttons, a measuring tape and thread. $30.
cattlecait.com

 


JUST RIDE TEE – This stylish, ladies slim-fit graphic tee pairs perfectly with her favourite denim! Navy blue and 100% ringspun cotton, from Tonic Equestrian. $25.
tonicequestrian.com

 

BETTY & JOLENE JEAN – Canada’s #1 western retailer Lammle’s Western Wear & Tack, is now carrying Kimes Ranch Jeans! Two women’s styles, the classic Betty and the stylish Jolene, are the first to be offered both in-store and online through the Lammle’s website at www.lammles.com

 

HANDMADE STOCKINGS – Crafted from real Pendleton® Blankets by Janine’s Custom Creations exclusively for Western Horse Review Boutique, these beautiful stockings show off your western heritage. Fill them with all kinds of Christmas goodies and admire the elegance of your mantle as you do. ($60)
whr-boutique.westernhorsereview.com

Try a Bit Before You Buy It!

There’s no question – top riders across the globe favour Tom Balding’s handcrafted bits and spurs. With Balding’s meticulous attention to detail, knowledge of the horse and high quality materials used to create his bits and spurs, it’s no wonder Balding’s company is a leader in the field. Fans include the National Reining Horse Association $5 Million Rider Andrea Fappani, National Cutting Horse Association Hall of Famer Phil Rapp, and National Reined Cow Horse Association Million-Dollar Rider Zane Davis, to name a few.

If you’ve ever considered purchasing a high quality bit, Tom Balding Bits & Spurs offers a wide variety of custom bit combinations. No matter what you are looking to attain from your horse’s performance, there’s a bit that will offer customized assistance. Tom Balding Bits & Spurs knows a high quality bit purchase requires the best educated decision possible; as it is an investment that will often last a lifetime. Which is why the company created the Trial Bit Service, offered to those who would like to try a mouthpiece before purchasing – to ensure they are comfortable with the function in relation to their riding style.

Photo by Jenn Webster.

Within the Trial Bit Service, clients are welcome to try up to three bits for two weeks. Additionally, the company tries to offer most combinations; however, because of the large number of possible combinations, clients may have to try a bit with a similar shank to the one requested. The only out of pocket expense you may incur are the shipping costs. For more information about this unique service, check out the Trial Bit website page here.

There are also multiple resources on the Tom Balding Bits & Spurs website available to help you select a mouthpiece and shank combination you might like to try. They include:

•  The Tom Balding blog.
•  The online catalog.
• The bit creator.
Sample buy-it-now-options.
Endorsements.

 

When you are ready to request your trial bits give Tom Balding Bits & Spurs a call or message them with the desired mouthpiece and shank combinations. They look forward to getting you into the right bit for you and your horse. Request your trial bits today!

Give Tom Balding Bits & Spurs a call at 307.672.8459 or visit them online at: www.tombalding.com

 

WHR & Lammle’s Western Wear Holiday Giveaway

Western Horse Review and Lammle’s Western Wear is proud to present our Holidays Giveaway for a $250 Gift Card and Magazine Subscription Sweepstakes. For a chance to win visit the Western Horse Review Facebook page and read the rules below.

Contest dates: December 21st-31st, 2017

RULES AND REGULATIONS

1. Ways to Enter the Contest

No purchase is necessary to enter. To enter the $250 gift card and magazine subscription Sweepstakes  (the “Contest”), entrant must ‘like’ and ‘tag’ a friend on the Facebook contest post (“https://www.facebook.com/Lammles/“) or (“https://www.facebook.com/WesternHorseReview/”) and be following the Lammle’s and Western Horse Review Facebook Page. The Contest commences on Monday, December 21st, 2017 at 4:00 PM MST and closes at 9:00 PM MST, December 31st, 2017 (the “Contest Closing Time”). All entries that are incomplete, irregular, have been submitted through illicit means, or do not conform to or satisfy any condition of these Contest rules and regulations may be disqualified. Lammle’s Western Wear & Tack & West & Western Horse Review, (The “Sponsors”) is not responsible for any lost, delayed, illegible, incomplete, misdirected, damaged, or destroyed entries.

2. Eligibility

The Contest is open to legal residents of Canada (except residents of Quebec), who have reached the age of majority in the jurisdiction in which they reside at the time of entry. Employees, officers, and directors (including immediate family members and members of the same household) of Lammle’s Western Wear & Tack and Western Horse Review  and their respective distributors, dealers, marketing representatives, printers, advertising or promotional agencies, or any other organization associated with the Contest are not eligible to participate.

3. Prize

(1) Grand Prize will be awarded each consisting of (1) 2 year subscription to Western Horse Review Magazine, valued at $39.95 and (1) $250 Gift Card to Lammle’s Western Wear and Tack valued at $250.00. The Sponsors reserve the right to substitute a prize in whole or in part for a prize of equal or greater value in the event that any component of the Prize is unavailable for any reason. The Prize must be accepted as awarded and no substitutions, except as identified above, will be made. Prizes may not be sold, transferred or assigned and are not convertible to cash. The prize is only valid in store at any Lammle’s location.

4. The Draw

The odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries. Winners will be chosen by 4:00 pm PST on January 2nd, 2018 at the Lammle’s Western Wear & Tack Head Office location in Calgary, Alberta. The Sponsors will attempt to notify the selected entrants by email and/or Facebook messaging within 24 hours of the draw. In order to be declared a winner, the selected entrant must, unaided, correctly answer a time-limited skill-testing question and, within one (1) day, the selected entrant must complete and return to Lammle’s Western Wear & Tack a contest eligibility and liability/publicity release confirming compliance with these rules and regulations, releasing the Sponsors and their respective directors, officers and agents from all liability and, except where prohibited by law, permitting the Sponsors to use the selected entrant’s name, address (city and province) and image, without compensation, worldwide and in perpetuity, in any and all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, including the Internet, in any publicity carried out by the Sponsors. In the event that a selected entrant is not eligible for any reason, has not correctly answered the skill-testing question or cannot be contacted after two (2) business days of the first attempt to contact the selected entrant, such entrant shall be disqualified and the Sponsors shall have the right to select another entrant and the Sponsors shall be released and discharged from any liability or responsibility in this regard. No correspondence will be made except with the selected entrants.

5. General

By entering the Contest, entrants agree to abide by these rules and regulations, and further agree that the decisions of the Sponsors are final. The Sponsors reserve the right at any time without prior notice to withdraw, cancel, terminate, amend, modify or suspend the Contest if for any reason in the opinion of the Sponsors, in their sole discretion, the Contest is not capable of operating as planned or if the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of the Contest is corrupted or adversely affected, including by reason of infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond their control. The Sponsors reserve the right in their sole discretion to disqualify any individual they find to be tampering with the operation of the Contest or to be acting in violation of these rules or otherwise in disruptive manner with respect to the Contest. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY A CONTESTANT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE CONTEST IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, THE SPONSORS RESERVE THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH ENTRANT TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. The Sponsors also reserve the right to cancel this contest at any time because of any printing or other error. The Sponsors do not assume any responsibility for technical malfunctions, human or technical error, seeding or printing errors, lost, delayed or garbled data or transmissions, omission, interruption, deletion, defect or failures of any telephone or computer line or network, computer equipment, software (including on account of traffic congestion on the Internet or at any Web site) or any combination thereof. The Sponsors shall not be liable for any errors or negligence that may arise or occur in connection with the Contest, including any injury or damage to the entrant’s or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participation in or downloading of any materials relating to the Contest. The Sponsors are not liable for injuries, death, damages or losses of any kind resulting from acceptance or use of the Prizes.

6. Privacy and Personal Information

The Sponsors will be collecting data about entrants through the Contest entry process. Any personal information will be handled in accordance with the privacy policy of Lammle’s Western Wear. By entering the Contest each entrant consents to the collection, use and distribution of his/her personal information (information that identifies an entrant as an individual, such as home telephone number, age and home address) by the Sponsors for the purposes of implementing, administering and fulfilling the Contest. The Sponsors will not sell or transmit this information to third parties unless the entrant has specifically consented to same, the Sponsors believe in good faith that it is required by law, to their affiliates (provided that such affiliates and their agents and advisors and their respective employees are restricted from using the information for any other purpose other than as described in these rules and regulations), or to their respective agents for data processing purposes, their respective professional advisors and promotional and marketing agencies (provided that such agents, professional advisors and promotional and marketing agencies are restricted from using the information for any purpose other than as described in these rules and regulations). Any inquiry concerning the personal information held by the Sponsors should be addressed to Lammle’s Western Wear & Tack at 12012 44 Street SE. Calgary, AB T2Z 4A2.

7. Subject to Applicable Laws

This Contest is subject to all applicable federal, provincial and municipal laws and regulations and is void where prohibited.

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!