Networking collaborations are a lot of fun because you can bounce ideas back and forth between creative minds, and come up with something magical!
I had wanted to do a fashion shoot that would promote a boutique and also showcase another talented photographer in Alberta, and that is exactly what we did.
B&B Boutique in Olds, Alberta is one of the most shopped at boutiques Alberta has to offer. They have been keeping Canadians of the west in the loop of western fashion since the spring of 2013, and are known for their urban vogue with country vintage flare for the women who are looking for quality, vintage, chic clothes at an affordable cost.
That is what I like best about B&B, they’ve managed to keep the prices reasonable, even while bringing clothing up from the States with our dollar being poor. By doing this, they’re helping us barrel racers on a budget stay trendy at the rodeo cabarets, and in every day life.
B&B has everything from basic pieces that are perfect for layering, to something that’ll make you feel a little fancier and add a little pep in your step. Head over to the website to see ALL the new Spring outfits! (link below)
Tara McKenzie is a photographer from Rocky Mountain House whose passion for photography turned into a full time job in 2010. McKenzie specializes in equine photography and all things that focus on the Western lifestyle. I first met Tara at the Grit, Glamour & Goals Event in the fall of 2016 in Red Deer, Alberta as she was our event photographer. After receiving the photos back from the event, and going through her portfolio online, I was drawn to her photography style, and knew I wanted to do a shoot with her in the future.
I told the Charlsey and Tara I wanted to go in the opposite direction of the barnyard or mountain shoot (which I love, don’t get me wrong) to try something different. After calling around, we were able to find the perfect setting.
The Hotel Arts is one of the finest hotels I have stepped foot in, and is located in the middle of downtown Calgary, Alberta, just minutes from the Calgary Stampede grounds. The stone walls and art around the hotel give it a western vibe, and you can’t help but feel like Sam Elliot might be around the corner for a Cowboys & Indians Magazine photoshoot. If you’re coming from out of town to visit Calgary, be sure to check their availability on rooms, or at least stop by for brunch at the Yellow Door Bistro, or dinner at The Raw Bar.
Lipstick & Cowboy Boots would like to give one lucky lady $100 towards a photo session with the fabulous Tara McKenzie. To qualify you must:
– Like the Lipstick & Cowboy Boots Facebook Page as well as Tara Mckenzie Fotos Page
– Like this post on Facebook
– Share this post on Facebook
– Tag a friend in the original post and comment DONE!
Just over a year and a half ago I interviewed Paige Callaway. We talked about Pursue Victory, what inspires her, and our favorite lipsticks. I decided to do a follow up as exciting things are unfolding in the later half of 2016 for Paige.
New Pursue Victory Collection – Released Summer 2016
“Pursue Victory is created for functionality and having that as the priority of the garment, it can be somewhat limiting to a creative brain like mine. So when the creative designer side of me gets involved it seems limited. I have always loved a proper style and I saw a lot of it when I was in London a few years back. That block style of solid arms and collar with the pattern bodice has a very UK vibe in my opinion. I think it’s also very translatable to fashion here. I think it is classy and lady like to have a collar cuff shirt buttoned up with a nice necklace, or pearls. A majority of the inspiration comes from that.”
Word on the street is you’re collaborating with C5 Rodeo?
“This new line called C5 Brand is a really unique concept. I am working with C5 Rodeo, which conveniently means I work with one of my favourite people, Gillian Sheilds. We relay important information up to Vern and I often ask Tyson questions pertaining to the stock. The whole C5 crew is a great bunch of people. We are also working with an artist in Calgary on some exclusive artwork.”
How did this fab collab come about!?
“I honestly don’t remember its original starting point. When Gillian and I get together, we feed off each other coming up with some pretty out of the box ideas for the world! I think we kicked it around a few times and talked about how cool these horses were. We discussed the opportunity for them to have more recognition for their ability and become house hold names and have their own cheering section! They have amazing athletic ability, they travel all over North America and lots of a list of accomplishments just like any other athlete. They wear the C5 Brand and this is an opportunity to people to become fans of the bucking horses and wear C5 brand as well. Just the people wear t shirts, and the horses, well obviously!”
What will be available for purchase?
“We are initially launching t shirts and caps. The t shirts will feature three of C5’s horses; Virgil, Make Up Face and Rockstar. They are some pretty awesome animals and also all of them are grey. So it makes for a pretty rad squad to kick things off. We will have a t shirt style for each of these three horses featuring custom artwork from a Calgary artist. We worked to play on their names and personalities so people know what they are like. Horses have as much personality as people and I think its cool learning about these horses. That’s what we will start with and then from there who knows, I would love to do something with jean jackets and Pendleton maybe . . ”
When will the line be available?
“The plan was to launch Oct 1st, but I think with the Cinch finals starting the 30th, we will be pushing to launch it then! We will have the clothing initially for sale on social media and will quickly be moving onto the C5 website for sales!”
I keep seeing #Paige1912. Spill the deets!
“I wish lived during the old west days and rodeoed back at the turn of the century. My great grandpa competed in the first Calgary Stampede in 1912 and that was the start to such a monumental event. In those days the ladies trick rode and rode broncs, and often were as tough or tougher then the men competing. Going through couturier school I became fond of the proper tailored look found a lot in London. Not only do I love the style of proper suits and tailoring for both men and ladies, I respect the work involved in them. In 1912, Coco Chanel opened her first shop. It was the first year someone wore her “little black dress” and also the first year her millinery (hat) business started to grow. As much as Chanel has become a current fashion icon, she was a catalyst in woman fashion being designed for function, not just looks. I am not sure if I would have rather been in London, or in Calgary in 1912, but what a time to be alive!
The vision of the brand in the most simplistic form is what my closet would have looked like if I was here in 1912. Its the old west and proper London style tailoring come together for a modern look.
Paige 1912 is a cool line, and its coming in different phases. I am working with Paige Leather, who’s style already fits so well with the line of clothing. She does purses, belts and other leather accessories. Paige is great to work with and a go getter! I like that. I am working with Smithbilt Hats on a fashion hat line which is fun and exciting. Smithbilt is such a reputable company it is very cool to be collaborating with them. I am also putting together a line of jewelry and fortunate to have a good friend, Rachel Clark, who is working with me. Rachel has great style, something I have always admired and raided her closet for. She also works closely with a factory in Mexico and has knowledge in leather and this type of production. The jewelry line will be pretty unique working with different aspects of what this factory can do and where our imaginations lead. There is another one or two potentials I will collaborate with, but this is all I can disclose right now.”
When can we expect this line to be out for purchase? Take my money.
“The line Paige 1912 is going to come in two phases. The first phase will be in Vegas during the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. We will have have an array of neck rag tops and kimonos, more casual long sleeve tops, Pursue Victory shirts for both ladies and men. Paige Albrecht of Paige Leather will bring her hand made beautiful belts, purses, wallets and some awesome fringe clutches. Paige has a great eye for style and has some new designs of purses she is working on. Smithbilt will bring the Paige 1912 line of fashion hats in addition to some one of a kind hats. There will also be the Paige 1912 jewelry line available. So it will be a great array of fashion for everyone at a variety of price points. I am pushing things to release some jewelry before we go to Vegas. It would be nice to give everyone a sneak peak of whats coming.
The second phase of the brand will come next summer. We are planning an event in the Calgary area that will feature the launch of the whole clothing line in a fashion show, followed by a bronc riding and a concert. That I would say, will showcase a much more expanded line in terms of clothing. In other words, I have a lot of sewing to do!”
The other important thing I like about Paige 1912, is we are working with artisans, skilled people who have mastered their trade, whether it be leather crafting, or millinery (hat making), I think its important to showcase talent and with that comes quality. Its also pretty neat that, other then the jewelry, everything is made in Canada. Not many brands can say that!”
A booth in Vegas is pretty awesome! What can we expect in Vegas?
“We will be at Mandalay Bay this year, and yes, odds are we will have champagne at the booth! I am putting together some other cool things for the booth like autograph signings and a sale on Canada Day. We have lots of Canadians heading down for the finals this year, which is so awesome! So it would be nice to highlight that talent along with the Canadian talent in the booth! Come by and see us! I like to have fun, so I am sure there will rarely be a dull moment around the booth!”
So much has happened in a short amount of time. What are your goals for each of these ventures moving forward?
“I have recently been working through my strategy plan for Pursue Victory and a lot of marketing documents for Paige 1912 and C5 Brand. It has really had me thinking about where things are going with them and also, what I am doing. Each of the brands has a unique path of their own and fortunately they meld together in some aspects as well.
C5 Brand is such a cool project. Its really taking things to the next level for marketing and gaining awareness of the bucking stock. I think its a very forward move, and I respect Vern for giving Gillian and I the go ahead on this. The goals with C5 Brand are of promote these animals like the professional athletes they are. I have quantitative goals set for the brand through out the initial phases, as one does when launching something. At the end of the day if a kid watching the rodeo hears Virgils name and gets excited to watch this horse buck, I would say mission accomplished!
With Pursue Victory lots of it has been systemizing the business to run more efficiently and run with less involvement. I am working on a subscription portion of the company, something not new to the shirt business but potentially new to the western world. I figure there is about 20% left till this company is a smooth running machine! I look forward to that day and hope by the start of January that is the case!
Paige 1912 has so many moving parts, its almost like launching multiple brands. I have a real skill for deciding to do things to the max. Somedays it benefits me other days it induces stress. There will be a lot of hustle for the next couple months to get ready for Vegas. I have sewing to do in addition to marketing, booth set up, working with Smithbilt and working with Rachel and the factory. There is no doubt it will be lots of work, but I love that type of work. I have a time line of things to accomplish to make sure I am prepped and ready for that ten day Vegas marathon, both physically and mentally!
On a personal level, while working to prepare Paige 1912 for Vegas, launch C5 Brand and systemize Pursue Victory, my big picture is to work with awesome people to make great clothes. Hopefully along the way I make time for myself and keep my sanity! Its a balancing act for sure. Between my day timer and my lists things are manageable. Honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way! I thrive on doing this many things and working on deadlines. Maybe I will think different December 11th!! The only thing I cant juggle into my day timer is the arrival of my nephew. He is expected to come around the end of November, which leaves me a tight window between Agribition and NFR to meet him! So I hope the stars align for that!”
I am a social media addict. Big surprise, right? So along with seeing what everyone is up to, I enjoy some online shopping. Instagram is FULL of little boutiques with fun and outgoing pieces I would love to have in my closet.. Except shipping ends up costing a lot, or they don’t ship to Canada at all. Plus right now, the Canadian dollar sucks!!
Example – Earlier this spring, I was on one of these American Instagram accounts and saw the Pink Pewter headbands. I love headbands. I found one I HAD to have.. OK, its only $45USD thats no biggie.. it looks handmade, and to be really great quality, I’ll add it to my shopping cart.. Oh! Oh my.. shipping for it is $30.. hmm.. YOLO (does anyone say that anymore?) Check out my Visa bill, and I spent around $90 on that sunofagun!
So with that being said, anytime there is a local boutique to shop at, with similar items to the southern shops, I am all over it! Shelby Bochon-Duffy & Shelby Masse decided they wanted to bring the southern boutiques to central Alberta. While Bochon-Duffy attended Farrier School in Montana, she couldn’t stop buying and having it shipped to her dorm room. Meanwhile back at home, Miss Masse was working for one of our local more mainstream western stores, and ended up helping out with some of the buying for the store. They both knew that locally, not many stores kept up with the current trends other than the western brand-name lines.. They took a chance wondering if there was a market for it here, and they started Belle Starr Boutique.
Their boutique carries winter & regular headbands, scarves, tank tops, long sleeve shirts with aztec elbows, patterned dresses, aztec patterned cardigans & vests, ponchos, palazzo pants, leggings, shorter skirts, and some plus size tops and palazzo pants, all at affordable prices.
They also decided to carry TMT Enterprises local handmade jewelry, and as well as Rope Hard brand hats and jackets. They are the Canadian distributors.
The girls have future plans of making their business a full time gig, by having a storefront in Tofield Alberta, and hoping to be mobile in the next little while.
The 41st Canadian Finals Rodeo will be the Grand Opening of Belle Star Boutique, so be sure to track down booth G128!
I am all for trying new things, whether it be bright pink lipstick, or just an outgoing outfit that make people take a second glance, but the Boot Rugs are something else. I am kind of on the fence about them… Mind you, I was the exact same way when BB Simon bling belts came out, when square toe boots became popular, or more recently, with the palazzo pants were making their way into our closets.. I will admit, I did end up with all three.
Boot Rugs have been out since the Fall of 2012, but I did not notice them until late 2013. Now here we are, Fall of 2014 and they are still not a big thing in Canada. YET!
What are the point of Boot Rugs you may ask? They are a boot accessory, and quite the statement piece. If I saw anyone in Canada wearing them, I would probably ask where they got them, what made them want to get them, and if they’re keeping their calves warm during the cold snap.. Who am I kidding, I will probably have a pair by the CFR but most likely for the NFR. Why not! I like to stand out and make a statement. I need a pair in my life!!
Now youre thinking, OK Cass, what do these things look like? What do you wear them with? WELL! All pictures I have found, the girls are wearing snip toe boots with the Rugs. Tends to make it look a bit more feminine. They are also either wearing dresses/skirts, leggings or skinny jeans. Regular jeans with any flare in the leg just wouldnt work the same. They would be too bulky at the top of the Rugs. If you are going to purchase a pair of Boot Rugs, I suggest buying something that will go with whatever you have for boots. My Gringos are already loud enough on their own, so I would find something that wouldnt take away from them too much (near impossible with the Rug, I know I know) maybe a more neutral pair.. Honestly, I could see myself buying a fluffy angora-style set.. Dont judge!
Santa Angela Collection from www.bootrugs.com
High Chaparral Boot Rug www.bootrugs.com My Favorite Pair!!
You can find Boot Rugs online for anywhere between $100-$500USD. I am sure there are more expensive ones out there. They come in many patterns, colors, and textiles. I have found Tibetan lamb-wool, Cowhide, fringe, and hand-loomed fabric made in Guatemala.
Bar T Boutique http://bartboutique.storenvy.com
Geronimo Boot Rug
www.bootrugs.com in the Fall 2012 edition of Cowgirl Magazine
Do I think these will be flying off the shelves in Canada any time soon? No. I do think you may see a pair here and there. But they’re not going to be the next big thing, at least not right away. We tend to take the longest to catch on to any new styles. Perhaps by the 2015 CFR you will see more of them. Am I a fashion expert, heck no, so I could very well be wrong, but I am yet to find a Canadian girl rocking them! If you are interested in purchasing a pair, may I suggest checking out www.bootrugs.com !
If you’re ahead of the game, and already own a pair, leave a comment and let me know what you think! 🙂