Rustic Nation Outfitters

This time I talk with Candace Larson who owns Rustic Nation Outfitters. I’ve known Candace for several years now through social media. She’s the real deal in that she doesn’t give up and she has a huge heart and that translates to her business.

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Tell us how the company got started, how long you’ve been in business?

Back in 2015 I signed up as a distributor for a rustic shop while sitting at hotel in Savanna Georgia, while waiting for my daughter to get ready for her college freshmen orientation. It was free to join and I thought, “hey, I could make extra money selling clothes and help pay for the hefty tuition bill that was about ready to roll in.”

Within a few months I had a team of six women under me and was collecting cash on their sales as well. As I started to expand with my marketing and networking reach my sales volume was continually rising….when suddenly I hit a massive hurtle of returns, complaints, random price increases, and other issues; all of which I had no control over.  I quickly realized that the corporate business was in trouble and I had a decision to make. I either had to jump ship or build my own; one that I could control.

Without thought I closed down Sassy’s Rustic and applied for my wholesale license. Within four months I had numerous vendors, a new website, and the new name of, “Rustic Nation Outfitters.

BLACK SHORTS PLUS

 

What is your mission statement or goal, and philosophy behind the company?

 

Mission Statement/Goal: Affordable Pricing for everyone!

This is why our plus sizes will NEVER be a different price than non-plus. We would rather lose the difference on our side, even though we paid a tad more at wholesale. Why? Because how can we say we are treating you like family and yet charge you more for having curves?!? We are wanting to break the double standards that the fashion industry has set. While we understand that plus sizes uses more fabric, it still doesn’t sit well with us that stores charge significantly more for plus size, because they are making more than enough for their non-plus sizes to off set the difference. For example….sometimes we pay $2-4 more at wholesale per piece, but we will not pass that on to the buyer because we make it up in other places. Now some would say this is a horrible business decision but it goes against our philosophy. Plus, when God tells you do something, then you do it and you don’t ask questions.

Western wear is expensive and not everyone has the deep pockets to stay up with the costly trends. Our goal is to change that! Now while we can’t mark everything below retail, you can bet your sassy donkey we marked it as low as we could. We are committed to providing the highest quality at the lowest prices we can, while staying in business.

It’s funny how I started this business to make extra money but now God is using it to help people afford clothing that they otherwise couldn’t, so needless to say, making a large profit is no longer my motivation, or reasoning, or goal to stay in business.

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Philosophy 

Treat all customers like family….why, because it is a proven fact that family gets the VIP treatment. It’s natural for our subconscious to go above and beyond for family members or people we care about over strangers.

This is why we take the time to truly get to know our social media followers. As a matter of fact, when someone follows us, we send them a personal message welcoming them to the family and we ensure we know their real name; and not just their social media one. IG is where we connect the most because the platform allows us to like, comment, and engage with our followers better than other social media sites.

This is why we are able to take the extra steps to ensure that we engage with at least two different followers a day by liking their posts and or commenting, if their profile is in public view. This practice has helped us keep our returns down to Zero for the last six months; because now we recognize when someone, accidentally or unknowingly, orders the wrong size. Had we not of taken the taken the time to connect and learn more about our customers, then we would have never been able to  recognize a buyers name and know when the size ordered is wrong. In cases like this, we pause the fulfillment process and reach out to the buyer and start a dialogue  to ensure we send the right product the fist time.

In closing, every item we send out is prayed over, wrapped like a gift, and includes a personal handwritten thank you note that welcomes them to the RNO Family; some also include scriptures, encouragement, and or etc. All of our packages are hand addressed because it feels more personal. I know at some point we won’t be able to keep up with this practice, as our daily sales continue to grow, but for now it’s about every little detail to let the RNO Family member know we truly care.

We also pray for our RNO Family members daily and for those who have utilized our anonymous prayer request tab on the website.

SKULL

 

What types of clothing do you carry?

 

We have it all really. We have Traditional Western, Boho Chic, Gypsy, Rodeo Wear, and Farm Style.

 

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What are some of your favorite plus size pieces for riding and why? 

 

Hands down it would be our Bullet Blues Bombshell Jeans. They are made in the USA which means they will last. Most jeans nowadays are extremely thin and wear in the seat rather quickly. One of our Ambassadors, has worn hers for over a year at dang near every barrel race and they have yet to breakdown in the seat or inner thigh which are the two hot spots for can chasers. They are durable and yet giving in the places that a rider would need.

Also, can I please disclose that I absolutely HATE the term plus size??? I don’t understand why the industry is separating women into categories! Women are beautiful and we come in all shapes and sizes. I have battled using this term on our website but have found that it is necessary because otherwise our products wouldn’t be found in any google searches. However, I want it on record that I despise it!

Do your plus size clothes run smaller or larger?

This is a loaded question because every brand of clothing runs differently, which is something we are trying to change. Any item not manufactured in the USA will be a hit or miss, which is why we try our best to only buy USA made products. Which takes us back to the price war lol. Anything made over seas is cheaper wholesale and yet sold at high market prices….which is nuts!

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What new items are you looking at carrying? 

We are really excited to have Kimes Ranch Apparel soon! We landed an account awhile back but couldn’t find a way to resale their gear at reasonable prices, until now.

We are doing our best to get Grace In La, however, we have to buy a full run which is about 4K out of pocket! The only way we can make this worth the risk is to sale them  at market value and even then nothing is guaranteed.

We are talking to a designer in LA right now who is apart of the LA Fashion District. If things go according to plan then we might have an exclusive jean made in LA that is targeted to riders of all sizes and under $60 a pair retail!

We also are treasure hunting for new jewelry designers. Our inventory is low right now for a reason. We don’t want to buy everything that is trendy anymore, we want to be the shop where you can get a piece that is unique and yet fashionably acceptable, if that makes sense. This is why we have the Consignment Barn Of Handmade and one of a kind pieces. I think women want jewelry that no one else has and yet they want to pay responsible prices for said unique pieces. We are doing our best make that happen.

We are also going to start looking for models to represent our clothing brand/style in sizes 14 on up. This is a little ways in the future, but it is something we are starting to prepare for now.

CHERYL

Brand Ambassador & Rodeo fan Cheryl

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Original Cowgirl Clothing

I have had some requests to do a series on plus size clothing for riders. This time I talk with Mike Satterfield of Original Cowgirl Clothing brand. 

My name is Mike Satterfield I am the creative director for RBR Inc. and designer for Original Cowgirl® and M&P Speed Shop™ and have worked in design and marketing my entire life. We are based in Southern California, with a showroom in Denver, Colorado.

How did the company get started & how long have you been in business?

Original Cowgirl® as a brand grew out of my family history, the concept was based on my Great Grandmother, my Grandma, my mother and aunts. Our parent company RBR Inc. which stands for Red Barn Ranch was founded in 1985 by my mother, Kathy Satterfield, back then it was more focused on home décor. In the early 2000’s I introduced our first clothing items and they proved popular locally. The brand really took on its own in 2007 and we shifted our focus to wholesale, with an emphases on independent retailers.

What is your company philosophy and goal for the company?

Original Cowgirl® is not your average apparel company, nowadays; anyone can have a t-shirt or garment made, but unlike most brands, each Original Cowgirl® shirt is hand prepped, loaded, printed, finished, and tagged, by us, right here in  Southern, California. Our design studio is in a 110 year old barn on the family ranch, that allows the creative process to be inspired by the surrounding ranches and farms. We draw from our heritage and strive to channel the history and passion that built the Ranch into each garment.

What types of clothing do you carry?

We are known for our graphic t-shirts and caps, but we also have a great line of accessories and jewelry.

What are some of your favorite pieces, and why?

That is hard because as the person to does the art each one tells a story and is based on a real person, place, or event. I think the road trip inspired graphics are some of my favorite since I am an avid traveler.

Do you plus size clothes run smaller or larger?

It will depend on the cut and style of course, but we try to keep everything true to size and on our retail site we have sizing charts. Some of our dolman cuts allow women to go up or down a size depend on the style they want. Our clearly listed size charts keep returns to a minimum.

What new items are you looking at carrying?

We come out with new prints and styles every month, so it’s always changing. But we expect to expand in to more outerwear and other garments down the road.

 

What stores carry your brand? 

We have retailers all around the country including Lil Bees BohemianCamo and Lace in Wilburton OK,  Maverick in Fort Worth Texas, and countless others around the country. Of course you can always shop at OriginalCowgirlClothingCo.com.

Plus Size Options? 

Are you a company that offers Plus Size clothing and boots for riders? 

Breeches from Fuller Fillies

I’ve had several requests to do a series on clothing and boots for plus size riders. If you carry riding and working attire in plus sizes, give me a shout! I’m looking to interview companies that carry english or western options as our readers come from all disciplines. 

Plus size jeans from Kimes Jeans


Each vendor that participates in the blog series will be featured in an individual post that talks about their company and the products they have to offer. The post will include a full interview, pictures of the items you have to offer, and two profile pics. The post will be shared on the Cowgirls With Curves facebook page, and Twitter page, as well as my author pages on social media. 

If you have clothers for actually working in the barn, that’s a bigger plus – no pun intended! 

Drop me an email at qheventer (at) yahoo dot com to get started. 

Find YOUR Journey

I always try to give a shoutout to those folks that I believe have something special. Zakk Tompkins, owner of On The Edge rodeo apparel is one of those folks. I recently interviewed Zakk for my author blog, Talking In The Barn, and I was quite surprised at how open he was about his struggle with depression. I really believe this young man has a big purpose in life to help others and be a voice that’s not often heard but is all to real. If you get a chance, please check out the interview and his blog, Be Remembered Be Bold.

Cowgirls are known for blazing their own trail but sometimes when it comes to our daily lives we have a tendency to think we should follow the crowd, or listen to the conventional wisdom at the time. If you don’t believe that, just visit a barrel racing forum the first three months of the year – there’s a least two posts a week asking what the best diet or diet supplement is, or what the best exercise is to lose weight. Most of the times, those posts receive more responses than the actual horse posts that the sites are designed for in the first place – that says volumes about our head space!

We’re told by physicians, fitness gurus, and supplement companies what we should be eating and how we should be working out. Yet at the same time it’s interesting that they all often contradict each other, and even more interesting is the fact that recommendations are constantly changing. It’s somewhat reminiscent of the drugs that were originally touted to be harmless and then later have a warning label of horrible side effects.

A few years back, like the majority of women in their 30-40’s, I was on a common low-grade anti-depressant for a few years. I wasn’t sleeping well, I was tired, and basically had some depression. I work in the health care field but am holistic thinking by nature. I wasn’t too keen on taking medication but I had to do something and there were no alternatives. The doctors just said I needed to exercise more  – I was already getting an hour’s worth of barn chores in the morning.

One New Year I started off with a bang to get in shape. I joined the gym and went on a diet that included veggies, lean protein, and low-fat dairy – I ate a lot of greek yogurt.

Not long after I started the diet, I developed bronchitis along with a sinus infection. Even with antibiotics and enough Mucinex to kill a horse, I just could not get any better. I was sick for at least two months.

I knew dairy could cause thicker mucous and sinus issues. I also knew that most physicians will tell you that’s hogwash but since everything else had failed to work, I decided to try eliminating dairy. A week later, I was already feeling much better and the bronchitis was gone.

That’s when I first decided to cut back on dairy, against conventional medical wisdom as it supplies calcium and vitamin D. Since making that change, I’ve not had the sinus problems that I’ve had before. Any time I do have sinus trouble, it’s always after I’ve gone on a cheese and ice cream binge!

Around this period of time, I developed a bump and then a sore on my face that wouldn’t go away for over a year. A biopsy and blood work showed inflammation but that was it – the doctor was stumped. After doing some research, I asked my physician about Lupus. Based on the biopsy, blood work, and some joint pain that I was having he said that was a possibility and sent me to a rheumatoid specialist who promptly offered medication as the only solution. The medication made me feel like I had the flu, not to mention it had some horrendous long-term side effects.

Not having any alternatives to the medication, I started doing my own research. One of the things that I found was that the anti-depressant I was on could cause inflammation and auto-immune type symptoms. I also learned that certain foods like gluten and dairy could do the same. Armed with that information, I started on a journey of experimentation to see how my body would react.

Long story short, after going off all the medication, and cutting way back on gluten and dairy, the place on my face went away. By experimentation and paying close attention to how my body reacts to food, I learned that dairy and gluten both affect my breathing, cause joint pain, and causes my skin to develop inflamed bumps.

Did you know tomatoes can cause heart burn & cause Rosacea to flare up?

Did you know tomatoes can cause heart burn & cause Rosacea to flare up?

The ironic thing is that foods that the health industry tell you to eat (whole wheat, non-fat dairy) make me sick. The other irony is that conventional medicine had missed that fact.

I tell you this long story to say this —  don’t be afraid to find your own journey when it comes to food and exercise.

In finding your journey when it comes to nutrition and exercise, there’s a few things to consider.

  • How does you body react to certain foods? Start paying attention to even the very small changes that you see in your body and your thinking when you eat certain foods. Sometimes the changes are extremely small and aren’t noticeable until you start keeping track.
  • What nutrition packed foods do you truly love that also makes you feel better? If you can’t enjoy the food you’re eating, you’re not going to be able to keep up that way of eating for long. Face it – we love to eat! Find foods that bring you joy that are also packed with nutrition. For instance, I absolutely love mushrooms and red bell peppers. Instead of always eating bland salads that I don’t enjoy, I’ll brown some mushrooms and peppers in garlic and olive oil… I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!
  • What does the bigger picture look like? Finding happiness in life is all about balance. If you feel like your food or exercise is taking a toll on other important areas of your life then it’s time to re-evaluate. It’s ok to compromise and adjust if you have to – it’s YOUR journey, not someone else’s so don’t compare and don’t feel guilty if you’re not putting a million hours into running on the treadmill!
  • What type of exercise do you enjoy? The more you truly enjoy an activity the more likely you’ll continue doing it. If you don’t enjoy any other form of exercise other than riding, then ride! You can always bump it up and make it more challenging by riding bareback, cantering for longer periods of time, or staying in two point. At least do something and make sure it’s something you enjoy.

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I spent a lot of years listening to the “experts” and it got me nowhere. Just because the medical and fitness experts say you should eat a certain food, take a certain supplement. or work out a certain way doesn’t mean that it will work for YOU. We are all different and you can’t compare. What works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another. In the end, this is your life and your journey and you only get to take one ride!