Western & English Today

Fall 2016

W&E Today provides retailers and manufacturers with education and ideas that provoke innovation in the Western and English markets.

Issue link: https://wetoday.epubxp.com/i/715707

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Page 13 of 43

12 Western & English Today FALL 2016 RAQUEL LYNN HORSES & HEELS R aised on a dairy farm, Ra- quel Lynn grew up riding and barrel racing. Her blog, Horses & Heels, started out as a "pastime," a place to feature things she was obsessing over, that she jokes only her mother and close friends would read. at pastime has grown into a full-time business — one that covers everything from horses and cowboy boots to cuisine and do-it-yourself projects. Raquel says her online pres- ence was amplified by Facebook, with the roots of her blog growing before Instagram was especially popular (though she's active there now, too). As a result, Raquel says her audience is an older demo- graphic, typically women in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. It's not unusual for her readers to send her emails and stay in touch through her mailing list. Raquel credits much of her blog's success with her weekly email newsletter. Raquel tries to stick to an editorial calendar that features different topics on dif- ferent days, explaining it's important not to get stuck in a rut. Her blog features a wide range of brands, but the ones she puts on repeat, she says, are those with affiliate programs, beneficial on both sides to the blogger and company. A tip for Western industry blog- gers, she says, is to look into high fashion for on- line image inspiration. Raquel's own style is a laidback mix of West- ern, equestrian, and bo- hemian, especially now that she calls Los An- geles home. Never fear, however; she's saved all of her old riding clothes and incorporates them into daily outfits. www. horsesandheels.com ASHLEY CLINE EQUESTRIAN STYLIST A shley Cline's childhood was spent splitting time between the hunter-jump- er show rings of Florida and summers in the Colorado Rockies. So you may notice traces of Western culture in her primarily English riding and classic East Coast wardrobe. In college, Ashley majored in fashion merchandising and stud- ied abroad in Europe. She was all set to join the corporate fashion world as a buyer aer graduation, but when the economy took a dive, the horse lover decided New York City felt too claustrophobic. Instead, Ashley went back to school to get her MBA. Choosing the southern-charmed city of Charleston, South Carolina, as home base, she set out looking for a creative way to keep her two loves of fashion and horses alive. Soon, Equestrian Stylist was born. Ashley started her blog on Blogger right as social media was really taking off. She then moved hosts to Tumblr, then WordPress three years ago. By focusing on her passion, finding her niche, and tuning in to digital trends, Ashley created a strong online presence, and she credits Europe as being a forerunner in utilizing bloggers as assets in a brand's publicity efforts. Many of her early equestrian business relation- ships came from the United Kingdom. Now, she and her team cover fashion, equestrian events, home décor, and more. Searching hashtags on Instagram is a good way to stay on top of trends, she says, citing that with her blog, she tries to ed- ucate other equestrians on both everyday fashions and looks for special events, such as the Kentucky Derby or Grand Prix. "If I love something, I want to make sure everybody knows about it," she says with a laugh, then adds that it's imperative to tag the brands' online so- cial media channels in content and offer readers a clear method of finding the products she features. "People want to buy it. If no one can find it, it gets lost." www.equestrianstylist.com Taylor became obsessed, in particular, with cowboy boots. She now has more than 20 pairs and a strong belief that you don't have to be rodeo-bound for your outfit to include a cute pair of boots. Describing her own style as having a "boho- gypsy- Western" vibe, Taylor likes finding state- ment pieces that are unique and trendy without being too flashy and over-the-top. She prefers boutiques and makes a point to find local ones to shop in all of the various cities she travels. But she also loves that Instagram has brought faraway boutique shop- ping right to our fingertips. Now based in Utah, Taylor majored in communications in college and started her blog as a hobby. It's been like "an experiment," she says, but the venture has no doubt grown because Taylor aims to stay re- latable and communicative to her readers and interact with like-minded fashionistas online. She also uses her voice to reduce the stigma about mental health and promote self-care, anxiety awareness and self-confidence in others. "You can just expect a really real girl. Whether it's an outfit I've posted or me talking about my struggles with anxiety or self-confidence, anyone that sends me an email, I love talking to them," she says. "at's what I really want people to expect when they come to the website just, 'is is a completely normal girl who decided to start a blog.' " www.countryhipster.com GO-TO ACCESSORY Turquoise Squash Blossoms BOOTS Belinda, by Old Gringo LIFE(STYLE) ICON Carrie Underwood #COUNTRYHIPSTER GO-TO ACCESSORY Hat and boots to pair with a cotton dress BOOTS Rios of Mercedes or any "shorty" ankle boot in the summer LIFE(STYLE) ICON Vogue #HORSESANDHEELS GO-TO ACCESSORY "I actually feel naked with- out my watch. I just think it's so important to be on time with everything, but it's also a fun accessory. I think everybody should have a classic timeless watch." And Christine A. Moore hats. BOOTS Dubarry casual boots and Ariat Quantum Crowne Pro schooling boots LIFE(STYLE) ICON Lilly Pulitzer, Ralph Lauren #EQUESTRIANSTYLIST

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