Some days farm life feels like it’s landed in the pooper. But farmers know how to use poop.

I really love road trips.

Every farm along the roads I travel gets their own story. In thirty seconds I can make up some story about how their house is perfectly decorated in French farmhouse style, their animals come up to be fed at the same time everyday and they always look fat and sassy.

The story I don’t tell myself about these farms is the real one. The heartbreaking, gut wrenching, blood curdling true stories often are not brought to mind. They are however, a common occurrence on every farm. Whether a farmer has one cow or one thousand, they would be counted pretty lucky if they have never had a bad situation occur on their watch. If you miss these seemingly unattractive parts of the stories, you miss what makes it different from any thing else in the world.

Picture this: The cows are out (someone left the gate open) and you and your spouse along with two young children are trying to herd them back onto your property. Finally, after hours of negotiations the cows finally all return to their rightful paddocks. By this time not only have you made a few misread but you may have made a few sentences under your breath or out loud about how worthless and clueless your spouse is. This was not met with a joyous reaction from your spouse (even though they were the one who left the gate open).

In the corporate world not only would you have fired your spouse but you would have told them to pack their things right there on the spot. But not on the farm. Let’s face it, even though they are the source of many headaches, you literally can not survive without them. There is no time for grudges or avoiding the boss. Things have to be done and the farm cannot thrive with out the help of all of the family.

Speaking of family, those pesky kids that dove right when they should have known to step left to cut that cow off? Yeah you are going to need that “free” labor too.

The good news is that all of these less than ideal situations aren’ t going to be the things you, as a farmer, remember most. What you will remember at family dinners years later, is the time dad was so mad that he wasn’t watching where he was going and ran into the light pole. And that time your daughter, after months of you keeping her in line, won showmanship at the county fair.

You see, those situations that are less than ideal, create an attitude of perseverance. They draw the family together to hold each other up. So in the happy moments, they are far higher than they would be alone.

The bad news is, life really sucks some days.

The really awesome news is, somedays are really, really happy. Because of the lessons learned on the farm, farm families will be there to support each other, and they know how to make fertilizer out of crap.

With Love,

Blair

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5 things you should NEVER do to a maker.

A thousand beads of sweat, one hundred hours, fifty Christmas Rush tears, & three drops of blood to create one dream gift.

Look we get it, you want stuff cheap, but do you really want “cheap stuff”?

Here are five things you should NEVER do to a maker if you don’t want them to lose their minds.

1. Message us every three days to change your original order. Hey, we know that you may have a change of heart or get inspired and want something different and we really truly do want you to love your product. If you have to change the original blueprint of the design let us know as soon as possible and please make sure you have made your final decision.

If we have already started creating your item we will do our very best to accommodate your changes, but you should expect that it will either cost you more or you will receive your product as originally planned. We want you to be in love with our creations, we really do, but we do this for a living and that means we have to make money to feed our puppies and our kids (in that order, jk).

2. Ask to return a piece of artwork that you helped design after you have received it. We do our very best to take your words and turn them into a piece of art we can be proud of, whether that be a leather item or a custom t-shirt. You have proofed the basic design and received your completed item and now you don’t want it?

Although some, (not I of course) may be inclined to tell you “tough-titty, kitty”, we won’t and to make sure you don’t go blasting nastiness about us on the internet we will most likely refund your money. However, we would rather make a few changes to the finished product to make you love it and you should give us that opportunity, please.

3. Tag other makers in photos of our products. Yeah sure, we know our designs will ultimately be copied and remade by other people. Yet still, DO NOT tag someone in our photos and say “Can you make this cheaper” or “I can make this for you cheaper”. Trust us, they won’t make it as well as we can.

Please do not use photos of our products to advertise for yourself and PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF TACOS please do not copy our original items and post them as your own original idea. We know our competition and we have probably seen the photo while we were scouting them out before you ever got out of bed this morning.

Nothing makes a maker’s blood boil more than a customer asking us to replicate an item for a cheaper cost. If we wanted to do that, we would have already done it and advertised it as a cheaper version (and more power to those who are willing to do it cheaper). Some of us are the Dollar Tree and some of us are Macy’s, but either way it is still insulting.

4. Message us every day asking when it will be finished. Bud, we know you are excited, and trust me we are too. We make this stuff because it gives us a thrill to see something we finished with our own two hands. We will get your order to you as soon as humanly possible (we are humans with emotions, struggles, and families).

If you are in a rush, let us know that upfront so we can communicate whether or not we can meet that expectation. We want your grandma to get her gift on time too, which is why we need you to be upfront with us.

5. Conceal the fact that you are unhappy. I said all of that other stuff to end with this. Ya’ll are our friends, our family and our livelihood. We want to keep you excited about us so you will purchase more products from us.

If you happen to be unsatisfied, let your maker know why. If you conceal it from us or post a bad rating without allowing us to correct the problem we will all be having a bad day. We want to have good days so let us fix the issue, we will make it right.

Just help us out a little, for every one of these recommendations you break we have ten others doing the same thing. The less stressed we are the more we can get done for you.

But seriously, we love all of our customers and we want them to be lifelong customers.

Until next time, subscribe and share

11 Millennials who created success at NEO A&M College

 

Welcome back! 

If you are wondering where you can get this fabulous crossbody and coffee mug, that would be at the Western Women Co booth on April 29th, in Marshfield, Mo on the square. There are going to be over 80 vendors to shop with, and let’s face it you shouldn’t need to go anywhere else, unless you need a corn dog, I won’t be selling those. 

For more sneak peeks at what will be available, go to my Facebook Here or Insta page Here.

Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. 

Millennials, the word that leaves a nasty taste in my mouth. When spat out by a Baby Boomer, or a Latch Key Kid, the underlying tone can be derogatory and spiteful.

So, today I am going to give my peers a cookie and highlight some of the good ones for you. 

Not only is our generation full of mountain movers and stigma shakers, but we do A LOT of stuff. We make things. We sell services. We are scrappers and antiquers. Many say the word Millennials with a look of distaste on their face. To that I say, look around.  

Look at the junior college I attended in Miami, Oklahoma. If you want to see some young people with some serious work ethic, the graduates of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M (NEO) will show you just that. Anything you need we can provide, from; retail leather shops to leather carving, lipstick to eyelashes, healthy eating to culinary concoctions, and photography to capture it all. Maybe it was the lead in the water, but when I look at my peers I see a network of young entrepreneurs. Those who are working nose to the grindstone to pursue the same dream that Americans have been pursuing for years. Success.

The best part about these young entrepreneurs is that they are willing to help one another. They promote and educate one another in a way that you are not likely to see between associates of older generations. 

Let’s support small business owners and operators, instead of “squashing their blossoms,” let us lift them to the light.

If you need an example of some Millennials who are killing it everyday, visit the links below and see some amazing work done by those lazy kids I always hear being referred to. 

Millennials Making a Mark:


Comment below a link to YOUR favorite small business owned or operated by a Millennial.

Why do you call yourself a cactus?

Definition of Cacti: a succulent plant with a thick, fleshy stem that typically bears spines, lacks leaves, and has brilliantly colored flowers.

In a sea of millennial egg shells, I am more likely to identify with a cactus.

In a world of safe spaces and participation ribbons, I am more likely to end up in an open field chasing show cattle (who caught a wild hair, drug me and then trampled me on it’s way out of the trailer).

So what does any of this have to do with a cactus anyway?

Recently, an immense amount of articles I have come across have been, for lack of a better term, whiney. Following the election there has been an uprising of people who feel it is acceptable, and even admirable, to portray themselves as a victim. Girls complaining about how other women have been mean to them; Men complaining that women are treated differently at work; Women grumbling that men treat them unfairly. I cant stand to see another girl crying on social media about how someone did them wrong. It pains me to see women using their time to wear rediculous hats while walking down the street.

img_0030-3Bears spines, lacks leaves. My dad would call this “thick-skinned.” Where are your “spines” ladies? Cacti lack leaves because they are easy targets for animals to get ahold of and they are prime locations for evaporation of the water that every plant counts on to thrive.  Most of the women I hang around, agree that they do not want to parade their weakness around so that people can latch onto it and steal their joy. Why are we allowing animals to rip our dignity from us? It’s time to lose those leaves and get some spines. Instead of crying about how we are mistreated it’s time to strengthen our defense. Athought some may not agree, I am not empowered by weakness. I am liberated by strength. You want more pay for your work? Be the best, chase that promotion, put in the extra time and effort. You want women to treat you with more respect? Be an example, extend kindness to someone you may have overlooked before. It’s time to make attacking you an action that in turn injures the one who is attacking. Make them wish they had treated you differently because of the beautiful human you have come to be.  If there is one thing I know, it is that writing on Facebook everyday about how someone has mistreated you will not change your situation. In fact it may make you a bigger target to people who will view you as weak. Instead, get out and learn something, try harder and dream bigger. Your blessings are your defense.

Succulent; tender. Do not misinterpret this article as an encouragement to be cold. Women were created to be tender hearted.  God made us in such a way that we would be caretakers and empathizers. Hard hearted women will rarely make a positive difference in the world.  It may be difficult for us to reveal our soft spots to people who may leave a scar, but scars build character and I have never seen a Saguaro that didn’t have a few. I once cherished a quote that said “What is bad for your heart is good for your art.” Looking back I realize now that nothing is “Bad for your heart,” every situation we are put in makes our hearts stronger and that is what is truly good for art.

Finally, brilliantly colored flowers: This is the art, the passion, the talents. Every year all parts of a cactus work together to produce a flower. If the flower fails to bloom what is the purpose of the survival of that cactus? What are we without our passions, our hobbies, our callings? Every person has their thing that they are meant to contribute to the work of the Lord. Whether you sing, talk pictures, make things or are outgoing, use that talent! Nothing is more disheartening than seeing a lone cactus fail to bloom in a sea of flowering cacti.

Love,  Your Cactus.

Turquoise Slab Buckles

To start out my first post on my new platform I wanted to start with something trending yet simple. To get started I do need to point out that I did not start this trend nor come up with the idea. I simply took an existing idea, tweaked it to be more affordable and remade it into my own just like most trends begin. If you come to my etsy page looking for a Redford Ranch buckle replica for the Western Women price you won’t find it. These buckles are made from turquoise colored Howlite stones which are affixed to a metal buckle which can be snapped onto any belt of your choosing.

For those of you hunting for Valentine’s Day presents for your sweetie these make a great one! Pair it with a turquoise howlite slab bolo and your girl will be ready to hit the town on the Day of Love!

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Click here to order

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