I don’t design clothes. I design dreams. -Ralph Lauren
It is no secret that I am a seamstress by trade. I even have a diploma to prove it! I came to love the art of sewing in high school and that transformed into pursuing a career in the fashion industry at Kansas State University. I found my calling in making custom western wear from designing and sewing for myself. So in a way I designed my own dreams! As cliché as it sounds it is true! The option to make clothes for rodeo queens isn’t an advertised job description but it is something I found along the way and is a true passion of mine.
In the beginning, art of all sorts was a talent for me. I particularly loved mixed media, painting, and drawing. Through high school I started to think about turning it into a degree but didn’t know in what capacity that would be. Along with my art classes, I started to sew in my Family and Consumer Science classes. This led me to enter my work at art shows and through FCCLA (Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America) competitions. I soon saw that my talents were also liked by others and that is part of the reasons I continued to pursue this dream of an art degree. I had two very influential teachers at this time that truly believed in me and gave me the ability to say, anything is possible! Mrs. Stott and Mrs. Haslouer, if you are reading this, yes, you guessed it. I’m talking about you!
My parents always encouraged me to get a higher education and were very supportive of my decision to enter an arts program. I am very thankful for their backing because I wouldn’t be where I am today without it. It took a couple years for me to come to the conclusion that the western wear industry was where I belonged. Which seems odd right? I still am not sure why I couldn’t see that at first. In the grand scheme of things becoming a rodeo queen is what led me to that realization. I needed certain clothing to wear in pageants so naturally I put my skills to work.
I have been primarily sewing for myself. A handful of masks and hemming curtains has been the main project recently. Not as glamorous as you would think. There are a couple of projects that I have been scheming up that should come to fruition throughout my continued quarantine time in May. A majority of my designing time is put into the mental preparation of creating these garments. Once the whole process has been dreamt up I can get started. This year I am very lucky I have many great designers making clothing for me to wear. It’s been fun to brainstorm with fellow designers because I am used to always having to make my own clothing. It has definitely been a change of pace but something I have really enjoyed!
Rodeo queens can have a big influence in the western wear industry and that is the potential I began to see and continue to see today. I am excited to kick off my business constructing custom pieces with the integrity of never making more than one of any item. This way my consumer always knows they will be getting a one of a kind, authentic, and special piece that is just for them. I have been asked on multiple occasions what inspires me or whose work I look to for ideas. The answer is quite simple and I always lean back on a quote from Audrey Hepburn, “I just do my own thing.” So far it has worked pretty well as I have curated my own style throughout my time as a rodeo queen. Stay tuned this year to see my designs, and other various great designers who are extremely talented as well.
Miss Rodeo USA 2020
Brooke’s Bloopers: My roommate and I have been doing some major tree trimming and in an afternoon we got a whole load on the side by side. We didn’t want our stack to tumble off as we made our way to the burn pile so naturally I volunteered as tribute to sit on the pile as we traveled across the pasture. Only a few seconds into our journey and I realized we were moving and my head was not! A thorn branch from a tree was stuck in my bun on my head. I managed to yell stop just before I was pulled right off the top of the pile. We continued to laugh for minutes after as we both realized what happened. There truly is never a dull moment here on the ranch.
Queens Corner: By running multiple different social media pages for years now I have learned some tricks of the trade. Here are a few pointers to help capture a great social media post. I like to get my picture first and create content around a photo. As we all know, when we are on social media we first look at the photo and if intrigued, we will read the post. By grabbing the attention of your followers with a great photo, you can leave them wanting to read the rest. I love funny or light hearted thoughts at first, the substance of the post in the middle, and wrapping up with a final thought. Through this method I feel I have been able to put more depth into my social media posts. My hope is to leave my followers with the same experience I had by just using my words. Take an extra 10 minutes on constructing a post and it will pay off in the end.
Hello there! Blogging this week is Brooke’s biggest fan, her older but shorter sister, Sierra Wallace. I am here to give you some behind the Queen details and stories from when we were growing up.
I will start with one of the first times Brooke was ever on a horse. She was so content that she fell asleep! Much to my Dad’s dismay the silly horse shook and little Brooke went tumbling off. The only reason she cried is because she wanted back on the horse! We kept it a secret from our mom for months because we were afraid she wouldn’t let us ride.
Growing up there wasn’t a horse toy that we didn’t have. We had horses for our Barbies, our Polly Pockets, My Little Pony horses, and more! Guess what? They all had barns and tack too. I fondly remember Brooke and me divvying up the dolls and their horses to set up massive ranches all over our living room and playing for hours and hours. We each had our favorites and made sure to pick them before the other could.
We also pretended to be horses ourselves. At the fairgrounds in Abilene (the stalls were a perfect spot) or at our house we would both be horses or pretend to train the other. Our gaits were perfected in no time, unless it was a day we were wild mustangs. We even had a sheep, Lambert, who we would show in the yard, pretending that he was a pony. Of course, our friends got roped into playing horse as well. They were always down to horse around with us.
We didn’t just play horse, we rode our horses as much as our parents would let us. Riding horses was an activity that we mainly did with our Dad but our Mom always cheered us on. We grew up riding down the dirt roads around our house and in our arena when it wasn’t too muddy. Riding down the roads provided us with ample opportunities to have trotting races. No cantering was allowed. We also loved trail riding. Brooke is one of the youngest riders to have been on a trail ride at the Maxwell Game Preserve. She took the record away from me!
Living with Brooke was never dull. We never knew what idea she would come up with and want to try next. She once told our Dad there were nights that it was hard for her to fall asleep because there were so many ideas popping around in her head. From a Mountain Dew can dress to a prom dress out of duct tape, her ideas and dreams were always big. She has always reached for the stars in every activity to include volleyball, basketball, track, and FCCLA. She lettered multiple years in each sport, was a three time National gold medalist in FCCLA, and graduated co-valedictorian.
Brooke excelled in horse shows as well. We rode English, Western, ran barrels and other fun races. I can’t even count the awards and buckles my little sister has earned. She never let being the youngest in her age group or being in the same age group as her sister get in the way. Brooke has been the High Point Award winner in every age group to date (sometimes multiple years). This is a feat that we think no one else has accomplished! She has always worked to be the best that she can be.
Throughout her life and with her all her queen titles, I have been so proud of Brooke. However nothing can beat the way I felt the day she was crowned Miss Rodeo USA. As we awaited the results, even my Dad, who is normally cool, calm, and collected, had a sense of anxiousness to him. I was shaking with excitement as each category was called out. After I heard that Brooke had swept the pageant, I knew that she just had to be the winner. I screamed with joy as the announcer called her name and maybe even shed a few proud big sister tears. I am so blessed that Brooke is my sister and my best friend!
There are so many memories I wish I could share with all of you but I think that I will end with some random facts that you may not know about Miss Rodeo USA.
Fun Facts about Brooke: