We’ve been so lucky to be a part of an industry where we’ve met so many strong western women. Stick Your Neck Out Stories is a series showcasing women in the western industry that have really gone for it, taken risks, stuck their neck out, and embody everything Fringe Scarves is all about.
How did you get your start in television?
In college I interned at a television station and immediately fell in love with it. When my internship was over I discovered my key card still let me in the door so I just kept showing up. Eventually they hired me. I like to joke that I landed my first job in television because I just kept showing up.
For the first ten years or so of my career I didn't advocate or even talk much about the western industry. Agents and managers in the business told me if executives knew I was a cowgirl I wouldn't be taken seriously in major markets like New York or Los Angeles. It took over a decade, but eventually I started telling stories directly affecting Rural America that the mainstream media wasn't reporting. A few of the stories went viral and that was really how I became an advocate for the Western industry. I realized people within my community were hungry for a voice and I could be that voice.
I really fell in love with the storytelling aspect of television. I thrive on learning more about people and sharing their stories. My career has taken me all over the country to the biggest cities in America. Last year I broadcast live from inside Madison Square Garden for the PBR's Unleash the Beast tour. It was a total bucket list moment.
What's Your "Stick Your Neck Out" story?
I worked as a host in Dallas for a nationally syndicated morning show for two years. After they cancelled the show I decided I would not move on to another network. I stuck my neck out and decided I wanted to decide which jobs I took and what stories I told. When you work under a network umbrella, they control your voice. I became an independent contractor and prayed job offers would roll in. They didn't. I paid my rent by walking dogs for over a year. I stuck to my guns though because I knew I wanted to be my own boss and tell stories my way.
Why is the western industry important to you?
This is the industry that built me. I've left this Western community and experienced first-hand how the rest of the world operates. I was raised that a handshake means something. I was taught that you always keep your word. I was raised to believe that you always protect and support your community. These types of values are not widely shared outside of the Western community unfortunately. As I pursued a career in television and entertainment, I knew no matter where I was in the world I was only a few degrees of separation from an ag family that would have my back and be there to lend a hand in an emergency. Advocating and storytelling is simply my way of giving back to the industry that made me who I am.
How do you want to be remembered?
I hope I'm remembered as a bold person who never ever sacrificed her character to please other people.
How did you find Fringe Scarves?
My mom! As a Fancy Lady Cowgirl and cutter, she discovered Fringe and now it's all we wear!