Making the Biggest Decision by Alisha Kurtz

Life is hard, and sometimes making life-altering decisions is for the birds.

For the past couple of years, my husband and I have strongly explored the possibility of expanding Woolies from an online/mobile retail business to an actual brick and mortar location in downtown Steamboat Springs, Colorado. We had talked in length about the what ifs, how awesomes, and if onlys. (I  know those aren't words, but this is my blog). Our dream consisted of selecting the only locations in downtown Steamboat that we would be interested in expanding into. It seemed wishful thinking that any of the spaces would ever come available.

Last May, one of those spaces came available. We acted quickly and knew the timing was horrible with the pending arrival of our first child any day. On the day of our scheduled viewing, our baby girl decided a dramatic entrance would trump any other plans. An emergency c-section, life flight, and 10-day stay in the Level 4 NICU in Denver consumed us. On day 11 when we returned to Steamboat with a healthy baby girl (thankfully!), the space had a new tenant. Dang the luck.

The next few months quickly became the best and hardest months of my life. I was learning the ins and outs of being a mother while balancing running my business. Each day, especially as the 8-week mark loomed, I was grateful for the opportunity to be able to spend the days with my baby girl, even if it meant no showers, late nights/early mornings working, dinners out of box, fulfilling orders and updating the website with one hand while holding her with the other, and all those other things that come with motherhood.

During those months, the opportunity to expand to a storefront arose again. This was the one! We aggressively went for it and everything was falling into place. Hallelujah! As it came time to sign the lease, the initial excitement began to disperse and a new worry and doubt seeped in. The worry and doubt of how this change would affect our little one became stronger and stronger. Running a storefront would be a complete lifestyle change, and I wasn’t sure if it was the right lifestyle change for our family.

This past weekend was filled with sleepless nights, intense conversations, and weighing the pros and cons. I could not make a decision. My longtime dream was within grasp, but a new dream was being realized. A dream that my child (maybe even children someday) could grow up with two parents who were always present, experience family vacations, spend summers playing in the river at the ranch, spend weekends at horse shows, and many other things. This was truly the first time I had experienced the internal struggle so many women face as they raise their children and balance their careers. Y’all that struggle is the realest of all reals!

Saturday afternoon, baby girl and I spent the day at the barn with my husband. As a horse trainer, he works 6.5 days a week. We rode horses, played in the sand, and tried to stay warm. It was perfect. It was everything I would lose with the expansion, but the decision still wasn’t clear. Later that evening, a friend who rode with us that day posted this photo on Facebook.

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This was the photo that made my decision. This moment frozen in time was everything I ever wanted. I need to be in a position with flexibility. I need to be present for my daughter and husband. I can still chase my dreams and operate Woolies online with success without the demands of a storefront in a tourist town. I now don’t have to dread the holidays and not being able to spend Christmas Eve with my family.

So, here is to continued success in the online retail world. Here is to YOU for all you have given me and my little business. Thank you for the support and love over the years that have allowed me to feel like I truly can have it all.

I have tears as I write this. They are tears of sadness as I watch a big "what could have been" drift away. But more importantly, they are tears of happiness and relief as I know this is the best decision for my family. I can't ever get back time I miss watching my baby girl grow up. In the end, I realized that the potential for great success comes at a cost that is too great to bare.

Now it’s out with the old and in with the new! We have been holding onto all of our inventory remaining from the NFR with the thought of needing to merchandise a store. There is a whole lot of new arrivals coming in that we need to make space for. So...

Save 65% off all men’s and women’s tops and boots
with code "BRINGONTHENEW" * at checkout!

www.wearwoolies.com

*All sales with code BRINGONTHENEW are final. No refunds or store credit will be issued. Offer not valid on previous transactions.

Summer Style Staples by Alisha Kurtz

I'll be honest. I had nearly given up all hope that those summertime sunshine rays were ever going to find their way to the mountains of northwest Colorado. The past few days and upcoming few days have me convinced it is finally happening. The magic 80* is even showing up on my 7-day forecast. Hallelujah!

To celebrate, how about a simple run down of some of my favorite, must have summer staples and styles.

1. Embroidery on Denim

Embroidery is hands down my favorite fashion statement ever. You can imagine how excited it makes me that it has hit the big time this season. My closet is full of embroidered pieces of all types, ranging from pieces I acquired and never fell out of love with in high school to handmade pieces made by women I have met in my travels. I think it's the details and colors that captivate me so much when it comes to embroidery. 

My favorite way to wear embroidery is on a stellar denim button up. Something about the way the thread pops on the simple background makes my heart twitter patter. And, if you're a horse showing gal like me, embroidered denim tops were made for the summertime arena! 

Check out these two beauties - the Canyons by Tasha Polizzi and Steamboat by Stetson offered at Woolies to get your embroidery fix. While they are long sleeves, they are perfect for the chilly evenings in the mountains or those overly air-conditioned offices down south. 

 

2. Vintage Vibes

I cannot get enough of the vintage patch look, from floral to rocker chick to retro cowgirl. I feel like the Malibu top covers that span of genres pretty well, and I love the different ways it can be styled. 

This pieces has been one of Woolies hottest sellers, and we still have a few pieces available...if you hurry!

3. Kimes Kouture

The brainchild of Megan Holdren from Livewire Clothing and available exclusively through Woolies, Kimes Kouture jeans are simply everything. Regardless if your style is all glammed up or laid back surfer chick, you can find a pair of these limited edition jeans that fit your style personality perfectly. Each pair of Kimes Kouture jeans are made to order and only a limited number will be made in each style so you won't be looking like everyone else. Not too mention, they are crafted from 100% Made in USA Kimes Ranch jeans. Big win!

4. I Love America

It's true; I do. I'm not someone who typically loves to dress for holidays in holiday specific wears, but the Fourth of July has always been my one exception to the rule. I love getting all decked out in red, white, and blue or stars and stripes to celebrate this great land we are so fortunate to be apart of. In all honesty, the first outfit I personally picked out for my new baby girl was a Fourth of July outfit. 

The Sparklers top and Kimes Ranch American Patch cap, both available at Woolies, are the perfect way to celebrate one of my favorite holidays!

Watch out ladies, the mister will likely try to swipe the cap right out from under you. 

 

 

5. Woolies Patch Cap

Last, but most definitely not least, a summertime staple that can't be left out is a Woolies Patch cap. If you're anything like me, you live in caps during the summer. Whether it's to keep the sun off your face or to hide your hair that hasn't been washed for a few extra days, hats are an absolute essential. Our patch caps feature simple colors and design that pair easily with an array of styles. 

Oh, and as always, to say thanks for reading her is a little savings. Use code SUMMER17 to save 15% sitewide at Woolies!

I would love to hear from you. What are your favorite summer '17 styles?

It's almost baby time by Alisha Kurtz

It's almost baby time around here. Five weeks & counting! 

Both my husband and I are getting more excited and anxious by the day to meet our little one, but there is definitely a good amount of nerves starting to set in. I mean, who decided we are mature enough to be parents? Good thing we have a two good sets of grandparents who did a pretty successful job at raising little ones (if we do say so ourselves) to help us out.

But really, since Baby K isn't here yet to show off, the next best thing is the nursery! A couple of weeks ago my mom surprised me with a visit to help decorate the nursery while my husband was out of town. I couldn't be more thrilled with how it turned out, and pretty much all the props go straight to Momma Sue Sue. 

As you may or may not know, we are having a surprise baby...which means we don't know the gender. Gasp! We took a gender neutral approach which included turquoise, turquoise, a little more turquoise, and a few splashes of yellow, green, and gray here and there.

And, without further adieu...

Love any of the things you see decorating my new favorite room in our home? I'll let you in on my little (not so secret) secrets.

Crib/Changing Table Combo - Room in our little (but perfect) cabin is a bit tight so when I saw these combo pieces, I knew it was the perfect fit. I snagged this perfect gray piece on sale at Babies R Us for quite the steal...especially after pricing used cribs. Find the exact crib here

Bedding Set - Like I said, all props go to Momma Sue Sue. My mom gifted us the adorable bedding set at our first baby shower. Initially she was planning to whip us up something custom, but a knee replacement surgery changed her plans. You can find the exact bedding set at Babies R Us. And they have a lot of great options to compliment as well. 

Wall hangings/Feather Hooks - All the wall hangings are compliments of Hobby Lobby. However, the black and white color scheme of each just didn't fit with our decor or the cabin walls so we picked up some acrylic paints to match the bedding set and painted the frames for a fun pop of color.

Hanging Blankets - Sorry about your luck, but you're going to have to find some pretty special ladies to make you beauties like these. These blankets will each be cherished forever and need to be on display as they were made by mom, aunt, and husband's aunt for our little one. 

Diaper Bag - What kind of boutique owner would I be if I just stuck to your run-of-the-mill diaper bag? My mom had this custom Holy Cow Couture diaper bag made for me. While you can't use the brand, the talented Brittany over at HCC can make you something similar. 

Arrow Curtain Rods - My mom does everything right! She showed up at my casa with these awesome curtain rods that match the rest of the decor perfectly. Only problem, they were black, but nothing a can of spray paint couldn't change. Snag these at Target.

Reading Nook - I love this area, and we plan to spend A LOT time in this little corner reading to and snuggling our little one. My sister surprised everyone at my baby shower when I opened the adorable toy holder wall hanging that she knit herself. My sister knit something with her own hands! A great friend spends rainy Saturday's antiquing and found us this old step stool that works perfectly as a shelf. The cowboy boots may be my favorite part of the room - those cute little boots were the very boots my husband wore as a wee one!  

Glider - This comfortable piece raised my niece and nephew, and I have possibly fallen asleep in it a time or too. A few coats of Annie Sloan chalk paint (no sanding required) and some new cushions, she looks brand new. We mixed Florence and White to get the perfect shade of turquoise.

Console chest - Once again because space is tight, I opted to use a console rather than a dresser to store Baby K's goodies. I found this piece on sale at Target for just over $100 and couldn't resist. I was a touch nervous the gray would clash with the gray of the crib, but as luck would have it the colors are exact! The colorful bins are also available at good ol' Target. 

Saddle - One of my husband's clients gifted Baby K his/her first saddle. This thing is legit, and the cutest little thing I have ever seen. Every horse trainer's kid needs a baby saddle, right? Oh, and it may fit our Border Collie pretty well. :)

And now, the countdown is on! We're EXACTLY ONE MONTH until our due date. How did that happen?!

As always, thank for reading. Feel free to use code NURSERY at checkout to receive FREE SHIPPING on all orders. Code valid through April 10. 

 

 

Happy National Women's Day by Alisha Kurtz

I can't let a day like today go by without giving a shoutout and thank you to all the strong woman whom have helped shape me into the person I am today over the past 30 years. The list stretches far and wide, but I am thankful each and everyone of these women crossed my path at some time or another. 

But really...I want to give a big shoutout to the crew of women that keep me and Woolies rolling from show-to-show. For the most part, I am a one-woman show, and I LOVE it! I love writing every order thank you note, seeing where each online order comes from, meeting women from all walks and life, traveling down the empty highway, and everything in between. However, when it comes to show time, there is a small group of woman that I can not live without.

>>Meet the Ladies of Woolies<<

If you haven't yet, thank all the women in your life that make everyday that much brighter, and never stop collecting those type of people. 

 
 

Xoxo,
Alisha

This is Going to be the Best Year Yet! by Alisha Kurtz

Happy 2017! Happy February! Happy This is Going to be the Best Year Yet!

We may have only scratched the surface of 2017, but I already know that 2017 is going to be the best year yet! How am I so positive you may ask? It's one very simple answer - Woolies Quality Clothier is growing by one in early May. How are we growing...an additional show, a storefront, a new employee, a website addition? While I love all of these ideas, the real answer is even better.

READY...

SET...

GO!

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We are expecting our first child!

I told you - how can anything get better than that? My husband, Andy, and I are anxiously awaiting Baby K's arrival - 92 days to be exact (but who's counting) if he/she comes right on time. That's right, we are letting this whole thing be a complete surprise and won't find out if it's a boy or a girl until the little one makes its appearance. 

While we are over-the-moon ecstatic with this announcement, it obviously means some changes to the business structure of Woolies Quality Clothier. A brand new babe (and my growing belly) will limit my ability to head down the road from show-to-show as I so love. Don't worry, there are a few select shows I can't fathom missing, and Baby K will become the best travel partner I have ever known beginning Fall 2017. You can count on seeing us at the NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity in Fort Worth, Texas, and the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas...and probably a few other spots. Until that time, we look forward to being able to interact with the BEST CUSTOMERS EVER via Facebook, Instagram, and www.wearwoolies.com

Oh, and to say thank you for all the love, support, and reading about Woolies, here's a little goodie for some shopping savings.

***Use code HAPPY17 at checkout to save 20% sitewide***

Xoxo,
Alisha

Hola! by Alisha Kurtz

Here we go...I'm going to give this blog thing a try. Over the past six years while growing Woolies Quality Clothier (previously Dos Gringas Collection) to what it is today, I have had the opportunity to meet so many inspiring, motivating, funny, intelligent, artistic, talented, random, fabulous people. I have been able to develop relationships with several of my customers, as well as fellow roadies that travel from show-to-show just as I do. 

Over the past six months, this crazy dream I call a business and career has grown immensely, and I haven't had the opportunity to form a personal relationship with as many of my newer customers as I would like. Maybe starting on a blogging journey about all things Woolies, life on the ranch, adventures on the road, personal fashion favorites, and more will allow you each a glimpse into my crazy life and understand what Woolies really is - a lifestyle. With that, I 100% look forward to interacting with you via the comment section and your blogs/social media accounts as well. 

To start, I thought it would be fun to give you 10 random or little known facts about me. Here we go...

 Photo Credit: Nichole Crowley Photography

Photo Credit: Nichole Crowley Photography

1. My husband, Andy, is my very best friend and absolute favorite person to do things with. Some may think it's weird, but Andy is ALWAYS my first pick for an adventure buddy. He is one of the only people I can be around 24/7 without needing "me" time. His demanding role on the ranch prevents him from always being by my side, but I'm always missing him during new experiences and adventures, especially when it comes to food or drink. 

2. I LOVE rings - hands down my biggest jewelry obsession. Oddly enough, I never wear more than three at a time (and one is my wedding ring) so they each spend a lot of time in the jewelry box. It hasn't stopped me from picking up these beauties whenever I see fit.

3. Dogs are my mojo. I am a total dog person! I find myself always greeting the dog(s) first when I walk in a home, barn, store...anywhere there may be a dog. I definitely have my breed preferences, but I would take every last one if I could. 

4. Nerdy by Nature: that's me! I love, love, love learning. Whether it be on my horse, in class, on my own, or even in a precarious situtation - it doesn't matter. I have an insatiable appetite for knowledge. I have a Master's degree in Multimedia Communication, and the idea of getting a PhD has crossed my mind a time or two. In the meantime, I'll sell clothes.

5. I spent my younger years dreaming I was Sonora Webster from Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken. I also watched that movie as much as I possibly could and had the BIGGEST crush on Al (swoon!). Turns out, not much has changed. 

6. Cities - mainly traffic - give me a minor case of anxiety. While I grew up in the city and loved it, I always hoped that I would one day be able to live the ranch life. Lucky me!. My husband and I reside on his family's ranch in the most beautiful place in all the land - Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Ranch life fits me to a tee. Sometimes I miss having a Target within 2 hours, but I now get anxious when I head to the city...especially sitting in the traffic. 

7. I could eat pasta every day for the rest of my life and die a happy woman. 

8. My husband and I dated for 8 years, were engaged for 8 months, and have been married for 9 months. Six of those first eight years were long distance. What does Cody say in 8 Seconds: "Love knows no boundries?" It may seem crazy to some, but it was perfect for us. We both had a lot of personal to dos to get checked off before settling down. 

9. It is much easier to keep the barn spotless than the house. Ha. Maybe that has something to do with my need to be outside and not cooped up. Bring on summer!

10. I am DEATHLY afraid of rodents. Bring on all the spiders and snakes you want, but do NOT allow me to see (or even think) there is such a critter around.