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People often forget that barrel racing is a rigorous sport. You and your horse have to communicate instantaneously. Time is the determining factor, so your movements must become one. With a misstep, it’s easy to hit or knock over a barrel, docking points and adding on seconds to your final count. Barrel racing is for the rugged at heart. Don’t let emotions get in the way. You are in command in as you trot into the arena.

To do this sport, you’ve got to be a little fearless. You can’t be scared. Ride aggressive, be confident because it’s all or nothing, and the number one thing is you cannot ride timid!” -Charmayne James

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After leaving the music industry to find a creative challenge, Caitlin Kerr founded The Foxglove Studios. She started small, maintaining part time jobs and freelancing while building her skills and learning the craft. Each gradual step made it a more manageable task to jump into a whole new career. With time her clientele grew and running the studio became a fulltime job. Starting over can seem daunting and even downright impossible, but Caitlin put aside those fears created her own dream job. 

Another important part of starting a new career path is to remember your roots. The years you spent at your old job weren’t pointless. You put in time an effort that helped make you the person you are today. Music plays a large role in Caitlin’s job. She listens to songs, bands, and composers reminiscent of the mood she’s aiming to capture in her creations.

Floral Arrangement Tips from Caitlin of The Foxglove Studios:
1. Use chicken wire, floral tape, or both to create a base. Avoid the Styrofoam filled with toxic chemicals.
2. Use it all. The greens of a flower can also be utilized. Don’t strip off the leaves, they create texture and fill out the arrangement.
3. When arranging, start with the base of greens and foliage. Then add focal flowers and whimsical flowers (the whispy, airy, smaller, and more wild types of flowers like scabiosa and ranunculus).
4. Allow the focal flowers to stand taller. It creates a more interesting arrangement.
5. Make sure to cut the stems of your arrangements and change the water everyday.

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On this day in 1920, the 19th amendment was passed, securing the right of American women to vote. It’s a proud day for the nation. With the desire of continuing the path towards total equality in mind, the hashtag, #AskHerMore, has been trending this week, referencing the interviewing tactics at award shows. The only question most women on the red carpet are asked is “Who are you wearing?” Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy fashion, and designers deserve their due, but what about the woman wearing the clothes? Are we missing the big picture? She’s not winning an award for most awesome outfit. She’s being recognized for her work.
With Crafted in Carhartt, clothes and work gear are a quality-constructed and well-designed means to an end. You should feel happy, comfortable, and beautiful as you work, and you should have clothing that helps you get the job done. When you wear Carhartt, you don’t have to worry about the rain, or the cold, or even the heat. These clothes are sturdy. They can take a beating. Carhartt has that covered so you don’t have to worry about it. Wear our clothes so you can focus on what’s really important, your work. Be it carving, sculpting, painting, metalwork, urban farming, caring for horses, tending gardens, building a company, or building a building.
Dig deep into this blog as we #AskHerMore.
Our red carpet is your workplace. Our award show is sharing your story.
Trust me, you look beautiful covered in sawdust and paint, and we want to know more.

Here are a few of my most recent favorite stories. Take a look:
(in order of appearance above) 

Veronika and Teia from the Empowerment Plan

Anne the Riveter and Her Riveted Rabbit

Amy Nicole Swift, the Building Hugger

Amiee, the Passion-filled Woodworker

Paper Artist, Bukola

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Let’s take a minute to think about women in media and how we’re portrayed. It’s a common enough topic these days. Many of us are aware that our society is continually bombarded with gorgeous glamazon women, thin and flawless, with glowing skin and shiny hair, perfectly positioned, sitting, standing still, just waiting to be admired.
We all know the wonders of Photoshop, the great works of make-up artists, and the phenomena of calorie counting. Even once the smoke and mirrors are revealed, it can still be hard to shake the conditioned image of what women are expected to be in this day and age. Of course what we need is an adjustment of those expectations. We say we’ll think differently and react on a more educated level when we see these constant reminders of what our culture demands of us. But it can be tough to stand strong against the nonstop barrage.
We need to start consuming media that shows us the real strength and beauty of women. Watch movies and read books that pass the Bechdel Test. That’s simply a work of fiction that features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man. Quite shockingly, there are few contemporary pieces that pass. Seek out the ones that do. Toss out the magazines that tempt you into the never-ending chase after a newer, thinner, fitter, happier, sexier you. Trust me, once you find your true path in life and do what it takes to follow it, you’ll be the better version of yourself that everyone hopes to be.
Don’t buy into the misconception that women are catty with each other and just want to compete at all costs. Stop perpetuating that behavior. We need to build each other up. Be inspired by the strong trailblazers who have left a wake that shakes things up. That’s my ultimate goal with Crafted in Carhartt. It’s a safe place in social media, where women are portrayed as the strong, capable, creative, and awesome people that they truly are. Let’s focus on the good we as women can bring to the world. Be challenged by women making art, building skills, making things, and getting business done. We can all learn from each other’s stories and advice.
I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather see images of women, who are masters of their trade, proficiently swinging a hammer, shoveling coal, and accomplishing something great than someone who is dead in the eyes, forcing a smile as just the right amount of wind tousles her hair. How about you?

Pictured above is Detroit artist, Kate Silvio. Read more about her and her work here.

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Whether you’re among the lucky folks who have an “outdoor office” or you’re the type to spend your free time surrounded by nature, the odds are that the wilderness is a fulfilling part of your livelihood. Nothing cures the blues like a walk in the open air. Nothing lightens the soul like sitting by a pond or exploring nearby woods. Get outside. Do something. Make something. 

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature— the assurance that dawn comes after night and spring after winter. -Rachel Carlson 

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I traveled all the way back to my hometown in Texas for this tutorial. Meet Lisa and Jenny Boswell, family friends who live on the most breathtaking ranch. I spent a lot of time on their property when I was growing up. We always had a blast hanging out, riding horses and four-wheelers, trying to catch frogs, painting our faces and going off on kayaking adventures, and so on. Among the many well-loved animals at their home, is a gang of the sweetest dogs around. There’s a lot to learn from a family who takes such good care of their four legged friends.

Here are a few pointers I picked up watching them work:

Make sure the dogs get plenty of exercise, as the Boswells call it “running the dogs.” It helps release pent up energy and prevents aggression. If you have a lot of land, take a four-wheeler or a mule out and have the dogs follow you around. They’ll have a blast and get in a really good workout.

Keep an eye on them during playtime. Of course a little rough housing is normal. Just make sure it doesn’t get too out of hand. You’re the chief mediator, after all.

 Be in charge of mealtime. Feed each dog from a separate bowl, and even in a separate place if necessary. Let your dogs enjoy eating without the need to be territorial or feeling it has to protect its food. 

Make sure you can handle the responsibility of being a multiple dog owner. Dogs really are a girl’s best friends and they deserve lot of love and attention. Don’t spread yourself too thin. 

Want to treat your pup? Snag this Carhartt dog bed

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Call it a hobby. Call it a career. Call it your way of life. We all have that certain area that comes as if it’s second nature and feels a bit like home. For some it’s horses, paintingstarting a business, giving back to the community, or even fire dancing. The trick is finding the path that calls to you and following it. 
As I write this, I realize that this blog is a bit like home to me. I get to share the things I’ve learned from some of the most inspiring women around the country. If there is one piece of advice that rings true in almost every woman’s story, it’s that you take each step towards your passion one day at a time. You don’t become a master of your trade in a few hours. It’s a lifetime pursuit. Don’t be discouraged if you aren’t the experienced wonder woman you dream to be yet. Every skill you learn brings you one leap closer to your goal. Get out there and figure out what makes you tick! 
I recently read this quote by Marie Curie, someone I’ve looked up to since I was a young girl. Curie was a physicist, a chemist, and the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. Her work was her driving force and her experiments helped shape much of the world today. Now we’re not all scientists and we won’t all win the Nobel Prize, but we can change and shift our communities and those around us. A strong woman can move mountains just like Curie showed us that a strong woman could break the rules of physics. 
"We must believe that we are gifted for something and that is the thing at whatever cost, must be attained." -Marie Curie 

what I wore: Carhartt Women’s Sandstone Kenai Parka & Women’s Series 1889 Slim Double Front Pants

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Perhaps one of the greatest attributes of a good leader is not to be daunted by unfulfilled needs. To instead see obstacles as a problem to be solved and not a crippling factor that prevents progress. Just four years ago, Veronika Scott was challenged by a class assignment to create something that solved a social need. After spending time at Detroit homeless shelters, Veronika envisioned a waterproof, heat-trapping jacket that could transform into a sleeping bag. 
A good leader is also open to criticism and input. So when one of the women staying at the shelter told Veronica that they needed jobs, not jackets, Veronika listened. The jackets did seem like a temporary fix to a larger issue. How could this project meet an even greater need in the community?
One of the most devastating blows a society can thrust upon itself is an environment where women don’t realize how valuable they are. Veronika stepped up to the plate to knock down those misconceptions. She is now the founder and CEO of The Empowerment Plan, a non-profit that employs women in homeless shelters to make jackets for the homeless of Detroit. It’s an atmosphere where women who once had little hope can learn and change their way of thinking. They have the opportunity to realize that they hold the power to change their future. They are strong, independent, and capable. 
Meet Teia. She’s been a seamstress at The Empowerment Plan for over a year. Teia recognized this job as a once in lifetime opportunity and she has used it as a step in the right direction for herself and her two children. Way to go, Teia. Your efforts are an inspiration to us all.

Teia’s outfit: Carhartt Women’s Force Performance Tank, Clarksburg Zip-Front Sweatshirt, & Slim Fit Nyona Jean

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After watching Aimee Inouye chisel away at the gorgeous bench she was working on last week, I was inspired to give woodworking a try. The first thing I discovered is that the type of wood you use matters. Wood comes in varying hardness and grains. If you’re a beginner looking for the perfect substrate, I’d suggest basswood or butternut. You can find blocks and panels at your local craft store or even larger hardware stores. Now as they say, practice makes perfect. So grab a few scrap blocks to practice with before you attempt the project at hand.
You’ll need a pencil, wood, a chisel set, and a rubber mallet. Take a look at the steps below. I’m drawn to a more handmade aesthetic, so I made my chisel marks pronounced and jagged to give it a personal touch. If that’s not your taste, be a bit tidier with your lines.
Once you’ve gotten the hang of the basics, you can move on to the real thing. It’s always good to have a plan, so start off with a template of how you’d like the sign to look. Use that template to create a shallowly traced guide into the wood. Once you have your pattern, make deeper cuts. You may want to go over a the letters a few times to make the incisions thicker and deeper into the surface. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect. That’s the nature of handmade arts.

My crafting outfit: Carhartt Women’s El Paso Utility Jacket, Clarkston Cami Tank, Sibley Denim Shorts, & Carhartt Legacy 14” Tool Bag

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It seems like a romantic notion to grow up and spend the rest of you life with your high school sweetheart. But what if your paramour was your craft? Aimee Inouye took a Hawaiian crafts woodworking course while in high school in Honolulu and was taken with it.
After college, Aimee left Hawaii to pursue her education even further. From San Francisco to Portland, it’s been a long journey of building knowledge and skills. Merging her background in architecture, furniture design, and woodworking, Aimee hopes to move towards the furniture/product design field as a well-rounded maker.
She can now approach projects from start to finish with every aspect of the process in mind. Beautiful sketches fill her studio, each one reflecting the Shaker belief that “beauty rests in utility.” Woodchips cover the floor as design meets chisel.
In a time when woodworking as a profession is rare, let alone female woodworkers, it’s moving to sit and watch the sawdust fly. Perhaps it’s time to look at benches and bed frames in a whole new light. A labor of love comes from the handmade.
How much passion comes packaged in a ready-to-assemble bookshelf?

Take a closer look at Aimee’s stunning work here.
What Aimee’s wearing: Carhartt Women’s Dunlow Sweatshirt, Calumet Crewneck T-Shirt, Women’s Slim-Fit Nyona Jeans, & Duck Nail Apron.