Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season! I guess its safe to call it that, I can't believe were already right into December! Yikes!
I'm sorry for the hiatus I took from posting. It's not that I didn't have anything to say... because I'm sure you all have noticed I'm quite the chatterbox by now. It's just that as our 2010 season comes to an end we are restructuring Heather's Hot Couture to weather the storms of our unpredictable economy. We are looking forward full of optimism for 2011, hoping for a prosperous year ahead blessed with bucks for all! We are full of gratitude because we know that our friends, clients and the cowgirls that support the equine industry will continue to find new ways to follow their passion for horses, riding and showing.
That doesn't mean these aren't challenging times for many, but if one thing's true, we are a bunch of Tough Cookies! I know horse people stick together, like family supporting each other, and creatively find ways to bend but not break under life's pressures. I want to thank all who contribute to the thousands of shows and events every year, continuing to challenge competitors and making dreams come true. We at HHC are making some BIG CHANGES! I know our choices aren't as tough as some that many of you have had to make in recent months. I've heard so many stories about skipping favorite shows to save on gas and rising show fees, and even worse, pulling horses out of training. This means smaller classes. As hard as the show industry has been hit by the down turn in our economy, we are finding smart ways of cutting back. We are spending less and buckling down for the long haul! If you still have your health and your horses, then I think you've got plenty to celebrate!
Our BIG ANNOUCMENT!!! Custom by Heather is now being sold exclusively through Showgirls Apparel. If you're not familiar with Showgirls Apparel, now is the time to check them out! http://www.showgirlsapparel.com/ They are one of the biggest and best in the show clothes business. They carry ONLY one-of-a-kind show clothes. Since one-of-a-kind custom designs is all we do, this seemed like a perfect match for us. Now not only are our beautiful pieces available to see any time online, but they are in a showroom where you can shop. I can't think of anywhere I'd rather go to shop! How fun does a show clothes store sound, where it's clean, dirt and dust free, and you can see all the best designer names and newest styles side-by-side under one roof? Count me in! Paula's Place, Lindsey James and now Heather's Hot Couture, just to name a few! They also do select consignments so you can also find whats in fashion on a budget. Erin Gayer runs the showroom, which is located 12316-A North May Ave. #286 in Oklahoma City. The showroom is open year-round and now it's perfect timing for the holidays. If you're in the Oklahoma area stop in. What a no brainer! Needless to say producing couture quality designs is time-consuming, and working with Showgirls will allow us more time to do what we love - create. We are excited to have our designs managed and sold by the best in the business. Lindsey James and Erin Gayer have more than ten years in the show clothes industry. We understand that convenience is key to everyones hectic lifestyles, and Showgirls carrying our designs means you will be able to have a lot more access to trying on and seeing our quality in person at all the major shows including Oklahoma, Texas and at Azirona Sun Circuit coming in January!
Back home from Bakersfield and back to work.......
Those new Custom By Heather horsemanship tops are finally finished - here's a look! While setting up shop on the road last week at the Central Cal Paint Horse Association's Western Paint World Show, we were baking as we finished up the last details on these two designs. I'm happy to say this new red hot HMS top sold practically from right out under the sewing machine! Love it when that happens, I guess it was love at first sight!
We enjoyed seeing some of our favorite clients and it's always fun to admire our past Customs out in the show ring! Check out Christina sparkling under the evening lights - she looks great in her CBH in the pleasure pen.
What a busy time of year it is for so many of us. Lately there is so much excitement in the air with so many shows going on. I hope all of our Quarter Horse friends are making your way home safely if you're on a long haul back from the Congress. What a fantastic event. I hope to make it out to watch next year. I know I've been trying to keep up watching the online broadcasts when I can. For everyone like me keeping it local lately, there's been lots going on too. I have some cute pics my sis recently took at the 1st annual EMO Novice Champion Invitational Quarter Horse show. This special event took place in conjunction with PCQHA'S Wine & Roses circuit. What a great idea, to honor these newer competitors' great achievements and to encourage them to pursue their future showing goals. This show was complete with beautiful buckles and red carpet treatment. We all know it's tough out there and the competition can sometimes be intimidating for newbies! This sport isn't for the weary. Being prepared and looking your best in your favorite show clothes can help set the confident tone, and if not, do your best to simile and fake it! That's what I remember about being a novice rider. I'm sure many of you can relate to feeling like a nervous nelly. Here's a look at a new novice team that we're rooting for and lately they just seem to be unstoppable!
Congratulations Kerry and Trooper on all your recent success! Big League Look, aka Tropper, and Kerry Krauter are good family friends and show buddies! We had lots of fun watching Kerry and Trooper win Reserve Champion last month in the novice am. trail at the Santa Barbra Fall Classic. Look for this team in our future Equine Chronicle Ad, they sure make a pretty picture.
Here's a look at their winning performance and a few fun celebration pics with the whole gang at the show! Check out Kerry & Trooper, the new PCQHA Invitational Grand Champion for Novice Amateur Trail, with trainer Diane Gaudreau of Livermore. GO Girls!!
I'm soo excited to be back ringside this weekend for the good old Grand National Rodeo! This is always tons of fun. I've been going since I was a little girl. This is some first rate people watching. I cant wait to see the cowboys and gals, silly clowns and of course the Rodeo Queen all decked out! Ye Ha for America's oldest sport! We're headed to San Francisco's Cow Palace for some good old-fashioned fun this weekend! Pictures of all the action to come!
I have a few pictures I wanted to share with you all from last weekend's celebration! I had a blast! As many of you may know, I spent my weekend as a bridesmaid in my good girlfriend Suzanne's Tahoe wedding. I had such a great time and felt like a princess in my ball gown as we ate, drank and danced! Even all the rainy, stormy fall weather couldn't put a damper on the party! The wedding was thankfully planned for indoors and lots of fun was had by all. The weekend was complete with the appearance of a few beautiful rainbows.
Back to work this week and we are busily working on a few new CBH horsemanship tops to take to next week's show. This is it, the last show of the season for us as Vendors. The fantastically talented Lois and Janice team will be heading south and manning our booth at the Central California Paint Horse Club's Western Paint World Show down in Bakersfield, CA. If you don't see the ladies hanging out front among our clothes, they can usually be found inside the M-BOX stitching and bitching behind the machines! Don't be shy, stop by and see us at work. We'll be stoning and sewing, working on clothes we're proud to put our label in. I hope all our great paint clients and friends plan to attend. The forecast is looking good and this show is a
great chance to get some ring time before next month's BIG APHA World Show. Come by and check out these new CBH horsemanship designs when they're all finished. We are going to wrap up our show season with a bang, so we've decided to offer an unbeatable 10% Off Show Special! Yes, 10% off everything!!! (except new orders) So here's a little peek on our newest designs, and they couldn't be coming together better.
We've been letting our imaginations run wild and now we're cutting into some of our favorite fabrics. I'm pretty excited about our new horsemanship tops. Can you tell! ha! ha! It's nice to take a break from the popular jackets. It feels like the big jacket trend has dominated my work for the entire last year. Horsemanship is one of my favorite classes from back in my old show days and I still love to watch this class. The level of talent I see is fantastic. The ladies who dominate this class have nothing to hide and should be nothing but proud to show off their excellent equitation. I know most of us gals are big fans of the modern untucked shirt and jacket styles that are the current look in just about every class from Pleasure to Trail. In my opinion these structured jackets are usually the best and most flattering choice for most body types. But in Horsemanship I recommend sticking with the old tuck-in tradition. The good news is the newer styles in horsemanship are often made of comfy stretchy fabric and don't include the dreaded snap crotches of the past! These thinner stretch fabrics allow for ease of movement within the desired form fitting silhouette, allowing you to focus on sitting pretty and having your best ride.
Whether you're a little last minute and headed to the world shows or are already planning for next spring's show season, come by and see us. We've got unbeatable style and prices if you're shopping in the one-of-a-kind market.
I love this time of year, so much excitement in the air! Our CBH Boutique items hit The Scottsdale Classic this week and today our CBH boutique is OPEN for business! I encourage all who are attending to stop by Barbara's Animals-R-Us for a close-up look and see in person our attention to detail.
Our clothes can be found under the twinkly lights in the shopping pavilion. These show styles are truly world class and look so much better in person than online. Maybe you're not quite ready for the major shows this fall, and it's never too early to start planning for next seasons goals! Inspiration and ideas for your 2011 show season wardrobe can be found everywhere.
This week's full of excitement and all about tying up loose ends! We've been busy finishing up a few last-minute sewing projects and alterations, between sketching and working with our graphics gal on our next Equine Chronicle ads. I finally squeezed in finishing a personal project..... a much overdue baby shower gift! Yea! It's finally ready for late delivery this weekend. Here's a look at what I just finished, my second ever quilt. It's far from perfect but I think four month old baby Logan won't mind. I guess better late than never, Right?
Well it's a good thing I'm not the seamstress responsible for making all our clothes, that job is reserved for the true perfectionist! ha ha! Mom! I'm just the designer with the big ideas. I'm not afraid to admit I'm not the most talented seamstress, my strengths are in other areas like stoning and styling.
This weekend between now and next week's Central Cal Paint Horse Club's Western Paint World show down in Bakersfield, California I'm also taking off to a best friend's wedding - bridesmaid duty calls! I can't wait to get all decked out in my beautiful dress and have some fun with the girls. Remember ladies, outside the horseshow world there's rarely a chance to get glammed out and pull out the bling. Until next week we are busy bees and I'm thankful to take a tiny break to have some fun with great friends.
I hope you all are enjoying the fabulous fashion shows happening this fall season. The show styles seen at the Congress and World shows set the tone and create the trends that will become the new hot looks for the 2011 season! My prediction is asymmetrical and abstract designs with very fancy colored coordinating hats will dominate and demand attention at this falls' shows and well into next season. Let me know what you think the new trends will be for 2011!
We're just back home and had a great time at this year's PCQHA Fall Classic.This AQHA event is truly everyone's favorite show! . I'm glad to report the show was a great success. We met so many new faces and enjoyed visiting with some old friends too
We lucked-out this show, not only did we arrive late on set-up day, but we still got the best spot! A big "Thank You" to the PCQHA vendor coordinator Lori Pabst Pfaff for letting us set-up shop next to the awards booth, across from the show photographer, the hilarious Don Trout, and beside the party area. We had lots of entertainment, because if Don wasn't out front snapping pictures he was busy reading our Cosmo magazine and commenting on all the silly steamy sex articles. We also were set up just feet from the ring, so we were on the rail to pick our favorite horses and fashions. We spent much of our time either assisting shoppers who were eagerly trying on jackets or inside the M-Box (our motor home/vendor booth) stoning and sewing away. Yep, we're a mobile sweatshop too, and we had some clothes to get finished and send on their way. Look for all our beautiful CBH Boutique items in Arizona at the AQHA Fall Classic show. Our high-end one-of-a-kinds will be exclusively sold at Animals-R-Us by our friend and owner Barbara. Visit Barbara's trailer in the pavilion area for a look at our world-class designs and get your hats shaped and blocked for a complete ring-ready look.
This week we spent the early mornings drinking lots of coffee and spectating SMS classes and admiring all the current fashions. The weather was perfect, not too hot and not too cold! Thank goodness for no rain this year! We've experienced some soaking wet weather in the past and just about floated away. The classes were larger than expected and the overall turnout was really good. Some competitors traveled from as far as Arkansas! We were very happy to have some of the largest and most prestigious barns in the country come out to the Santa Barbara classic. Darleen Mills and her PCQHA crew did a fabulous job running this event. It seemed like there was always something fun going on. The wine and cheese party and the tri-tip BBQ were enjoyed by all after a long days work, which made the show fly by. Somehow all this fun killed our plan to get out of the show grounds and get some exercise. We did squeeze in one tiny walk in the beautiful rolling hills of the neighborhoods right outside the equestrian park. If you ever get a chance, I highly recommend visiting SB on vacation or coming to Santa Barbara for a horse show, because it's a truly beautiful area of California with sites to enjoy for everyone, even if you're not horsey. One of my favorite places to visit is the Alice Keck Memorial Garden Park, a gorgeous lush botanical garden park that spreads one city block. It is one of the most beautiful gardens I've ever seen and free for all to enjoy.
Thanks to all who attended and visited our boutique at the show, shopped and placed orders. We look forward to seeing you next time and until then Happy Showing!
This week I wanted to share with you some pictures from behind the scenes at our recent photo shoot!
Check us out, last Sunday, melting while working on our next Equine Chronicle ads. If you aren't already a subscriber of the Equine Chronicle, you can read it online for free. Just click this www.onlinedigitalpubs.com/publication/?i=44114 link. We love being a part of the Chronicle because it covers America's finest Quarter Horses, Paints, and Appaloosas all in one magazine, full of beautiful glossy pictures and articles.
The temperature definitely hit triple digits on Sunday up at Rancho Murretia Equine Center. Right as we got set up in full sun, I realized how frazzled I must have been while packing for the shoot! No baseball cap or sun hat, no cooler filled with ice and definitely no shade! Good thing I like it HOT! and David Art Wooten, our photographer, is a pro and comes prepared. His mobile office AKA silver SUV is loaded to the gills with camera equipment, lighting, props and snacks, ready for anything.
Whose idea was including the horses anyway? Oh yeah.......mine! What a challenge getting our four-legged friends to pose and look their best was! It's been a while since my show days and now I remember what it's like to have a dry mouth from kissing and clucking while tossing dirt and smacking sticks in scorching hot sun! Let's just say trying to get the horses to look at the camera and pay attention is not easy. I was the lucky one wearing a t-shirt and shades, no chaps or long-sleeved show shirts on my back.
I really can't say a big enough Thank You to our lovely clients for participating, Carley & Christina Carapinha and Sarayah and Shay Voorhees. They looked absolutely stunning wearing their CBH designs out in the sizzling summer sun. These gorgeous young ladies were so nice to break away to pose for our shoot after an early morning and a long, hot day of showing at the 7CPHA show. Despite the afternoon heat it was so much fun to see the girls sitting pretty on their silky horses all show-ring ready. What a pretty picture they are, it's enough to make me want to jump back into the saddle!
Growing up riding and showing with my sister, these sister pictures hold a special place with me as new favorites. I think they really remind me of me and my sis Robin as kids or maybe they are a reminder of great days past, those moments we hold on to and never forget. There were so many special clothes, beloved horses and small victories. Watching and designing for the younger girls and youth is definitely my favorite. I have so many ideas and can easily imagine what I would want to be wearing. It's almost like coming full circle from my past to now. Even if I'm not literally out in the ring, I feel like I'm winning knowing I helped make these clients' moments more special.
I just finished a wonderful girls-only dinner with a close friend. What a great night! I'm truly blessed to have so many wonderful girlfriends and wonderful family members in my life. We need to make these kind of girls' nights a monthly tradition. These dinners don't happen often enough and I'm definitely to blame. I'm guilty of constantly getting wrapped up in my own work and deadlines. It's been so refreshing to take time to enjoy cooking, eating, and gabbing about silly girly gossip! Finding a healthy balance is something I'm always striving for.
Recently there have been so many occasions to distract me from or inspire my work...........depending how you look at things. Lately I've been burning the midnight oil, stoning away, making up for lost time from work while having some fun. This week I joined in celebrating my Grandparent's 60th Anniversary! Wow! Congratulations! I also spent some time in lovely Napa, California (yes - famous wine country) where my sister just moved to after finally getting into nursing school! Yea! Go girl! It was also fun catching up with a great old show buddy and one of my first-ever paying clients! She gave me this great picture of her wearing one of my first CBH Horsemanship designs. Thanks Julie, I love the picture and I'm so happy to share it! It was so nice to catch up with a long lost friend!
Between all this fun I have been keeping my eye on the AQHA Select World Show - going on now!!! I'm keeping my fingers crossed for all our clients and local northern California girls competing this year at the Select World. Congratulations on qualifying and Best of Luck Ladies! Here are a few fun facts about this Giant AQHA event for the fabulous 50 and over riders.
- 796 horses at the show and 778 entered in western classes.
- The oldest horses competing are age 25 and there's 2 being ridden at the show.
- The oldest entrant competing at the show is 85! and her name is Suzanne Jones of New Mexico.
I wanted to remind everyone to sign up for our newsletter. Just check out our home page http://www.heathershotcouture.com/ for directions to sign up. It's free and easy and we are running a BIG PROMO for readers on Custom By Heathers, so it's worth checking out. These great deals are right on time for fall's major shows, and if you'd like to have something custom designed and made, call us while there's still time and no nasty RUSH FEES to place your orders.
- AQHA Adequan Select World, now until Sept 5th, Amarillo Texas
- AQHA Fall Classic, Sept 16-19th, Santa Barbara, CA ***
- AQHA Scottsdale Classic, Oct 1st- 6th, Scottsdale, AZ
- APHA Western Paint World, Oct 13-17, Bakersfield, CA ***
- The Congress, Oct 1-24th, Ohio
- APHA Open World Show, 4-13, Texas
- AQHA Open World Show, Nov 5-20, Oklahoma
*** indicates shows we will be at as vendors, so stop, shop and say Hi!