#WesternWomenWednesday, Charity Ann Saulsberry, U Spur
Many online relationships follow a similar trend. Neither party knows what group they connected on or when the conversations began. That’s kind of how Charity and I met. We were just two ranch wives, living on deserts a thousand miles away.
Today, I think of her as the big sister I never had and an amazing example to “just keep swimming.” After this interview, we were finally able to meet at the New Mexico Cowbelles where Charity was installed as the new President Elect!
1. Name. Age. Location.
Charity Ann Saulsberry, 46, Bradley 3 Ranch Childress, TX
2. What inspired you to start creating your #RanchGirlSnark designs?
Any time I saw a shirt that had a cow on it it was a dairy cow. Mainstream designers don't get that there are different cattle industries and while the Holsteins are cute and all, I'd like to support and promote our family industry, and that's beef cattle. The snark came natur
3. I know you love them all, but which is your favorite design and the story behind it?
My personal favorite as to appearance is going to be Handy as a Mother, BUT my favorite story behind a design is the Maybe You Should Ride Better. My husband said that to me after he put me on a goosey horse while I had a broken hand and ended up with a broken foot. And THAT'S how the fight started LOL!
4. You offer your designs both retail and wholesale, how do you manage both sides of your sales platform?
Like a mother with 10 kids, literally, there is zero rhyme or reason to it and sometimes it gets away from me, that's why I have YOU lol! (Branded in Ink is the Retail Content Manager for U Spur)
5. What is the one thing you wish you knew before taking on a design business such as U Spur?
I wish I had known more about the catty nature of the boutique business. Don't get me wrong, there are so many really super nice ladies that I've met, and then there's some that you'd like to pop with a hot shot. It's like mean girls in high school all over again. I deal with mama cows, I'm not too awfully worried about catty women though, I just stay in my lane. I do wish I had known the monumental amount of time in a day that is spent dedicated to just U Spur, like I can't even eat or take a shower some days. I'm basically functioning on coffee and sarcasm, with a spritz of dry shampoo.
6. How do you see your tees fitting into western, rodeo, ranch fashion?
That's a loaded question, we've talked about that before. None of those things are the same as the other. My tees and home goods fit more in a ranch household because of the lingo, but a lot of the designs also carry over into mainstream western home decor. While western and rodeo fashion is largely based on someone having an outing or a lot of events to go to, ranch graphics and ranch fashion are for every day use but can also be worn to smaller type events. Ranch wives don't get to attend a lot of functions due to our remote locations a lot of times, but it's nice to have a cool tee or hoodie to wear to a h.s. football or basketball game. Our lives center around our kids and our livestock. While we may have a super nice piece or two for the once/year dinner or event we get to go to, that's not really something we spend a lot of $$ on. There's a million boutiques out there that sell the rodeo and western fashion stuff, but there's only one U Spur.
7. Branded in Ink gets lots of questions about hosting a rep team. Yours was specifically crafted, can you tell us a little about that in relation to representing your brand?
This ties in to the whole theme of U Spur, beef, ranch, and ag promotion and support. 1.97% of the population is involved on a daily basis in agriculture and food production. We get a bad rap for the services we provide, and we'd also get a bad rap if we stopped. I wanted to put a face to agriculture and showcase the women and men involved in today's industry. We're not a bunch of old fat guys in overalls down at the coffee shop anymore. I picked other ranch women that I knew grew up and had an appreciation for the ranch lifestyle and heritage. In today's social media atmosphere, we now have the unique opportunity to show the world that it's not just men that are farmers and ranchers, they have wives and daughters and sisters and mothers all involved as well. And by God, if they want an Angus or a Hereford on their clothes, they should be able to have it LOL!
8. How does your life on the ranch support what you do in the U Spur shop?
Oh gosh, the amount of material I can come up with in a two hour session of moving bulls or pairing mamas and babies is staggering! I feel like a lot of "western" boutiques are missing the mark terribly on this one. How can you sell to a market you have no clue about? Yes, a lot of the fringe and sequin stuff is cute, but it's aimed at town ladies. I also see a lot of "wrong" cattle or horse graphics and I will be the first to tell you, ranch people will pick the mistake in something like that quicker than you can spit. So, the life on the ranch and what we do, and the things we say all lend to the accuracy and humor in the designs I think. Accuracy and authenticity go a super long way in the ranch community. You can't work cattle and not have a sense of humor!
9. What do you like to listen to while on the road or in the shop?
I have a very eclectic taste in music. I refuse to listen to any country past 1986 or so. I like 80s hip hop and rock, and TX red dirt music is growing on me.
10. What is your favorite quote?
Needling People's What I Do - Monte Walsh