This months focus is on the talented Albuquerque designer – Shana Gibson – founder of Modern Cowgirl and co-owner of Adorn boutique which she recently opened alongside jewelry designer – Dream Mullick – on the trendy side of town close to Nob Hill. The boutique has a cool vibe tastefully showcasing the designs of both designers with unique relevant pieces. A selection of fabulous cotton essentials are also available – my current favorite being an unstructured tank top which I now have in each color. Most of these garments are made in the USA which adds to the appeal.
So where did the inspiration for Modern Cowgirl come from? While reading Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of New Mexico Shana was also representing New Mexico as the reigning Miss Rodeo NM which entailed travel throughout the USA. It was late one night during one of these journey’s that she got the idea for Modern Cowgirl. – For those unfamiliar – Miss Rodeo is a pageant with a difference whereby competitors participate in positive competition which promotes western heritage, furthers the sport of rodeo and spreads good will for their community. – The idea grew and became the subject of a feasibility study required in Shana’s final year at UNM which culminated with the study winning her top place at a national business competition in Chicago. Shana used the competition prize money to start her own business – thus concept turned into reality and Modern Cowgirl was born!
Shana’s initial vision for Modern Cowgirl was to present an online forum for artisans to showcase their products through a virtual trade show. Today Shana’s focus has turned toward philanthropic projects. Her signature campaign -’Ride a White Horse’ – invites women from all over the world to share their stories of inspiration complete with any visual content such as photos’, sketches or drawings. A diffusion line of designs in support of the campaign is also available but Shana’s ultimate vision is – in her words – “to create a passionate group of women that have a goal to inspire and help in any way possible”. Currently this is in the form of endorsing K.I.D.S charity which she donates a portion of her sales to. Without doubt Shana aspires to take the campaign further – “The stories, pictures and postcards that we receive are so beautiful. I would love to publish a book featuring these amazing women”. And another big dream? - “to appear on Oprah!” Watch this space – I have no doubt that with her passion and spirit we will see this Modern Cowgirl ride her own white horse right on to our t.v. screens! Continue below to read more about Shana and her thoughts on fashion and style.
CL Thank you so much for agreeing to feature in Scenes of Style Shana. Being European I am unfamiliar with the Southwestern Modern Cowgirl style yet I love the outfit you are wearing in the photo above. How would you describe your style?
SG Most days I am in tattered jeans, a super soft tee-shirt (loving micro modal and burnout fabrics) and some unique accessories. Lately I am in love with our leather wrap bracelets (above), feather earrings and white horse cuffs. I love turquoise and add it to my look every opportunity. My other passion is vintage jewelry pieces. I’m always on the hunt for something unique.
CL ….and the most worn item in your wardrobe?
SG I have a pair of boots that I live in. They are chocolate brown with teal stitching everywhere. Love them! As I mentioned before I love tattered jeans and burnout tees. Since I sell burnout tees I live in them. New designs come to me all the time and suddenly I have a new favorite.
CL Where is your favorite place to shop? – and what was the last item you bought?
SG Way too many to list. Love the New Comer and shop Etsy a lot. Have a ridiculous amount of BCBG – vintage boutiques and pawn shops. Love it all. Last thing I bought was a floor length summer dress. A cotton, deep teal, off one shoulder number. I can’t wait to wear it.
CL You co-own Adorn with jewelry designer – Dream Mullick – how did you two meet?
SG We actually met through a mutual friend at the University of New Mexico and hit it off. Dream is a wonderful person and amazing business woman. We find inspiration in each other, as well as share lots of laughter in our office.
CL That is very evident with the relaxed atmosphere in Adorn – one of the reasons we enjoy coming in so much. What is your favorite piece designed by Dream?
SG I am a fan of her crown ring collection. I don’t wear many rings, but she did a pendant that went with the collection and I love mine. I wear the crystal quartz necklace all the time.
CL What is your most treasured possession?
SG A vintage concho belt that my mother gave to me for graduation from college. It’s a beautiful sterling and lapis concho belt.
CL So where does a Modern Cowgirl like to go on vacation?
SG Easy – a warm beach – I am not picky, any beach will do! Just sitting – sipping a cocktail and listening to the waves. My husband and I went to Mexico about a year ago and I sat on the beach for hours listening to the power of the ocean. I love it!
CL …….top 5 items you would take on that vacation?
SG My ipod, husband (does that count?), maxi skirt/dress, camera and current read and stack of magazines.
CL I will allow your husband on this occasion:) – so what was the last book you read?
SG I love Kelly Cutrone and her outlook on many things. This is a fantastic read – If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You”
CL Sounds a good life-advise book! What style advice would you pass on to Scene of Style Readers?
SG Work hard at finding your own style. Too many people try to mimic exactly what they see in magazines and on t.v. Fashion media should be a suggestion on what is popular now. Watch, listen and read about what’s happening, but ultimately define who you are. Take the suggestions and adapt them in small ways to your personal style. Carve your own path and be happy with who you are. Confidence is the best accessory anyone can wear!
CL That is style wisdom at its best! Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
SG Still doing what I am doing now. Hopefully incorporating more photo shoots (love them!), running a wonderfully inspiring and empowering White Horse campaign – making a difference in this world as much as I can, with the help of the fabulous women around me.
CL There is no doubt in my mind that you will achieve this and more. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts,hopes and inspirations with Scene of Style. Before we finish can you leave us with a quote or mantra that you live by?
SG I Ride My Own White Horse! Live for Today……Inspire for Tomorrow – Moxie and finally “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever does” – Margaret Mead.
Check out more at the Modern Cowgirl blog. If you haven’t already visited Adorn on Central Avenue, Albuquerque make it a point to do so – you will not be disappointed. Oh and tell them Scenes of Style sent ya!