I have a feeling that someday when I look back on my life, 2021 will be the year that I say shaped me into who I became. 2021 started off with me testing positive for COVID and a divorce that I never wanted being finalized - on the same day y’all. Talk about a fun time to be quarantined and have all the time in the world to start running your life’s events through your head. At the beginning of 202 1, I wasn’t really sure what was going to be in store for Buffalo Betty’s. I knew one thing though, that this was my dream and my dream alone and the only person that could be responsible if it crashed and burned would be myself. I recently read a quote that said, “You know who’s going to give you everything you’ve ever wanted and fulfill all your wildest dreams? YOU!” With that mentality I hit the ground running and was determined to do everything in my power to not only keep Buffalo Betty’s open but to grow it and start fulfilling even more of my dreams.
This past year I learned how to stand on my own 2 feet; and put myself and my needs first, because nobody else is going to do that for me. I learned that I am more than capable of running my own business; and a lot of trying with a no quit attitude will get you far in life. Though there were challenges and setbacks at times, I’m proud to report that 2021 ended with having accomplished more than I ever thought possible.
With a clear vision for 2022, I want to take a minute to recap all that 2021 was for Buffalo Betty’s. Below is a month by month highlight reel.
After taking the last few months of 2020 off to focus on my personal life and do a complete re-branding of my boutique; I started back doing my Thursday Night Lives in January. I really focused on advertising the new name, Buffalo Betty’s, and branding the store. Another highlight was traveling to Dallas for a weekend trip and getting to do some in person shopping for the store.
After moving across the country to live with my parents I didn’t really have a space that was dedicated to Buffalo Betty’s. Everything was scattered just wherever I could find a spot and I was bouncing back and forth between different rooms trying to decide where would be the best location for my live’s. Thankfully I have an incredibly talented cousin that is gifted with an eye for decorating and organizing. She helped me transform a nook of my parents loft into a studio per say for Buffalo Betty’s live’s.
March was pretty quiet and I just focused on getting back in the groove of doing my live’s and I also ordered quite a bit of new merchandise. I also turned 31 and I’m so old now that I can’t even remember what I did to celebrate, HA. Oh I think my sister and brother in law cooked me a fabulous steak dinner and cake! The month also had me prepping for my first show to set up at!
The first weekend of April I traveled up to Mound City, Kansas to my dear friend Dakota’s house. Together with her pop up shop, The Ranchy Roan we were a featured stop on the Junk on the Prairie tour. We turned her barn into a fabulous world of vintage “junk” and boutique glam. It was the most fabulous day with non-stop traffic from open to close. As soon as I got packed up I made the late night journey back home for Easter morning church service the next day, but I was on such cloud nine that the hours flew right by. After that weekend, I was hooked on doing shows and by the grace of God I was able to secure a spot last minute at the Better Barrel Races World Finals in OKC. This was my first show being confined to certain booth measurements and I had to redesign my layout a little bit but it all worked out perfectly and was another fabulous show.
May was really quiet as I just worked on ordering summer clothing. I did sign up for a couple more shows and decided to have a structure built for me that I could set up and then secure all my displays to at shows. The guys at Elite Towers fixed me up with exactly what I was looking for and I was ready to really head down the trail.
The first week of June I was able to use my new structure for the 1st time at the Lance Graves International Barrel Race in Guthrie at the Lazy E Arena. I was so thankful to have my aunt go with me and help me set up and figure out how to put everything in with the new set up. Buffalo Betty’s was also proud to be a sponsor of the Miss Rodeo Oklahoma Pageant by providing clothing for the Sweetheart and Princess contestants to wear during the Fashion Show portion of the contest. It was so much fun styling the girls and seeing them up on the stage in my outfits.
Earlier in the year I had signed up to set up at the Tuttle IPRA Rodeo. When July rolled around and the weekend of the rodeo was forecasted to be very stormy I started to panic as I knew I wouldn’t have an inside space. Remember how at the beginning of the year I decided that I was the only one that could be responsible for my business and if it crashed and burned? Well that mentality kicked into overdrive on this particular weekend and I was bound and determined that not going at all was NOT an option. Last minute, I changed plans and decided to set up only on Friday night to avoid the majority of the storms on Saturday night. At this point I was still traveling to shows with everything in a stock trailer which meant carefully wrapping everything and loading right before I left and unloading as soon as I got home and praying that I wouldn’t run into any rain along the way. Looking back, as hectic as that weekend was and considering that it was my cheapest booth rent of the year, it would have probably been ok to just not go but by golly I proved to myself that I am not a quitter and when I say I’ll be there, I’ll be there come hell or high water! However, that weekend I decided that finding an enclosed trailer was top priority and 2 days later the perfect trailer popped up on my facebook marketplace and I went and bought it. That was the best decision I made for Buffalo Betty’s! It has been a huge game changer.
The Oklahoma Cattleman’s Association holds an annual ranch rodeo at the Lazy E and I was honored to get to set up there. It was also my first trip with Black Betty, (that’s what I named my trailer.)
September was spent preparing for fall and winter arrivals. It was full of photoshoots and lots of work on the website. I also invested in a day working with my friend Loryn and mapping out a plan of action for Buffalo Betty’s moving forward.
I headed south to Duncan, Oklahoma for the Prairie Circuit Finals Rodeo where I had so much fun getting to see lots of family and friends. It was a fabulous weekend and will definitely be on the schedule again in 2022.
November was full of being spontaneous and taking chances. I partnered with my sister and her Mary Kay business as well as a few other ladies for a pop up Holiday Extravaganza. It was a quick set up and tear down full of lots of laughter between my sister and I but all in all I am so glad I took the opportunity and went. The very next day I set up for my own 1st annual Buffalo Betty’s Christmas Mart where we collected toys for Santa’s Toy Shoppe of Eastern Canadian County. It was a great turnout and I was glad to get to see some of my customers in person and visit with them. I also sent out handwritten Christmas cards to my top 20 customers of 2021 with a fun little gift and discount code to thank them for choosing to shop small.
The first part of December was spent in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Miss Rodeo America Pageant and the National Finals Rodeo. As some of you know, last year's Miss Rodeo Oklahoma was like my little sister and my entire family traveled out to cheer her on. I had so much fun putting together some of my favorite Buffalo Betty’s outfits and highlighting them on my Instagram and Facebook for you all. A quiet Christmas with my family rounded out the year.
In recap, I finished the year inches away from the goal I had set for 2021, my first year as a full time boutique and I couldn’t be more proud. I made clients and new friends from all over the country this year and most importantly, I had FUN every single step of the way working this small business that I love so dearly!
Thank you to each and every single person who has followed along this journey with me whether you’ve played a huge part or just quietly watched and cheered from the sidelines! You all are important to me and I appreciate every single one of you!
A special thanks to my dad who has put in countless hours helping me get my set up all figured out and actually going and helping me set up at multiple shows. He is always willing to help and even volunteers to do things when I don’t ask just because he sees that I could probably use the help. I also wouldn’t have been able to get up and down the road if it wasn’t for him letting me borrow his pickup to pull Black Betty with. I also want to thank my aunt Rayma who has also spent countless hours going above and beyond to help me with my displays and setting up. She is the creative brain behind 99.5% of Buffalo Betty's; and I couldn't do this without her.
In closing, 2021 taught me how to survive but 2022 is going to teach me to THRIVE! Stay tuned for all the exciting things to come this year!
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