Founder of western fashion brand Rodeo Quincy, Quincy Freeman Eldridge is a western artist and a true rodeo cowgirl. Coming from a rodeo family and growing up with a mother and grandmother who both have always had a flair for fashion, Quincy naturally merged her two passions—rodeo and art—from a young age. With her fashion line, Quincy wears many hats as an artist, designer, marketer, and fearless leader as she brings her vibrant and wild creations to life. We spent time with Quincy and had the pleasure of learning more about her story.
What path led you to becoming a western-inspired fashion designer? “In high school I started high school rodeoing and taking art classes. That’s really where I found my love for art. And I decided to combine the two. I was 18 when I started hand-painting my own western wear. At the time [western wear] was really plain and bland and so I would show up to the rodeos in these really bright, vibrant belts with these hand-painted flowers and it would get a lot of attention. That’s what led to an amazing opportunity: I was spotted by Ariat International and they offered me an opportunity to design my very own line of western boots with them. And that was my start into the western fashion world. I was fortunate enough to work for them all four years through college.”
So when did you decide to take your passion for rodeo and art and turn it into a small business? "At the end of my college career I started to take some business classes, and I took my very first entrepreneurship class. I loved it immediately. I had this phenomenal teacher, Dr. York, and he entered me in a business pitch contest. Which at the time, it wasn’t really anything I wanted to do. I was pretty nervous about it. I had come from the Agriculture Department and didn’t think I could compete against all the business students and engineers. But, I went ahead and took the opportunity. I pitched my idea to start my very own business making my own boots and fashion designs for women. And I was fortunate enough to win the business pitch competition at Cal Poly. So then I went on to the national collegiate competition in Chicago and was fortunate enough to win that. When I got home, everyone started congratulating me on the new business I had started. And so, I didn’t want to let everybody down, and that’s how Rodeo Quincy was started.”
What roles did your mentors play in Rodeo Quincy? “I didn’t have a lot of confidence when I was younger and from a young age, school was actually really hard for me. But both my parents really encouraged me. My dad would work with me every night and explain to me that I just had to learn things differently and as long as I worked hard I would be at the level that the other kids were at. And my mom, she always really encouraged me to stand out of the crowd. I always naturally wanted to just have my own style and she encouraged me to wear whatever I wanted, and to be who I was. There has also been other people along that way that have believed in me before I believed in myself. For instance, my professor at Cal Poly saw something in me that I didn’t. It made me want to succeed even more. I never once dreamed that I could combine my passion of rodeo and design and make it a career. But it just truly goes to show you that if you’re passionate about something and you work hard enough, you can make it a career and really not have to work a real day in your life.”
Where does your sense of style come from?
“My mother and my grandmother have always been a huge inspiration to me as far as style. My nana had such a classic style. She was a ranch wife and my papa was a true blue cowboy; they had seven kids. But she always managed to have her bright red lipstick, her pearls, and her long sleeve shirt with a popped collar. And that really rubbed off on my mom who also has amazing style. So growing up and still to this day, I always looked up to the style and the confidence that my mom has as a woman.”
Starting your own business at just 18 years old is pretty incredible. Did anyone doubt you initially? “I don’t blame anyone for having doubts. Here I am, this young kid straight out of college thinking she’s just going to go ahead and start her own business. But what people underestimate is my work ethic. Nobody knows yourself better than you do. I knew that I was going to be all in and give it everything I had. So I think it’s important that when people are throwing negative energy your way, to just let it fuel your fire. And that just made me want to succeed even more. I’m grateful for that now because that was just an even bigger pushing factor that helped me get Rodeo Quincy to where it’s at today.”
You really seize every opportunity given to you. Can you describe where that comes from? “Something amazing that I’ve learned just in recent years is that there are more people that want to see you succeed in what you’re doing than want to see you fail. And so, it’s important to seek higher power, meet as many people as you can, and every door that opens, walk through that. Because that’s what I did and I couldn’t be more grateful for the people and the blessings along the way.”
What advice do you have for other aspiring artists or designers? “Really believe in yourself and don’t doubt yourself. Go for something and give it a hundred percent effort. Everybody has to start somewhere and there’s never going to be a perfect time to start. So just start now.”