A Canadian turned Texan, Dani is certainly someone to watch in the Western Industry. She was recently included as one of Cowboys & Indians Magazine's 21 influencers to follow in 2021. Her sense of style is right up the alley of what we love about modern Western wear - Western with a twist. Dani adds a piece of the West into every outfit and every look.
Keep reading to learn more about this cowgirl, her life, and her journey so far.
Very briefly, where and how did you grow up?
I was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta and moved to my family’s now ranch in Okotoks, Alberta when I was 14 years old. I am the oldest child, with two younger sisters. I grew up with horses my entire life and competed in local gymkhana events, 4-H, AQHA and NRHA horse shows through the years. The Calgary Stampede has also always had a special place in my heart and attending was a yearly family affair growing up. I was fortunate to be a 2013 Calgary Stampede Princess, and to this day that is one of my most memorable accomplishments and a year worth of memories I will cherish forever!
Where do you live now?
I live on a little ranch in Granger, Texas (just outside of Austin, Texas). A far cry from Okotoks, Alberta, I know! My husband had an opportunity to get transferred for work, and we had always loved Texas, and disliked the snow…so we took the leap and almost five years later we continue to love it here!
Who is someone who has had a significant impact on your life?
My mom has always been an inspiration of mine and had a significant impact on who I am today. Watching her as an amazing wife and mother, friend, and encourager, and most recently inspiring me through her new career! My mom went back to school after being a stay-at-home mom for 25 years, got her floral design degree, and now manages one of the busiest floral shops in Calgary! Through that she has truly inspired me to try new things, pursue my passions and what brings me joy regardless of the limitations I might “think” should prevent me from doing so (like being too old, something will take too long etc.)
What is your biggest motivator?
My biggest motivator is remembering that you only get one “today”…so how will you make the most of it and how I want people to remember me!
What’s your favourite sport?
Oh goodness this is hard….I love watching football, I love playing volleyball and tennis and love competing in reining and breakaway with my horses!
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what could you see yourself doing?
I am currently a Project Manager so if I was doing something else it would likely be an event coordinator of some kind, for weddings or large events. If you are talking dream job…. I have always wanted to be a sports broadcaster, hello Erin Andrews 2.0…just waiting for a call from my agent ☺
What is your favourite quote?
I have two favourites!
Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself – Coco Chanel
Failure is opportunity in disguise – anonymous
What does a typical work day firstname.lastname@example.org look like?
I will say that my typical day varies week to week depending on how busy I am but here is a quick snap shot of typical tasks/events for me.
- I review my calendar and prioritize content, shoots/events etc. that are coming up in the following weeks
- Plan my outfits (from top to bottom, I write out everything from my accessories, hair style to lip color for each event or shoot)
- Plan content for the week ahead – I try *really hard to do this daily but #lifehappens more often than not! Ideally I like to have 3 days worth of feed content planned out, with captions
- Answer e-mails and messages – a given, but I do have to prioritize this as my “real job” is very e-mail heavy… so I try to carve out specific time towards the end of my day to focus on getting back to new collaboration/styled shoot e-mails and next steps.
- Scroll Pinterest – this task generally happens multiple times a day…I pin everything from color trends for the season to fashion and posing inspo…Pinterest is a fantastic resource!
What do you look for in the companies that you work with?
I look for companies that have a classic look or style for their product, and that have pieces I can easily see myself incorporating and promoting with my current lifestyle.
How long have you been an influencer and how did you get started?
I started in the spring of 2019 and I would say I find it funny to call myself an influencer…I still feel like I’m a small fish in a big sea with so much to learn….I’m just winging it folks, but thank you!
I have to give a major kudos to my husband as he was the one that pushed me to give it a shot! I had modeled when I was in my teenager and loved watching the evolution of western fashion through my reign as a Calgary Stampede Rodeo Princess and then with moving to Texas the excitement around the western industry was contagious…so I was hooked! I had been talking about going back and “dabbling” in modelling western fashion as a creative outlet for myself…and before the week was over my husband had bought me an outfit from the local western store and let me know that he was taking to me to a rustic small town for a mini photoshoot! I was floored but very appreciative and 999 iPhone photos later, I posted my first “western fashion” outfit on Instagram. I started reaching out to brands and photographers to get experience/content and make connections within the industry and it has been an amazing journey ever since!
What is one thing you’ve learned over your time as an influencer?
Stay grounded, put yourself out there and don’t be afraid to ask for help! When I started pursuing opportunities in the western industry I sent countless messages to other influencers, brands and companies looking for any advice, insight or guidance they could offer. Just starting out, it was amazing to see how many people were willing to help, all I had to do was ask! The guidance I received helped build my foundation and expand my personal brand. Finally, stay centered and grounded in who you are and always remember those who helped you on the way up! As you hit your goals, be sure to extend your hand and help others meet theirs as well!
What’s your favorite part of the western fashion industry?
The community! My start in the western fashion industry really wasn’t all that long ago and from day one I received endless support and encouragement from the amazing women, brands and photographers that make up the heart and soul of the western fashion industry
As an influencer, what is the one thing you avoid?
Anything that isn’t tasteful…from clothing, to poses, to events…I always want to exemplify a timeless class in all that I do!
Why is the West important for the greater good?
The West is important for the greater good because of its deep rooted values and commitment community and diversity! Community – whether you need tips on the latest and greatest saddle pad, need help herding up the neighbor’s cows that got out or want an opinion on how to showcase your newest piece of turquoise, the endless support and encouragement from the western community is bar-none!
Diversity – pieces of the western lifestyle have started to show up in more and more unique avenues over the past few years. From western style crossing over into mainstream fashion, to seeing the western way of life showcased on popular television shows like Yellowstone, to social media shining an even bigger light on our farming and ranching communities. Small but influential parts of the western lifestyle are emerging through, showing how truly diverse the western lifestyle can be. No matter who you are or what your connection to the western way of life might be, finding something to resonate with is more apparent and available than ever before and is truly one of my favorite things about watching the western lifestyle grow!
What are your favourite western sports and events?
Reining, working cowhorse, calf-roping, breakaway roping and I do have a secret love for bull riding – it has always been fascinating to me. I even did a 4H speech on the famous bull Bodacious!
How can we as champions and stewarts of the West keep it alive for future generations?
We can continue to champion the West for future generations through education and inclusivity. Taking the time to share your story, educate others and promote your western lifestyle values day to day, will provide a continued avenue for conversation and draw attention to the importance of the West and how each and every one of us can be part of this community.
Social Media Who are your favourite influencers to follow?
✨ @westdesperado – the OG of western fashion! Shaley does it all!
✨ @rodeovogue – Janzen has amazing business style mixed with western vibes
✨ @western.sage – Gabby’s creativity is bar none and is a styled shoot goddess
✨ @paigearminta – Posing inspiration? Check out Paige’s page, she is my go-to for unique ideas!
✨ @courtdehoff – I love the #FancyLadyCowgirl movement that Courtney started! Whether you live/work in the city or live/work on the ranch, nothing should stop you from combining both your “fancy” and “ranchy” vibes!
✨ @westerncouture – I love Whitney’s classic western style and timeless looks, she never disappoints!
Who are your favourite people/pages to follow on social media?
Many of the ladies I mentioned above also fall under this category but I also love to follow:
✨ @fallontaylor2 – I am not a barrel racer, but Fallon shares a lot of knowledge about positive mindsets, reaching your goals and being 1% better each day…and I love the inspiration she provides!
I also follow probably over 100 amazing photographers all over North America…but a few of my favorites are: @sarahcaldwellphoto, @wildanduntamedphoto and @kayleelynn_creatives …they are the most geniue and creative ladies I have ever met! Their work is phenomenal and I highly recommend checking them out!
Finally I love following @kaitdavis…she is a fitness legend and true boss babe…watching her stories and feed is enough of a kick in the butt I need to head to the gym or follow up on my goals!
What did 2020 teach you?
2020 taught me that perspective is everything! In a year of change it was easy to focus on the negative…but 2020 taught me to look at challenges in a new light and focus on the new opportunities those challenges or changes would bring instead.
What pieces in your wardrobe could you not live without?
Denim…in all forms! Jeans, denim jackets, you name it, I love it! I fully embrace the Canadian tuxedo on a regular basis and have committed to the term #denimdani, naturally, I also could not live without blazers! They are the easiest way to dress up any look, never go out of style and can transition easily between an office look, evening out or western vibe.
What are a few items everyone should have in their wardrobe?
Black blazer, white blouse and a good pair of dark wash jeans…I feel anyone can take on the world with these three wardrobe staples!