Quincy Freeman is a fourth year at Cal Poly who has design on her mind. Along with being a student and a member of the Cal Poly Rodeo Team, Quincy designs boots, belts and clothing for Ariat, an internationally known boot company. The Quincy Collection launched in 2011 and her newest line was released just last week. To view The Quincy Collection visit http://www.ariat.com
How did you get started in designing boots and working with Ariat?
It all started because I was born into a ranching, rodeo family. I grew up living that kind of lifestyle and I loved that. In high school, I started taking art classes. I loved them and I realized I could kind of draw.
My senior year of high school I combined my two passions; art and rodeo. I started painting my own belts that I would wear at rodeos and then I started painting my own tack. I stood out in a crowd because everything else looked really traditional.
My senior year of high school, I made it to the National High School Rodeo finals. I was competing and was wearing all of my stuff.
Some of the Ariat representatives came up to me and asked to take my picture because they were trend searching. After talking to them, I told them I made my own stuff and they asked me to send them some samples. A few weeks later, they called me and asked if I could come have a meeting with them.
At that point, I had just started freshman year at Cal Poly! So I flew out to San Francisco to meet with them. I was 18, and didn't really have that much experience. But I just walked in there and pretended like I knew what I was doing. They asked me if I could do boots and belts, and I said of course I can!
As soon as I got back home I got to work. At the time, I didn't really know how to use computers, so I just hand sketched out everything. They gave me free range to do what I wanted to do. I did my own line of boots, belts and clothes, which was an 18-month process. The beginning of my junior year, my line launched and it was a hit! I never thought coming into Cal Poly I could combine my two passions and have a job that I love.
What is your inspiration for some of your pieces?
For my first line, I have the bronco billy and the holly rose. It is all just stuff I love at the time. This was the time when the tattoo art design was in, and I really love the vintage rodeo look.
Also, I am Spanish, so my Spanish heritage is incorporated too. That's what I did, just stuff I would want on my boots competing.
For my new line, I honored women and women of the west who made America so great. Sometimes I think they are overlooked by the cowboys and the men.
When did you start doing rodeo?
I was born into a rodeo ranching family. My mom’s family is from Nevada and they were one of the first ranching families in Nevada.
My dad grew up in a ranching family too and my dad is in the cattle industry now. From the time I was little, I rode horses, but I never did rodeo until high school when my mom entered me in high school rodeo. I learned how to do all the events and I just fell in love with it!