Boss Babe or Country Girl - Which one am I?


My life is complex, to say the least. One minute, I'm at the state capitol working on legislation and the next I am driving cross country to ride in a rodeo. I love my life. I love that it is dynamic, I love the duality, I love the diversity and the exposure to something new all the time. I even love the chaos that it creates.

Not everyone is in my exact shoes - or boots - depending on the day, but many of us have to work a 9-5 job to fund our horse habit or other passions. We yearn for more time in the saddle but we need a steady source of income to provide the western lifestyle we love. We take great pride in our horses as well as our profession. I get that. I love my job and every single second I get to spend with my 4-legged family members. I am very fortunate that I get to do both.

On any given day, I go from boardrooms and business deals to ball caps and blisters. There have been many times that I have left a meeting at the capitol and raced to the rodeo grounds where my Mom is waiting with the rig & Rocket in tow. I hurriedly use the tack room to change out of high heels into muddy boots, like Clark Kent in a phone booth. I am every bit as comfortable in a ball gown at a gala as I am in irrigation boots or cleaning stalls.

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I get asked one question more than any other, “are you a cowgirl pretending to be a businesswoman or a businesswoman pretending to be a cowgirl.” This question is fundamentally flawed assuming I can only be one or the other. In all sincerity, I’m both. I am equal parts professional with a Masters Degree and a country girl with a messy ponytail, and big dreams.

Country girls are strong. We are free spirits; we are hard working. We are genuine and sincere, and even a little wild.

Professional women are fierce, we are smart, we stare adversity in the face and don’t back down, we earn everything we get.

The unifying element between the two sides of my personality is ambition and perseverance. Have you ever heard the adage ‘anything worth having is worth working hard for’? Country girls and business women exemplify these values. In many ways, they rely on these values to survive. A cowgirl without grit is just a sissy. A businesswoman without toughness doesn’t crash through the glass ceiling.

Because I am not ‘either--or’ but instead am ‘all of the above’, there are a few ways I merge my two polar opposite worlds. I earned my nickname at work of “Cowgirl” by wearing cowgirl boots through the marble hallways of the state capitol. One need not look much further than the herd of Instagram style influencers to know that western fashion is mainstream. A lot of my western wardrobe also fits my professional style like the leopard ankle boots I posted about recently which fit seamlessly into both of my worlds. A squash blossom necklace, a fringe skirt, or trendy western boots make a statement while maintaining professionalism. Chic western wear allows me to simply be me - every version of me. Dressing the part of a professional cowgirl is my outward expression of inward confidence.

I don’t have to be just one or the other, cowgirl or lobbyist. I can do both. Which look is your favorite?

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Renae´ Cowley