"Cowboy culture unites on the net!" - Paige Callaway
An interview by Shelby Stewart, with Paige Callaway owner and proprietor of many businesses within the western industry space. Including Paige In Tune, Paige 1912, Pursue Victory, and her podcast, The Wild West Show!
Shelby: Hey Paige! Thanks for agreeing to visit about your experience within the always evolving western industry! I want to visit about technology, and something that I’ve come to start calling “cowboy culture” which is just my fancy way of expressing the awesome communities, trends, and shared experience of those of us who call ourselves cowboys and cowgirls! I instantly thought of you for this interview because I know you have two wonderful businesses in the industry (Paige 1912 & Pursue Victory) that you operate almost entirely online!
Paige: Your welcome! Well let's dive into it! What do you want to know!?
Shelby: I’m curious what your experience, as a business owner in the western industry has been in combining social media with cowboy culture!
Paige: So to clarify, you’re wanting to chat about how technology has influenced and affected my business in the western industry!?
Shelby: Yes, exactly.
Paige: Well obviously for me, podcasts. In addition to creating my own podcast, The Wild West Show, interviewing business owners, and figures in the western industry, all of which rely heavily on social media as a way to promote themselves and their businesses. I also listen to The Full Contact podcast. It’s about cutting and cow horses! They interview guys who started showing in their 20’s, who are now in their 80’s. Before they even had futurities, they were doing heavy and light horse shows at state fairs in places like California for instance. In their lifetime they’ve seen the industry completely transform due to technology!
Shelby: Wow, so you not only create a lot of podcast content but you consume a lot as well
Paige: Yeah I do! Facebook lives have been another one for my business that has been powerful. As well as just being able to receive and send videos of horses and other livestock that are for sale. Before this technology we only had the horses available to us nearby to purchase. With the new technology we’re able to procure livestock from much farther away. Not to mention the ability to take care of our animals has increased drastically. We now have the ability to communicate with vets and find answers online regarding issues and health concerns with our animals. Not only is that beneficial for the health and well being of our precious animals but it also reduces loss of profit through dead livestock!
What's even more is our ability to become more and more competitive, because of access to online courses. There used to be only two ways to get better. Through mentorship or coaching, such as lessons, or books. Mentorship isn’t always available to us rural folks, and books can be a long and drawn out way to get answers to questions. With google search, as well as Youtube videos, and courses such as CowboyCampus.com we’re now able to get answers and solutions quicker than ever!
My boyfriend Matt and I talk about this all the time. Instead of having to drive an hour to a lesson, or pay a couple thousand to participate in a clinic, I can simply hop on Youtube and have access to resources that make me a better horsewoman, and entrepreneur. The western industry used to be a little land locked, which meant we had a difficult time promoting our businesses or gaining new skills. Now our industry, especially the women in the western industry have really been empowered by the rise of social media, Youtube, online courses, and Google search!
Shelby: Wow that's incredible! We truly have so many more opportunities because of the internet!
Paige: Exactly! And I think that's why we see another rawhide braider or silversmith on every corner! Everyone can hop online and learn now, and be inspired to become an entrepreneur themselves! And what's been an interesting result of that is that we’ve gained information that beforehand wasn’t accessible, now the standard for basically every corner of our industry has been raised. We now have access to more information, and so the quality that we can provide is better. And you know who benefits from it the most!?
Shelby: Hmm… who!?
Paige: The animals! The more we know the better equipped we are to take care of them, and to work with them!
Shelby: That’s so interesting!
Paige: The quality of our interactions with our animals, as well as their care has never been so good. As well as the access to entrepreneurship that we can now take part in!
Shelby: Would you say that's been a huge part of your success in the industry!?
Shelby: Tell me a little more about that!
Paige: Well I produce my podcast, as well as own two western clothing lines. Because of the Apple podcast app and the ability to edit audio online I’m now able to put that content out into the world for anyone in the western industry to hear. For my clothing lines, Instagram has been huge. I’m able to share photos, find women to collaborate with and promote my brand! Using Instagram influencers is one of the number one ways to spread awareness of your business, and the western industry has many influencers with very large followings. Because the western industry is so supportive of one another, and with the size of it in mind, these influencers have a lot of, well, influence!
And again, these western lifestyle influencers and “Agvocates” (agriculture advocates) are using their following on Instagram as a form of entrepreneurship!
Shelby: I love what you said about influencers in the industry as well as others using the online world to become entrepreneurs, who might have otherwise never had that opportunity, or the reach to pull it off!
Paige: Yeah exactly! And I think for those people Youtube is a HUGE resource! I think most people learn where to go and how to find what they’re looking for through social media, such as Instagram and Facebook, but then ultimately go to Youtube to learn the skills and to start their own business. And I don’t just mean balancing books, although that is available too, but engraving silver, braiding rawhide, and other western art practices that otherwise this next generation may have in many cases missed out on!
Shelby: Wow! So to sum it up, the internet has been MASSIVE in the western industries' continued success!
Paige: Exactly! My boyfriend Matt Robertson for instance, is a cowboy musician, and what has been so cool is his music has been featured on both Italian, and British radio stations because of the power of technology! He has also done an interview on a British radio station, and we ship his CD’s to Switzerland- all because of the internet!
Shelby: That’s huge! Congratulations Matt! So you and him both obviously have a huge appreciation for technology's impact on cowboy culture!
Paige: Yeah absolutely! I think it’s definitely given people in our industry a little bit more income, which is always a great thing, and of course- improves quality of life drastically! We’re able to now learn things on Youtube, sell items on Instagram, create our own websites from scratch, and of course, all of this coming about because of connections we’ve all made on social platforms!
Shelby: And that’s definitely been the case for Purse Victory, and Paige 1912!
Paige: We just can’t discount how huge the connection aspect has been to the western industry! Our rural lifestyle once prevented us from making connections, now it’s the exact thing that we’re connecting because of!
Shelby: Wonderfully put Paige, thank you so much! I think that’s a perfect note to end on!
Paige: No worries Shelby! Thanks for reaching out. Cowboy Culture unites on the net!