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News

Western Charm- It's a Fashion Thing

October 20th, 2016

By: Barbara Aitken 

“The best thing about being a cowgirl is having the ability to work like a man and having the wisdom to know when to be a lady.” -unknown

Tami Mahoney is a woman with a love for the horse industry and an eye for fashion—western fashion.
Mahoney’s roots stem from the Ohio heartland. She grew up attending the All American Quarter Horse Congress with her father, Don Clason, who served as the Ohio Quarter Horse Association President in 1976 and 1977, as a longtime OQHA board member and was the Congress show manager for two years.
“I don’t really remember the first time I came to the Congress, but I can easily say it was the early 1970s, if not before. It’s funny; I remember people by their hats. Everyone had a different style hat back then. I can look at pictures and recognize the old greats by how their hat looks on their head. It’s funny that of all things, that’s what I remember.”
She showed all-around events with her siblings, Gigi, Dana and Hank (2016 OQHA President) including Western Riding, Reining, English, and Trail. It was a family hobby that turned into a lifelong interest.
As Tami grew into adulthood and started to raise her family, horses became more recreational and not competitive.
Tami and her husband, Bryan, decided to move from Ohio to the big skies of Bridger, Montana in 2007. “We wanted to retire there, but we’ve yet to really do that.”
About that time, her daughter Lindsay started pursuing her college career at the University of Montana, she started making western jewelry and hatbands for extra spending money. That’s when Western Charm was born. “It really started to expand when Lindsay and I became partners in the new business.”
Now, Tami and Lindsay generally travel to rodeo and stock style shows across the western United States to participate in tradeshows. However, there’s one show in the East that they cross thousands of miles for—the Congress. 
“It’s fun coming back,” says Tami. “ It’s more like visiting than working. Sometimes we have people who always buy from us. Others never do, but they always stop and say ‘hi’.”
Tami says her favorite part of being a commercial exhibitor is the interaction she has with people who shop in her store. “Our merchandise is reasonably priced because Lindsay and I both know that women want to buy more than one item at a time. They sometimes want a complete outfit and we can do that for them,” Tami explained. “For example, our hats have always been $15 and we sell 100+ each Congress.”
Another alluring fact for most shoppers regarding Western Charm is the merchandise is in fact, genuinely western styles.
“We like brightly colored prints and accessories, which is the standard fashion for Montana. Tami and Lindsay stay inspired by the Native American influence, specifically the Crow tribe that live in their area.
“Lindsay and I will travel to different powwows in Montana and buy bracelets and various other jewelry from Crow women. They’re stunning pieces that normally don’t last long in the store.”
Western Charm style is authentically beautiful. From casual wear including ball caps and baseball tees to elegant wraps,turquoise jewelry and purses, Western Charm is just that—charming and completely addictive.

Western Charm can be located in Congress Hall in Booth 129-131. Follow Western Charm on Facebook here.