Happy Monday, y’all! Today I am thrilled to introduce you to my friend and cousin, Brianna Hall Bigbee. Bri and I have been “modeling” together since we were in diapers–I could show you pictures but I’d hate to break the internet. =) Brianna is the creator and CEO of The Bleacher Babe brand–a blog, a shopping site, and a soon-to-be household name. I am so proud of her and all her accomplishments!
Tell us a little about yourself.
Growing up in a rodeo family from Alabama, I have always admired the ladies and fashion of the West. I spent most of my weekends traveling with my Dad to ropings and rodeos. They say you end up marrying somone like your Dad and that statement couldn’t be truer for me. I grew up with my husband who, just like my father, is a professional rodeo athlete. We load up just about every weekend hitting the rodeo trail.
Cole has many accomplishments under his belt. He has won the Canadian Finals, was the top 10 Team Roper in the world, making it all the way under the bright lights in Vegas at the prestigious National Finals Rodeo.
Every time I would visit out West, I always came back with some pretty unique pieces. So many girls would ask me where I purchased them from. I also admired the Pro Rodeo wives fashion as well. Cowboys & Indians Magazine was my Cosmo growing up! I’ve always looked forward to the weekends where I could get all dolled up and strike out with Cole to the rodeos. I would sit with my “bleacher babes” and kill time discussing important fashion, makeup and hair tips. I tried my best to maintain my frizzy mane in our hot and humid Alabama weather, all while trying to capture the perfect video of Cole’s run!
Once I figured out different hair and makeup tricks that got the job done, I couldn’t wait to dish on the new products I found with other women who shared the same struggles. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it! I thought to myself, if only I could connect with more girls like myself. I ran across a few blogs on Instagram but noticed there wasn’t any that catered to my lifestyle. I thought it would be the perfect avenue to share with all of the rodeo ladies the resources I’ve come across from the western fashion industry & rodeo world while on the road. That was the start of, The Bleacher Babe. A social media page dedicated to the rodeo wives that sit in the bleachers every weekend devoted to their cowboys competing in the arena. I offered tips on how to doll yourself in unpredictable weather and how to get the looks for less.
Share your testimony.
What started out as an outlet a little over 2 years ago has now quickly turned into a home based business and allowed me to network and travel the United States. My love for fashion and search for affordable ways to keep up turned into an overnight hit and soon began my journey.
My husband, Cole Bigbee, made The RFDTV American Finals as a top 15 contender the year I began in 2015. It was my first time experiencing being with someone of his talent and exposure. I felt completely overwhelmed. I spent all of my time devoted to helping him get down the rodeo trail. Every weekend I was in the grandstands cheering him on as well as many other contestants’ significant others.
There is a glamorous side to dating a cowboy and also a downside. Rodeoing for a living comes with many perks and disadvantages. The perks are traveling to new places and events every weekend. Meeting new people that share the same interests. The thrill of watching your loved one conquer his dreams and battle it out in the arena. The downside is the expense and pressure that comes with needing to win so you can cover your fees and travel for the next rodeo. There also isn’t much time for date nights. I wanted to give rodeo wives an outlet. A reason to unite together and dress up at an affordable cost since living on the road can be expensive.
When we traveled to Dallas for the RFDTV American Rodeo the pressure as on. Not only for him but the pressure of presentation for me, being there with him. All of the ladies are dolled to the nines at these large events, adorned with very expensive custom jewelry and clothing. I knew that wasn’t an option for me, as for many, so I started a Facebook group called The Bleacher Babe’s Closet. A buy and sell group where women could make money and save money selling their gently used clothing. The idea spread like wildfire.
Once it took off, so many doors have opened. I now produce annual “The Bleacher Babe” Fashion Shows at events such as RFDTV’s The American Rodeo for production alongside RFDTV. I’ve filmed fashion segments with Wrangler and BEX sunglasses while at the National Finals Rodeo in Vegas. I’ve participated in a TV Show, Chasing Down Madison Brown (Daughter of country singer Sawyer Brown). I’ve had the honor of working with Magazines such as Western Horseman, Cowboys & Indians Magazine, Barrel Horse News.
This year I will be working alongside RFDTV covering events such as Round Top Antique week with the Junk Gypsy Company, the red carpet at The Kentucky Derby as well as more Fashion Shows and many other BIG projects in the works for 2017.
You are the owner of a very successful website, The Bleacher Babe. Tell us about how that idea began.
With the popularity of The Bleacher Babe’s Closet FB group birthed the idea of starting an online western fashion marketplace. A place where western inspired boutiques can sell online, similar to etsy and ebay. I am in hopes to finish this project by the end of 2017 along with a new app!
My website is under construction but feel free to check us out at www.shopbleacherbabe.com.
What advice would you give someone who has a vision/dream, but is scared to pursue it?
God is great and His timing is perfect. DO NOT BE AFRAID OF FAILURE! I have failed 10,000 times in my life but at least I know I have tried. God has a plan and it is precious. If you want it, just GO FOR IT!!! Do not let people’s opinions be the one thing that is holding you back! You CAN accomplish anything you set your mind to! I truly believe that. Love yourself for who you are and don’t change that for anyone. Rock your weird sister! From a kid that struggled in school academically and socially due to swapping between two divorced parents 9 times, I can personally say don’t let people’s opinion of you define who you are. DON”T BE AFRAID TO TRY!
One of the hardships I’ve learned with wanting to be an entrepreneur is to always be prepared to fail. Nothing in success comes easy and if it were then we all would be successful. Never let failure knock you down, it only means you took a chance on something. Learn from your mistakes and improve.
Another thing I’ve learned throughout my journey is failure isn’t an option for me, and it shouldn’t be for you either. Put those big girl panties on and keep on trucking! There have been many times where I have been discouraged, but my daddy didn’t raise a quitter. I know God will always point me in the right direction and I have to most importantly put Him first and trust His guidance.
Faith and family are what will get you by. Don’t forget to put them first while searching for success because they are the glue that will hold you together when this world tries to tear you apart. It’s not easy putting yourself out there and people can be negative and cruel, especially when you are shooting for the stars. Let them talk while you hustle to achieve your dreams. Take the high road and don’t focus on proving them wrong. Wish them well because deep down they wish they were as brave as you have been to go for it. Show them that they are just as capable as you are, if they work hard, and encourage them to be passionate about their own dreams. Be kind, be grateful and always remain humble.
What is something you are passionate about?
At 31 I can say I have been passionate about MANY THINGS! LOL! I have tried it all but that has always been my personality. I am a kite in the wind and have learned that it is totally okay! God made me curious and ambitious. I have a restless drive that keeps me fueled to experience life to the fullest. I wasn’t made to fit into a box (I get that from my daddy!).
I love to travel and experience different cultures! I’m interested in health and fitness and with age, it has become one of my top priorities. You only get one body and I’d like to take care of it mentally, physically and spiritually. I love helping others achieve their dreams or just encouraging people. I never really had many people lift me up so it’s extremely important to me to use my platform to inspire others. I love producing fashion shows for a cause.
Doing what I love has allowed me to give back to our community and our military by raising money with live auctions during our Fashion Shows. The most important of all that I’m passionate about is my marriage. I love fashion but it doesn’t define me, however, it has opened many doors and blessed me with a platform to make people feel good inside and out.
Life is so busy these days–how do you recharge?
Detaching is a BIG part of my routine. It is so easy to get caught up staring at my phone. My husband is just as busy as I am so it is important for us to turn our phones off and catch up. I love a good bubble bath, motivational book, going to dinner with my husband, hitting the gym or going on a hike with my dog. We also try to save and go on vacations. Mexico is a favorite of ours and pretty affordable for what you get at all in inclusive resorts.
Tell us three things you are loving (books, tv shows, products, etc.).
- I NEVER get caught up with Netflix but I have been hooked on the ‘13 Reasons Why‘ series.
- A few books that have always inspired me and I tend to pick back up are ‘Eat Pray Love‘ and ‘Girl Boss‘. I’m a big fan of Biographies/Memoirs and reading about people’s journey.
- ANYTHING with Jennifer Aniston. She inspires me so much with how she has handled aging gracefully, life in general and her timeless girl next door fashion.
“No grit, No Pearl” is Bri’s motto, and you can find her on these social media handles:
Thank you, Brianna! We can’t wait to follow along and see where The Bleacher Babe takes you in the future!