Howdy Y'all! It's Friday and that means we have another great blog for y'all to read. This week we have Stran and Jennifer Smith, owners of STS Ranch. It is such an honor for me to bring y'all this feature. To be able to write about an amazing company brings me so much joy. Let's dive right in.
Jennifer and Stran Smith have been married for 20 years and they live in Childress, Texas. They have 3 children, Stone, Scout, and Selah. Jennifer is not only a mother and a wife, but she worked as an Equine Correspondent for ESPN, ESPN2, and The Outdoor Channel. She was also a fashion consultant for western brands. Let's talk about how STS came to life.
Jen and Stran worked with western brands as consultants and learned so much about the western fashion industry, that they decided to take the leap. "Once the transition from rodeo to be home more, we took advantage of an opportunity to partner on a western brand of our own. STS Ranchwear was born in 2011." Now, where did ya'll find the inspiration for your brand. "Stran and I wanted a true lifestyle brand that was fashion forward, but also functional on the ranch and everyday life. Once I saw the need for a truly functional western handbag, I began creating beautiful concealed carry purses."
Getting to know the family behind the brand. Stran had a 15 year career in Pro Rodeo and was the 2008 World Champion Tie-Down Roper. "Stran Smith has known his share of hardship losing a best friend and his favorite horse in separate traffic accidents, he suffering a debilitating stroke and endured career threatening injuries to both his knee and shoulder. Through the tough times, he qualified for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo 10 times, became a national pitchman for Wrangler Jeans and Shirts and Ariat Boots. The fans loved Stran, voting him twice as the Coors Fans’ Favorite at the WNFR. Through it all he has persevered with the help of his deep faith in Christ and the support of his beloved wife Jennifer and their two sons, Stone and Scout and now daughter, Selah. In an ending only the Lord could script, Jennifer interviewed Stran for the ESPN broadcast and was the one who informed him he had won the world championship. As Stran’s career has blossomed and evolved, so did his opportunity to be light to many, especially youth who look up to his career. Thousands are familiar with Stran’s popular monthly article, Down the Line with Stran Smith that is published in several national western publications. In this article, Stran tackles, not only rodeo advice, but also encouragement for life’s obstacles. Stran is also an encouragement as an Inspirational speaker in the western world and out. Stran was instrumental in helping to create the popular and inspirational Christian worship service, Elevation Sunday during the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas that has hosted speakers, such as Dr. James Dobson, Mike Huckabee, and Michael Irvin. “I’ve never wanted my ability to take me somewhere that my character couldn’t keep me. That’s always been my goal. This is just the right time. I wouldn’t be half the person I am now if I’d won it way back when. I see how much further I’ve come physically and spiritually. And to be a man of honor and integrity is first and foremost.”
We all know how important it is to have Faith in all that you do. How does your faith give you strength to continue what you do and get you through your struggles? "This past year I have been thinking about the word faith and what it truly means. It is one thing to believe you have faith, but it is another to make your faith actionable. I can say that I have all of the faith in the world, but if I let my fear or emotions determine my decisions or actions, I am truly not being faithful." Talking about faith and taking action on your faith. What was the most challenging thing when you started your business? "When we decided we wanted to start this business, we had just gone through the worst recession we have experienced. It was hard to pull the trigger and get the business going, but if we would've waited for conditions to be "perfect", we would have been operation in fear and never started. As a company and family, we do not operate out of fear. When we feel scared, that's when we know it's time to push through and get going." Those right there are some very wise words! I am currently scared to take a leap because the conditions are not what I think they should be, but now I think I should go ahead and take that leap!
A little more about the family! They have a bengal car named John Jennon and they love him dearly! " He is the best cat ever! We also have 3 dogs, countless chickens, a pygmy goat, a sulcata tortoise, and a couple barn cats. I am pretty much a zoo keeper and I love it" Jen said. As a family, what do y'all do for fun? "WORK! HAHAHA! We find fun in what we are doing and what has to be done. Our kids are very active and Stran and I love going to their sporting events or appearances. We work very erratic hours so we can make sure we are available to support our kids in everything they do. Spending time together as a family is so important and valuable to us!"
The Tack Room Talk is something that I look forward to! Everyday I am checking to see what Stran's message is. I find that every time one is posted, they are directed to me in some sort of way. I'm sure others feel the same. What inspired y'all to start the talk? "Matthew 10:27 tells us, What we learn in the dark we are supposed to share in the light. If our experiences can help others, then it is our responsibility and privilege to pass that along. Most of the time, when we are filming, Stran says he is speaking to himself and if anyone else gets anything out of it, it's bonus."
Jennifer leaves us with this advice. "If you have a dream, do your homework, put in the work, and be actionable in your Faith that God has for you. He put that dream in your heart from a reason."
You can learn more about Jen and Stran Smith by visiting their Instagram @stsranch or you can visit their website, STS Ranch.
I hope y'all enjoyed reading about this amazing family and their beautiful company! Till next Friday!