Top 5 Tips for Montana Entrepreneurs, from renowned Fashion Designer Bethany Yellowtail
1. It doesn’t matter where you come from, you deserve to live your dreams just like anyone else. Sometimes coming from rural areas it feels like a pipe dream to think you could be a fashion designer - but why can’t we??
2. Don’t let fear stop you. I think we shy away from things we deserve too often.
3. Find your voice and know it’s just as valuable as anyone else’s.
4. Find your core values and vision. develop a product or service that represents your core values. That directly translates into your brand, and attracts conscious consumers.
5. There isn’t one way to do anything. There is no roadmap. The way people are purchasing now is so uncharted - it frees you to make decisions how you want to and find your way.
Bethany Yellowtail’s Bio:
Raised on the "Apsaalooke" Nation in a cattle ranching family, Bethany Yellowtail was first taught sewing from her Aunties and Grandmother growing up on the Crow reservation. As a graduate of The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise (FIDM) in Los Angeles. Bethany worked in corporate fashion specializing in pattern-making and design consultation for various prominent brands before launching her own brand, BYELLOWTAIL, in December 2014. Her Great-Grandmother, Irene-Not-Afraid-Yellowtail’s regalia inspired the company’s founding aesthetics.
In June 2015, BYELLOWTAIL launched THE BYELLOWTAIL COLLECTIVE, a brand initiative that features art from Native American makers primarily from the Great Plains tribal regions. All pieces are handmade using time-honored techniques and traditional methods passed down from family generations. The COLLECTIVE proudly carries heirloom-quality artisanal goods, jewelry, and fashion accessories from some of the finest Native artisans around the country. Set on re-invention of tradition and continuity of culture, BYELLOWTAIL shares indigenous art and fashion with the world while providing empowering, entrepreneurial initiatives for Native people.
Top 5 Tips for Montana Entrepreneurs - from Community Leader and Economic Development Consultant, Tracy McIntyre
1. Have a supporting network: Friends and family are what grounds us and they want us to become the best version of ourselves and look after our happiness. Communication with those you love is key.
2. Have a Good Doctor: Your doctor needs to know what you are up to and you need to communicate changes in your stress and activities. For me, I was too much of a workaholic and went to a point of exhaustion. My doctor worked with me to make sure that my body could keep up with the workload that I had and was a good sounding board when I was feeling at my worst.
3. Set Life Goals- It isn’t all about the Business: Many of us go into business for ourselves either because we are passionate about a cause or we are desperately trying to find something that works for us. Set daily and monthly goals along with yearly goals; and incorporate objectives that get you there. And be realistic about what you can accomplish... greatness does take time!
4. Rejuvenate and Enjoy your life: The little things help us become more focused when we are being entrepreneurs. It truly is about balance.
5. Be Engaged: I do a lot of talks on the importance of a business owner being involved in their community. As an entrepreneur, you should be fully aware of what your local Town/City and County Commissioners are doing on a weekly basis as their decisions affect your business on every level. Choose what fits within your vision for your business and yourself.
Tracy McIntyre’s Bio:
Tracy McIntyre served 13 years as the Lead Economic Developer for North Lincoln County. During her tenure, she averaged over $1 million in investment into the community annually, counseled over 35 businesses every year, led the creation of the Wood Development Center (a business incubator where over 20 jobs were created in the first year), and was actively engaged in the county and municipality strategic planning efforts.
With a love for Montana, Tracy started her own consulting company, Rural Economic Designs, LLC, to bring her knowledge of community leadership and collaboration, project development and administration, and strategic planning to other rural communities and businesses. She is also part owner of her family farm where she focuses most of her time behind the scenes on marketing, product development, and financials. Though she is known to be working in the dirt from time to time.
Tracy serves on the Montana Economic Developers Association (MEDA) Board and served seven years on the Executive Team with two terms as President. Governor Bullock appointed her in 2013 as a Montana Ambassador where she is currently serving on the Board of Directors. As an entrepreneur, Tracy is working on building a consulting firm that will address many of the key issues facing rural America and becoming a lead provider to help revitalize and sustain rural communities.
Tracy spends her down time exploring historical places, hiking and fishing, spending time with her family and friends, and enjoying this wonderful place she calls home, Montana.