To be fearlessly authentic in whatever you pursue is a mantra Emilee Gettle has adopted in every aspect of her life. Her love of the Western lifestyle was cultivated in her younger years, between her dad working their family’s century farm and spending summers in Colorado.
A lifelong enthusiast of fashion, she started an online boutique in 2017, but it didn’t come without trials. Emilee was selling brands she thought the local customers would enjoy, but wasn’t particularly passionate about them herself. As a result, sales were hit and miss. She recalls, “It wasn’t until a friend sat me down and basically asked me why I wasn’t being unapologetically myself in my brand. Why was I buying what I thought I had to buy instead of building a brand that represented the Western style that I actually loved? That’s when the tables turned and Home Folk was really born.”
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, her other passion, was started by her husband, Jere Gettle, in 1998. When he started to see some of his favorite heirloom vegetable and flower varieties disappearing from catalogs, he was inspired to make a difference and make sure they didn’t slip into extinction. What started as a catalog with a print run of 500 has grown to a circulation of 1.5 million today, along with the completion of a Western town complete with blacksmith shop, mercantile, bakery, and now a retail location for Home Folk for customers to make a day of their visit at their farm in Mansfield, Missouri.
Emilee feels she and her family have been blessed by both ventures to meet so many people and travel extensively. “It has always been a part of our mission to give a portion of our sales to nonprofits to help various causes from natural disasters and world crises to local programs. We know that there are many places where hard earned cash can be spent, and when our customers trust us with their purchases we can’t help but give back.”