rachel clark kennedy cowgirl empowered cowgirl magazine
Photo by Amber Shumake.……

Rachel Clark Kennedy’s earliest memories involve horses, cattle, ranching, and travel, so it’s only natural that all those things are near and dear to her today. She grew up riding horses and a lot of life lessons and experiences happened around rodeos, cuttings, sales barns, and going down the road with her mom. Today, she splits her time between Texas and South Dakota where she and her husband live on his family’s ranch. 

In early 2012, while interviewing for an open sales position at Justin Boot Co., her art degree and the custom boots she was wearing that day sparked a different conversation about her future at Justin. She recalls, “My Aunt works for James Leddy Boots and she made me a pair as a graduation gift with my designs incorporated. Beautiful black smooth ostrich with black cowhide tops,colorful inlaid flowers, and my brand: Heart R. I returned to Justin the next day for a follow-up interview for Product Development and the rest is history. My first role at Justin was as a “Product Development Trainee” and within 6 months time I was designing collections for the Justin brand.”

Having been with the Justin brand for over 10 years now means a great deal to Rachel. “I’ve been quite fortunate to have worked alongside many very skilled artisans, footwear engineers, and designers like Lisa Smith, Rodney Ammons, and Jesus Campos. I’ve seen and been through quite a few changes with the company, but at the end of the day I’m humbled to design for a brand with such a rich history.”

With Western fashion continually changing and evolving, Rachel says, “There’s more of a prevalent need these days for better innovations within Western footwear and our Western industry has been steering that direction for quite some time, but overall the future of Western footwear also needs to tell a story. Whether it’s a 143-year-old brand like Justin or a four-year-old brand, customers, especially the younger generation, are looking for styles, brands, products, that share their story. Life is short; buy the boots!”