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A Tradition Of Style: Quincy Marvel Freeman

COWGIRL LIFE

A Tradition Of Style: Quincy Marvel Freeman Quincy’s family history in art, fashion, and horses runs deep. 

Quincy Freeman Cowgirl Magazine

Rodeo Quincy founder, Quincy Freeman, on her family ranch in Reedley, California. Interview and photos by Ken Amorosano.

It’s clear to see where Quincy Marvel Freeman, the 27-year-old founder of the Rodeo Quincy brand, gets her style.  Simply walk into the family home, and you’re immersed in splashes of bright color everywhere—from the foyer, where a magnificent silver-embellished Bohlin saddle, once ridden atop a white Camarillo horse in Rose Bowl Parades, pays silent homage to the past, to the ornate tiles and painted walls in vivid reds and yellows.  Adorning the walls, hundreds of framed photographs depict scenes from the family’s rich history in horses and fashion.  To say it’s a creative home is an understatement.  Once you learn about her family’s heritage, it all begins to make sense.

“I think my style is pretty eclectic, but I try and keep it Spanish with a flair for Western,” says Quincy, whose color-filled collection of boots, belts, apparel, and tack, have become a mainstay of cowgirl fashionistas worldwide.  “A lot of my designs trace back to vintage vaquero and stuff that my grandfather would wear back in the early ’50s and ’60s.  Like the buckstitching—I try and make it new and modern—but everything has a touch of the past.  It all relates back to my family’s history.”

Quincy Freeman Cowgirl Magazine

Quincy kicks back on grandmother Rosita’s vintage leopard-print couch.

A Colorful Past

Quincy’s family history in art, fashion, and horses runs deep.  Her great-great-grandfather, Adolfo Camarillo was the “Last Spanish Don” of the region’s pre-1848 Spanish settlers, for whom this California coastal town is named. Determined to preserve the city’s heritage despite an influx of Anglo settlers, Adolfo and his brother Juan nurtured the Californio tradition in ranching, farming, and the development of the elegant, white Camarillo horse breed.

Quincy’s grandmother Rosita grew up riding her family’s majestic horses in the Spanish Vaquero tradition, making yearly appearances in the Tournament of Roses Parade and the Santa Barbara Fiesta.  Rosita dressed in elaborate red satin dresses.  She rode in beautiful silver-mounted saddles and was known to always wear pearls and her deep red lipstick; traditions she passed down to both her daughter and granddaughter.

“My nana Rosita left California and moved to Nevada to be a rancher’s wife, but she never lost her eye for detail and design,” explains Quincy.  “She still painted and was always into fashion.  She was a huge inspiration to me.”

The family of Rosita’s cowboy husband, Tom Marvel, was one of the first to ranch in the state of Nevada and has a long lineage of cowboys. Of their seven children, three were bronc riders, including Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer, Joe Marvel.

“My grandpa was a pretty renowned horseman and an inductee in the Buckaroo Hall of Fame,” explains Quincy.  “Up until he was 93, he was still on the back of a horse and riding.”

Quincy Freeman Cowgirl Magazine

Quincy combines her signature headband and one of her silk scarves with a vintage red dress.

A Horsewoman’s Upbringing

Raised a cattleman and horsewoman’s daughter on an exceptional ranch in the rolling hills of California’s Central Valley, Quincy thrived in the horse culture that surrounded her family.

From as early as she can remember, she was on the back of a horse.  Her mother Sally trained cutting horses, often telling her young daughter how she rode while she was pregnant with her.  Sally was also a style influence, once having had her own fashion line, and always encouraging Quincy to stand out from the crowd.

“Mom has played a major role in my business and what I’ve become.  She always encouraged me not to be afraid to stand out,” says Quincy.  “She was this cowgirl in Nevada—she roped her first mustang when she was 13—but she always had her red lipstick on, and she always dressed to the nines no matter where she was.”

The youngest of five children, Quincy grew up ensconced in horses and ranch life, working along side her parents in the family’s businesses.  Her father, Bill, built his cattle enterprise from the ground up, becoming one of the innovators in today’s online cattle trading industry.

In high school, Quincy began to rodeo, competing in all the typical events—goat tying, barrel racing, breakaway roping, pole bending—and making two National High School Rodeo Finals and winning the all-around for her district.

Quincy Freeman Cowgirl Magazine

Mom Sally, dad, Bill, Quincy, and fiancé, Dakota Eldridge ride at the ranch house gate.

It was also while in high school that Quincy began tinkering with her creative side, taking art classes and discovering a flair for drawing.

Quincy began hand-painting her creative designs on the belts, boots, and tack she wore during rodeo competition, attracting quite a bit of attention. Her bold and colorful imagery of cowgirls on horseback, roses, horseshoes, and cactus made a statement and stood out among the crowd.

Her signature red lipstick and the more than occasional red rose tucked into her hair, a tradition handed down by her artistic mom and grandmother, was also a virtue of the budding stylist.

In college at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, she majored in agricultural communication and was captain of the women’s rodeo team, becoming a Four-Time Collegiate National Finals Rodeo qualifier.

It was there she caught the attention of Western wear giant Ariat International, who enlisted her to design a line of boots and apparel called the Quincy Collection.  The opportunity cut a clear path for the aspiring designer and lit the fuse for what was to become an explosive future in Western design.

Quincy began taking business courses and, with the encouragement of a professor, competed in a series of business contests.  Winning the Collegiate Entrepreneur Organizations National Elevator pitch competition pretty much solidified her decision for what was to become an entrepreneurial dream come true.

“After the contest I had the most amazing feeling—I had all of these business people that believed in me,” Quincy recalled.  “I was like, I guess I can’t let everybody down now.”

Quincy Freeman Cowgirl Magazine

Quincy in her latest design t-shirts, scarves, and headband.

Birth of a Brand

Upon graduating college in 2014, the confident artist and designer launched Rodeo Quincy and began her professional journey.

She started first in her dad’s office, learning to run her business and expanding the line.  She quickly outgrew the space and moved into a larger portable office trailer on the ranch, adding employees as she continued to grow.

Quincy also took the show on the road, setting up at rodeos and making a big splash at the WNFR Cowboy Christmas show where her elaborate Rodeo Quincy retail booth, complete with its huge vintage lighted sign, became a center point for cowgirl fashionistas.

On social media, the young entrepreneur took her unique product line even further.  Using a sophisticated website and a smart social media marketing program, Rodeo Quincy has built an online audience of tens of thousands of followers.

Quincy Freeman Cowgirl Magazine

Quincy and her mom, Sally.

“Everywhere I go, it’s not just people in the Western world or Western industry that stop me and want to know where I got my T-shirt or where I got my boots,” says Quincy.  “It’s people outside of that world, too.  People that just appreciate it and want a piece of it.  I want to bridge that gap between mainstream fashion and Western fashion.”

In 2016, Quincy collaborated to launch Wrangler by Rodeo Quincy, a line of clothing embellished with embroidery, metal studs, and images of horseshoes and lasso-throwing cowgirls depicted on fringed denim jackets, a long-sleeved denim dress, and a turquoise shirt patterned with images of a pink-haired cowgirl riding a bison.

With a continuing expansion of designs and product categories, Rodeo Quincy now occupies a warehouse office space in Visalia, California, where five fulltime employees ship orders to an ever-increasing audience, both retail and wholesale.  The line encompasses designs ranging from colorfully embroidered boots and flirty fringed belts, to sassy tops, scarves, hats, and jewelry, as well as tack and dog collars. Today, the Rodeo Quincy line can be found in more than 300 retail stores nationwide, including Boot Barn and Cavender’s.

Quincy Freeman Cowgirl Magazine

Quincy and Dakota at sunset.

Her Nevada Cowboy

Following in the footsteps of her late grandmother Rosita, Quincy herself has fallen for a Nevada cowboy—one who recently asked for her hand in marriage.

“I remember meeting Dakota for the first time when he and I were both competing at the National High School Finals Rodeo,” Quincy recalls.  “I remember his dad jumping up saying, ‘you’re Quincy Freeman,’ and introducing me to Dakota who was standing there right behind him.”

Quincy’s fiancé is professional steer wrestler Dakota Eldridge, a five-time WNFR qualifier from Elko, Nevada.  The couple will tie the knot later this year in a ceremony in the St. Mary Magdalen’s Catholic Church in Camarillo, built by Quincy’s great-great-grandfather Adolfo and his brother, Juan: the same place and on the same day that her grandparents Rosita and Tom married back in 1945.

Being that the rodeo life plays a big role in both their pursuits, the couple plans on frequently traveling travel together.

“The rodeo road is a big part of my business, so it works well that both of us can travel together, and both get business done at the same time,” says Quincy.  “I will be at the NFR for years to come, because that is the heart of the people that we love and what we do.  It doesn’t even feel like work. I guess you never really work a day in your life when you absolutely love what you do.”

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