Western Before Western Was Cool

Rachel McGinn
Rachel McGinn is a wife, mom of twins, and one of western fashion’s most looked-to ladies.

In life, there are plenty of mind-boggling mysteries, such as “do blondes have more fun” or the overall secret to life. Lest we forget the most unanswerable question of them all, the chicken or the egg? However, when it comes to the notion of “what came first, western fashion or Rachel McGinn”, the answer is very evident. McGinn staked her claim first.

One part ranch wife, one part fashionista, and two parts boy Momma, this leading lady has radiated “The West” ever since the day she was born on an Arizona ranch. She was western fashion, long before the day that western fashion was cool. Adding to her charismatic nature is the sense that Rachel is the last person who would consider herself to have influence; making her even more relatable than the ranch girl next door.

Rachel McGinn
“I like pairing my accessories color wise with my outfit, example a clutch with little pops of rust colors on it to go with a rust jumpsuit. I think that brings the outfit up a notch, rather than a bunch of contradicting patterns and accessories.”

Anyone who meets Rachel can quickly determine that she is someone who has had good style long before Instagram was ever born. However, that social media platform was part of what helped to spark Rachel’s launch into western fashion fame, after the 2014 creation of The Turquoise Teepee, a western fashion Instagram account, and blog. Created with her best friend, Amanda Johnston, the two saw a need for a fashion account that showcased the true spirit of western attire, and thus, The Turquoise Teepee was born. 

“Amanda and I had always been involved in the western industry. We both grew up ranching, working at western stores, and then moving on to work for major western fashion brands in the industry. We noticed that trends in the western industry were tending to stay the same over year-long periods, and that was so vastly different from mainstream fashion where the trends change seasonally. So we came up with the idea of a ‘western fashion blog’ where we could showcase styles new to the western industry, new fashion trends in general, or different ways to wear western apparel.”

The two also asked Amanda Richardson, owner of HD West, to join them on their quest to show off all facets of western fashion. Penned as, “John Wayne and Audrey Hepburn’s creative love child. Elegance on the dusty desert trail,” The Turquoise Teepee truly was one of western fashion’s first blogs. Rachel credit’s part of The Turquoise Teepee’s success to the fact that all three women had very different personal styles. 

“We are all very different from each other, and original in our fashion ideas. So it was great to have fashion that would reach every kind of person out there, whether they were more into classic western fashion, high-end western fashion, or had a liking for vintage or boho pieces. The Turquoise Teepee had a look for every style.”

Rachel McGinn
Rachel lives by the Coco Chanel quote, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.”

“It’s always been good to me,” she says. “Sometimes, less is best.”

Of the three, Rachel was the self-proclaimed, “classic cowgirl”, who still continues to look to women like Vera McGinnis and Mabel Strickland for inspiration. 

I always look to Ralph Lauren and some of those classic cowgirls for fashion inspiration. Their looks are timeless and functional for western fashion. They stick to the roots of western fashion with rough, worn-in leather, cowboy hats, fringe, beautiful Aztec patterns, with beaded and turquoise accessories.”

As the years have passed, and each creator’s personal lives and business have stepped to the forefront, The Turquoise Teepee has taken a back seat; however, Rachel still makes time for showing off her favorite looks on her personal platform, whenever time allows.  Her “go-to” outfit is jeans, a nice blouse, and boots or wedges—equal parts fashionable and functional. Naturally, she tops her look off with a signature braid or fashion hat, and a sprinkling of turquoise jewels, piecing together a look that most women lust after. Luckily for the rest of us, Rachel’s same personal style choices are what she sees as the big players for the upcoming 2019 fashion season. 

“I see classic western wear coming back into the light. More clothes that are functional on the ranch, but still nice enough to wear out to dinner. I see florals, plaids, whites, and golds being big trends in 2019.” 

According to future fashion forecasts, the hunches of the woman we refer to as western fashion’s “original gangsters” are right on the money. Yet regardless of what’s “on-trend”, Rachel’s unique, true-to-her style will always shine through. Whether she’s shopping a brand like Tasha Polizzi, a renowned boutique, like Savannah Seven’s, or a find-it-all spot like Walmart, Rachel can pick up a closet staple from each, or pair them all together for a one-of-a-kind look.  

FASHION MEETS LIFESTYLE

Rachel is not just someone who has a fondness for western fashion. Instead, the west, and all that goes with it, is a lifestyle she lives every single day, and has since birth. 

Rachel’s dad, Greg Beeler, managed the Bar Flying V Ranch, a cow/calf operation and AQHA horse breeding program, in Springerville, Arizona for more than 25 years.

“From the day I was born and left the hospital, I was taken home to that ranch and continued living there until I left for college. My dad was in charge of it all, and my siblings & I were his right-hand people. I was fortunate enough to spend my summers working for my dad—he’s truly one of the best in the ranching world, in my opinion.”

You can tell that Rachel is a true cattlewoman at heart. 

Rachel McGinn
Rachel and her husband Zack were married in 2015. The pair welcomed twins, Kase and Townes, in 2017.

“The western lifestyle doesn’t just inspire me, it enthralls me. It’s a lifestyle so rich in traditions, filled with respect, hard work, honor, manners, home-cooked food, praising God for the good and the bad, helping your neighbor out, and doing just about anything to make sure your animals are happy and healthy.”

Zack, Rachel, and their twin boys (Kase and Townes) currently reside and work on the ranch that belongs to Zack’s step-mother, making it a true family operation. 

“Zack and I are so fortunate to be where we are at! I help when I’m asked or get the chance, but for the most part in this season of life, I’m home with the boys.” 

Rachel’s sentiments regarding ranching are honest, slightly comical, and are without a doubt something that almost anyone in the business can relate to. 

“It doesn’t matter if it’s 100 degrees outside, or if it’s -30 below, you’re going to do it because you love it. Sure, you might throw in some curse words now and again, and wish you had time to vacation to some exotic place; but when it really comes down to it, there’s no other place I would rather be than feeding cattle with my husband, and no other lifestyle I’d rather be part of.” 

MARRIAGE AND MOMMIN’

Not only is Rachel looked to for her stellar fashion sense, but she also leads a very genuine, family-oriented lifestyle, sharing the good, the bad, and all that falls in between. 

For Rachel, the bad has been surprisingly ever-present; however, you would not know it given her positive and fun-loving attitude. 

Rachel McGinn
One of Rachel’s favorite things to do is take roadtrips with Zack and the boys! Some of her favorite trips include staying in a mountain cabin, sans cell service, for weeks at a time.

In 2010, Rachel unexpectedly lost her fiance Mike Barr. Sending her down a dark path, Rachel heavily relied on God and the support of her family to help her through. She is also quick to recognize her now-husband as someone who was her saving grace. 

“I somehow made it to Texas and met Zack. I truly credit him for turning my life around.”

Married in 2015, Rachel and Zack have a very carefree and loving relationship; yet while it looks so effortless, it actually has taken a lot of time to create such a strong bond with one another. 

“My biggest relationship advice is for couples to pray together, take the time to talk about your day, be present and listen,” she recommends. “If things aren’t working in your relationship, communicate it to one another. Figure out a way to make things work. You have to put into the relationship what you want out of it.”

The pair welcomed twin boys in March 2017, but it was no easy journey. Health problems in utero caused Rachel to spend almost two months in the hospital prior to giving birth. After their delivery, Kase (born at 4 lbs. 3 ozs.) spent 31 days in the NICU, while Townes (born at 2 lbs. 3 ozs.) had a 53 day NICU stay. 

“Life has definitely thrown me my fair share of tough times. It hasn’t always been this beautiful romantic life people see me living now.”

As far as balancing marriage and family,  Rachel says it has been an adjustment.

“We have to make sure to take time for just us. Whether it’s a date every couple weeks, or just a simple walk to the barn to help Zack feed. We make our own time, and have the attitude that ‘it’s a date’.”

The two recognize they are in the midst of a very busy season in life and are attempting to live in every moment and spend as much time as a family, as they can. 

“Love can be taken from you at any minute,” says Rachel. 

“It is such a fragile thing. You have to take care of it, nurture it, put time and work into it. If you don’t put the time in, it will fade, and sometimes even when you put in all the love in the world, it can still be taken away in the blink of an eye. I never want to have those kinds of regrets, so I try to love big, forgive and forget, and take advantage of all that’s in the present.”

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Professional Photos: Theresa Sherron Photography

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