Hale on Earth
By Amy Witt
A break-awaying fool, cowgirl fashionista, designer, entrepreneur, and pure genius of recycling clothing, Mckenzie Hale is an ultimate badass at collaborating the old with the new giving you a taste of Hale on Earth. What started as a dare by her father Ken, turned into something that girls had to have their hands on. Selling out her first stock of inventory at the Clovis High School Rodeo, Hale put her passion to work and is dominating!
How did you start you adventure?
Hale on Earth started as a dare by my Dad. I have been upcycling my own clothes since middle school but it wasn’t until my dad dared me to build an inventory and take it to the Clovis high school rodeo where I realized I might have something that other people want. I nearly sold out my inventory and took on a half dozen custom orders at my first show.
What is your favorite part of your business?
The favorite part of my business is the option of sending me your own gems to work on. I LOVE receiving old jackets or shirts with holes in the sleeves and stains on the cuffs because of the stories and memories behind said “flaws.” A patch and some love goes a long ways and the feedback from my friends is nothing short of astonishment.
What is the most challenging part?
The most challenging part is prioritizing my time. With school, 3 horses, college rodeos and Hale on Earth it is so hard for me to make appropriate time for everything. There are the things I want to do, which is sew, ride my horses and rope. But unfortunately, school needs to come first.
Give me a little background on yourself.
I was born and raised in San Joaquin where we grow almonds and pomegranates. I went to Texas on a rodeo scholarship right after high school and was there for 2 years. After I moved home I began my business venture and it’s been booming ever since.
I recently transferred to Fresno State and am a part of the rodeo team. I was also accepted into the Entrepreneurship Mentor Program which I am paired with successful business owners who will assist me in growing Hale on Earth.
What are you currently working on?
I currently have 16 pieces waiting on me. The Chowchilla Stampede Rodeo Queen, a North State Reining Finalist, and a large order of 12 pieces from Texas. A boutique in Clovis called Cowgirl Glitz just picked up my stuff so I am also trying to fit in building up more inventory for her.
Favorite clothing designer?
I have never been one for labels because I know what it cost to make those items and I refuse/can’t justify to pay what they ask for them. Lol
Anywho… I’ve always been a sucker for flower prints and Betsey Johnson has always caught my eye because of her same love for flowers.
Rachel Zoe is my current hero… I would love to blend her pieces with my Frye cowboy boots any day.
Who/what inspires you?
My inspiration comes from the normal folk and historical characters. The punk rockers that live down the street, the metal head that I call my best friend, the girly girl in myself, Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley, they all play a huge role in my work and life.
I believe a great outfit gives people a type of natural confidence and it has been my goal to bring out that sureness in people. We are a time in age when everyone wants to look different, but sadly everything seems to have been done before so I strive to mix the old, with the new, with the in-between. The custom orders allow people to have a say in what goes on their favorite denim and I believe it gives them a special kind of power. If my friends don’t know what they do want, my next question is, “well what do you hate?” And we go from there.
So with that said, YOU guys inspire me as well with your ideas and uses for the wearable art I create. Inspiration is all around me.
Your go-to piece of clothing?
Warm weather- My hank3 concert T-shirt. It reminds me of the best trip with Justin and I can’t wait to see that country rebel again.
If it’s cool outside but not quite jacket weather, My metal vest is still my number one piece… it’s got all my favorite men and bands on there; Ozzy, Alice in Chains, Slayer, Lamb of God… just to name a few. They give me strength from the outside in.
Cold weather- my leather jacket with a woman holding a rifle with a rose coming out the barrel in one hand and paintbrushes in the other, and heart elbow patches on the sleeves.
Favorite beauty product?
My beauty products have dwindled since I now fund a business and still have too many horses, but I’m doing well with sunscreen, MAC Studio Fix, Black eyeliner, and mascara. Chap stick is a given for everybody right?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
5 years from now I WILL BE GRADUATED!! (HOO HAW! Dad doesn’t believe me), I expect Hale on Earth to be “legit and legal” with hired creative hands to satisfy the growing number of boutique inventories and custom orders.
As it is most peoples’ dreams who rodeo to make the finals, it is a wild hair of mine as well. I have a mare who seems to be pretty special so I do hope that I can give her the opportunity to take me to the finals, financially speaking.
10 years? Goodness who knows? I can’t even decide when I am going to make time to go grocery shopping much less plan for 10 years from now.
Tell me about your current rodeo career.
We just had our first college rodeo in Susanville and it was a success for me. I won the breakaway long go, average and had the fast time of the rodeo with a 2.3 on my new mount Peso. It is my goal to make the college finals in the breakaway and I have a good start. Fingers crossed for good calves and sharp ropin!
I went to a few amateur rodeos this year but will hit them harder next year now that I have a solid string of horses.
“If it were easy, everybody would do it”
Any closing thoughts?
I am staying true to you and continue to put all the love and time into each piece that I work on, myself. Please be patient with me as sometimes those chores called school and horses get in the way. I promise you won’t be disappointed with gems you receive back from me.