Senior Tate Fritchley opens online boutique inspired by pageant and rodeo backgrounds. Photos by Xan Korman.
AIDEN SMITH | STAFF REPORTER | firstname.lastname@example.org
Senior marketing major Tate Fritchley has used her background in pageantry and rodeos to develop a unique sense of style. Fritchley and her younger sister Ryan have worked together to create the online boutique, Shop Tate & Ry, that is influenced by their individual style. Tate talked about her new boutique and gives us an inside look into her life as Miss Indiana USA.
The Butler Collegian: How would you describe your style?
Tate Fritchley: I think it is a little all over the place. I definitely like classic pieces because I think that you can add them in with anything. When it becomes wintertime, you can wear a turtleneck and do so many different things with that. I also really like western style. My whole family rodeos, so growing up in that environment we always pull different aspects of that environment into our style.
TBC: What kind of clothing items from the western style do you incorporate into your own style?
TF: I like leatherworks. In terms of jewelry, I like leather pieces of jewelry. I think those are some fun pieces with cowboy boots. I do not wear them anywhere besides to go ride, but simple things like that tie into other fashion trends too.
TBC: Can you tell us about your background with pageantry?
TF: In 2016, I was my county fair queen and then went to the Miss Indiana State Fair Pageant, and ended up winning. I traveled to 50 Indiana counties in two months. We did 11,000 miles in a little car — just my mom — and spent the whole 17 days at the Indiana State Fair. On one of my visits, I met the current Miss Indiana USA and she encouraged me to try it, held my hand and led me through the process. I tried it two years ago and placed third runner up and absolutely loved the whole experience, so I tried again last year and won Miss Indiana USA.
Video by Alexis Wallman
TBC: How has the pageant life affected your style?
TF: I love very flowy, simple things and there is definitely a side of pageantry that is very glamorous, so that was stepping out of my comfort zone. It was very fun, especially because I can pick out a lot of fun pieces while shopping for Miss USA. There were a lot of press appearances and I got to do a lot of cool different bright colors and evening gowns. It was really neat.
TBC: Can you tell us about your new clothing boutique Shop Tate & Ry?
TF: My sister and I started an online clothing store called Shop Tate & Ry and it is inspired by our own styles and western styles too. My sister rodeos all year and she likes to have cool pieces that she can take on the weekends. Right now we are only online and hopefully in the next few months we will do some pop ups and maybe go mobile in the future.
TBC: Besides the pop up shops and mobile, what are your other goals for the boutique?
TF: I have always wanted to have my own brick and mortar store, but as the industry moves online I think it is really easy for online. To grow into a space where I can do online and in person, I would absolutely love that. I like the face to face interaction, I think that is really unique and creates a cool experience for people.
TBC: What are three fall and winter essentials?
TF: A good pair of boots. I think you can’t go wrong with boots. Especially leather ones, because they never go out of style. They are a little more expensive, but they last. I have had these for six or seven years. A great sweater, maybe leopard. And my third is jewelry — I love fun earrings and different statement pieces so I think that’s always fun to spice up a simple sweater.
TBC: What is your favorite item in your closet?
TF: Right now my evening gown from Miss USA is hanging in my closet. I’m probably only going to wear that once in my lifetime, but that is by far my favorite piece that I have ever had.
TBC: Where are your favorite places to buy clothes?
TF: I love Target. You can’t go wrong and I think they go off of a lot of the big trends of major retailers and they do it at prices that you can afford. I love to shop at my own boutique, because I pay money to my own store so that’s always nice! I really love Madewell, they have really great pieces that are great quality. Free People is so much fun and do the most unique style so I think those are really cool places to shop.
TBC: Who is a fashion inspiration for you?
TF: There are two. One is Hunter Premo. She is very different. I think a lot of times bloggers kind of go to the same companies and they have the same style, but she really is different from most people and I think that is really cool. Also Mallory Ervin. She is really neat too and she has a really cool style too and lives in Nashville as well as Hunter.
You can follow Tate on Instagram @tatefritchley