Sometimes, all it takes is a little splash of color to change your life, and for Kelli LeClair, that color is turquoise.
“Selling turquoise jewelry started out as just a hobby,” LeClair said. “I had no intention of making it a career.”
It would have likely stayed that way had a family incident not sent LeClair and her husband, Hirchell, back to his home in Wyoming. The move forced her to decide whether she wanted to turn her hobby into a career. On Aug. 25, 2016, LeClair launched Heritage Style and didn’t look back.
“It was a blessing in disguise,” she said. “I would still be working at my old job if we didn’t have to move.”
LeClair sells her jewelry on her website, through social media, and booths at stock shows. She now has over 46,000 followers on Instagram, and her jewelry has become a staple in the western community. She has a loyal client base, but she didn’t gain them without some trial and error.
“In the beginning, I found myself going a more ‘traditional’ direction focusing on rodeo fashion and influencers,” she said. “I’m so glad I made that mistake, if you want to call it that. It taught me to let the brand evolve and grow where it naturally fit: in a barn.”
LeClair said her life revolves around calving season and stock shows, just like her customers.
“Call it coincidence or fate, I’ve ended up selling jewelry in a show barn and it’s been a natural fit,” she said. “The people in the livestock industry have embraced and encouraged my vision of Heritage Style since day one and continue to do so. They just ‘get it’ and get me.”
The show barn is a setting LeClair is no stranger to. Growing up in Waxahachie, Texas, she showed lambs and hogs, and now, she and her husband raise show steers.
Today, it’s hard to attend a stock show without seeing someone sporting one or more Heritage Style pieces.
“I want to be known as a young person who built a community that [wasn’t there] before,” she said.
Mackenzie Dorsett, LeClair’s friend and fellow Texas Tech alum, said LeClair has always been known for following her own trail.
“I’ve known Kelli since we were showing sheep in high school,” Dorsett said. “She has been inspiring to me with the way she keeps up with the trends but still does things her own way. Now, as a small business owner, she inspires me even more, with her creativity in using social media and the community that she has built.”
While at stock shows, LeClair said women come to Heritage Style to chat because of the sisterhood she has built within her brand.
“I absolutely love that people come to my booth to visit more than anything,” she said.
LeClair attributes much of her success to the connections she made while at Texas Tech University, where she was involved in activities such as meats judging, and received her bachelor’s degree in 2010, and her master’s degree 2011, both in agricultural communications. She said the sense of community in the department helped her feel at home, allowing her to grow connections and create opportunities.
“Call it coincidence or fate, I’ve ended up selling jewelry in a show barn and it’s been a natural fit.”Kelli LeClair
“The friends I made while at Tech are still some of the most important people in my life now,” LeClair said. “We learned a little about a lot, and the skills I learned while at Texas Tech are some I still use in my everyday life.”
Although Kelli now calls Wyoming home, you can find her in the stands of every Texas Tech football home game rooting for the Red Raiders.
“I love the farming spirit here, and it’s home to the best people in the world,” LeClair said, “I can’t explain it, West Texas just gets in your blood.”