CanDoCowgirls are an inspiration for others

A story is being told every time a woman is wearing "CanDoCowgirls" women's apparel.

"There is an expectation to share the CanDoCowgirls story and inspire as many gals, young and old, as possible," said Michelle Michaud, the inspiration behind the business. "The CanDoCowgirls story is all about exemplifying courage, grit and determination in all that you do. The story is for anyone, whether you live in the city or farm or whether you have a horse or you don't. Whether you have a good day or a bad day, think of yourself as a “CanDoCowgirl."

Michaud will launch her new CanDoCowgirl business at the Steele County Free Fair, which begins in Owatonna today and runs through Sunday. Michaud sells women's apparel that includes dresses, tops and shirts and outerwear. In addition, she provides motivational posters and artwork. She also has a full line of floor mats for trucks and auto accessories. "I know it is an interesting combination, but it works," she said.

Michaud had been formulating the idea in her mind for several years and it came to fruition after she competed in the Quarter Horse World Show in Oklahoma. She had spent several years of training and found that by trying hard she was making a difference in her life. "It is not how well you do at the show, as much as it is about the journey, the hard work and what it takes to achieve your goals," she said. "At the same time, a friend of mine who was a role model had cancer. She rode hard every day of her life and competed in a big national show just five days before she passed away."

She was Michaud's inspiration. "I have thought if I have this idea for a business and I don't go for it, I will be letting her down," she said. In addition, the cowgirl theme came from Michaud's love of horses. Michaud hopes if a shirt is worn or a poster is placed on a wall it will inspire someone else. "I'm hoping they will feel proud and think of themselves as a CanDoCowgirl and share their story," she said. The posters are meant to inspire; they have different tag lines and different meanings. Each comes with a CanDoCowgirl photo and/or a logo. They range in sizes from 11x18 to 24x36.

In addition, there are three styles of dresses and outerwear, including fitness pants, jackets and a variety of shirts. All CanDoCowgirls apparel is for the girl who has never rode a horse, dreams of having a horse, dreams of horseback riding, and that is her inspiration, Michaud said. "The rider is specifically designed with a picture from the back so someone that does ride can see themselves out barrel racing, roping a steer, doing cow work or riding hard."

The Steele County Free Fair seemed to be the right venue to launch the business. "This opportunity presented itself with a great location to have a booth at the Steele County Fair. I am grateful for the opportunity," she said. Currently, Trails Travel Plaza is carrying some of the CanDoCowgirl clothing and just by word of mouth, Michaud has been able to sell her products in Missouri, Arizona and Montana. "I have heard, next to the Minnesota State Fair, the Steele County Fair is the biggest fair in the state," she said. "Being a free fair, that brings in an opportunity for everybody to come and see what I have to offer."

Alan Van Ormer
Managing Editor
The Times