Humor, wit and style are a winning mixture, but add in cowgirl touch, and suddenly a brand culture is born.
CJ Garland, a ranch sorter and team penner from Fort Collins, Colorado, found a way to combine her creativity, sales skills and love for her sports in three unique brands of custom clothing: Sorta Naughty, Pent Up and Chase These Cans.
“I’ve always been in sales—I work in pharmaceutical sales—and I think my brain just needed a creative outlet. It’s been more of a labor of love more than anything else,” CJ said.
After moving to Colorado, she went from being a veteran English rider who competed in the adrenaline-producing sport of three-day eventing to pure cowgirl when a friend invited her to attend a sorting event.
Inspired by her horse “Gambler,” pictured above with CJ, the horsewoman launched Sorta Naughty, which caters to sorting and penning cowgirls looking for current styles but with a touch of unique, custom details.
“As a cowgirl, I like things the way I like things,” CJ said. “With that in mind, I try to say, ‘OK, these are the styles, these are the colors, and you can get any of the five brands on any color in any style and make it completely unique to you.’
“Having the choices is the most important thing. Where else can you go and build the thing that you like, order your size, in your color and your individual kind of thing. I’m really into that myself. I like to have my own style and do my own thing. Cowgirls have stronger personalities because of what we do, so having that individual style kind of what makes us cool.”
From tank tops to ball caps to sweatshirts and Western shirts, Sorta Naughty offers a huge variety, which has allowed the small, local business to grow, now shipping coast to coast. The Pent Up logo is geared toward team penners.
“I try to keep my finger on the pulse of what some of the really popular Western brands are doing,” she said. “I spend a lot of time comparing styles with what I’m seeing in other Western brands as far as cuts and styles.”
But when it comes to the color combinations, each customer can choose whatever she likes best.
CJ continues to ride and compete, traveling out of Colorado more to improve her skills, and although she doesn’t own any Paint Horses, CJ says they and their riders are constantly on her mind.
“I see a lot of Paint Horses at sortings. They are awesome horses,” she said.
With the partnership between the Ranch Sorting National Championships and APHA, more and more riders are picking Paints for both ranch sorting and team penning. Not only does RSNC offer added money to year-end high-point Paints in each state, APHA also adds money to the APHA World Championship Show ranch sorting classes. RSNC events are often dual-approved with APHA, making them World Show-qualifying events.
In addition to the Sorta Naughty and Pent Up lines, CJ recently launched a brand for barrel racers called Chase These Cans. She’s working toward using the brand to also raise money and awareness about breast cancer.
“I feel like Chase These Cans, put across a t-shirt, is supposed to be fun and witty and a little provocative, but it also fits right in with breast cancer,” she said. “Sorta Naughty, Pent Up, Chase These Cans—they’re all supposed to be slightly perverse and funny, so you kind of give it a second look and smile.”