With only $200 left in her family's checking account, Reagan Wood had to take a leap of faith to become the stylist, jewelry designer, and business owner she is today.
At the time, her husband Kanton was an apprentice at plumbing and pipe fitting school, and between attending class until 10 PM and the hour and a half commute, it was all just pennies and dimes to support their family. But Reagan knew that was not sustainable and started an Etsy shop making and selling turquoise jewelry to help her husband.
Back then, it was just stringing beads and repairing jewelry. Kanton's welding experience came in handy, and he quickly took to the soldering iron. Any time they made money, they reinvested it into the craft, and before long, Uptown Vaquera was born.
Reagan looks back on that leap into entrepreneurship proudly and recalls, "I was just in awe that I had this talent that I could, as a mom, be at home with my kids and make money from the convenience of
Reagan and Kanton were all in. They watched YouTube video after YouTube video and became dedicated to learning all the little steps by hand. However, they know the craft is not perfected and continually try to learn more about silversmithing any chance they get.
Uptown Vaquera is a family affair. Their studio space is in the backyard of their home on 5 acres in Lipan, Texas. The family loves spending time together there - from their daughter, Waverly, helping pack orders to their son, Weston, making necklaces for his girlfriend at school.
As a female entrepreneur, Reagan enjoys the flexibility of owning her business. She works hard to be done in the studio in time for the kids to get home from school. "Being a female entrepreneur is empowering," Reagan says. "I would have never thought that I could have both, let alone just being a mom. That's a huge task in itself!"
When approaching a new piece, she usually starts with the stone since the jewelry most likely centers around it. And each stone is different. All mines have different variations, and even turquoise sourced from the same mine will differ. The Earth has a way of using chemical reactions to alter the look and feel of specific stones.
Each piece is truly unique and speaks volumes of Reagan's originality. Kanton loves watching her put it together because it's usually a design he would never have dreamed of, so he is very proud of her creative eye.
When describing her unique and eclectic style, Reagan laughs, "Native. Western. Boho. Retro. That's my style." With the natural ebbs and flows of the western fashion industry, she always tries to stay in her lane and remain true to who she is. In fact, that is her same advice to others trying to monetize their passions, "Stay true to your style. People can smell the authenticity. They're going to know."
No matter who they are or where they come from, Reagan really wants the people who wear her jewelry to feel high class and confident. She is always surprised to see clients wearing her pieces out and about. "It's humbling and heartwarming," she explains.
Reagan works closely with other small businesses on styled shoots. She has found that this content creation aspect is a great way to ignite her creativity. When styling and planning these shoots, her goal is to create images to stop people from scrolling and help her stand out in the crowded market.
Whether she is throwing a saddle on a camel or draping a boa constrictor across a model, Uptown Vaquera's unique imagery is undoubtedly in line with Reagan's jewelry. It's edgy, bold,
People kept asking where she got her clothes at shoots, so she began to connect the dots and introduced apparel into her line. Reagan loves putting together a look from head to toe and appreciates completing an entire look.
Reagan Wood of Uptown Vaquera is an excellent example of a woman dedicated to providing for her family. She trusted her gut and her abilities to take the leap of faith into entrepreneurship. She continues to push edgy western fashion and helps jewelry-wearers feel high class.