Surrounded by lush greenery and dramatic mountain and ocean landscapes of cattle ranches in Kauai, Hawaii, Joelle Alohalani Tafoya grew up in a place that most people can only daydream about. Her grandfather was a long time Paniolo (cowboy) whose cattle ranching style, combined with her mother’s great love for horses, instilled in Joelle an everlasting love for horses, cattle, and the lifestyle that accompanies it.
“Hawaii’s fashion is very laid back, with aloha print bikinis, shorts, and blue jeans year-round,” Joelle explains. “I thought it would be fun to mix the Western Hawaiian prints with brands that represent the deep Western culture in the states and turn it up a notch here in Hawaii by sharing these brands and adding boots to almost everything I wear. I enjoy bringing the twist of high Western fashion brands to the islands.”
When she began blogging for Kimes Ranch and walked in her first Western fashion show with Denim & Velvet, it lit a spark in her that she didn’t even know existed. Her combined passion for Hawaiian fashion and Western lifestyle back in the islands has established her as the Western fashion stylist and influencer she is today. This passion led her to open Hawaii’s first Western fashion boutique, The Prickly Pineapple, and to host an annual fashion show in Kauai during the Waimea town celebration.
The Aloha Cowgirl has some valuable advice for any cowgirl looking to pursue Western fashion content creation. “The world is your runway, girl! If there is a brand that you would like to work with, start off by purchasing a product and just tag away. Don’t be afraid to build personal relationships with brands. Consistency is key, and don’t give up if you get a few no’s because when you get yes’s, it’s the most exciting feeling in the world.”