Western Rooted Fashion and Style

Contributed by Jesslyn Blank | Fourth Year | Agricultural Communications

Who is @westdesperado?

Shaley Ham, the face behind West Desperado, is a digital creator and full-time tax accountant from Cheney, Washington. She has deep roots in the agricultural industry and follows her passion for western fashion while influencing other women to wear what they want, while never feeling self-conscious. When first starting her Instagram in 2016, Shaley wanted to share what she loved: western fashion. As her following started to grow, she realized that so many other women loved her unique style too. She now collaborates with name brands, magazines, and businesses, such as Pendelton Whiskey and Free People. Women of all ages follow Shaley for her unique content and transparency online. She now has over 141K Instagram followers as a western fashion influencer, while also working as a full-time tax accountant.

Like many of us, Shaley had to leave her small hometown to attend college in a big city. This was challenging for her because she missed the country lifestyle and agricultural background, in which she was raised. Since she missed the life she had at home, she decided to start an Instagram account and share her love for western fashion. She started it as a small hobby, which grew into a platform that changed her entire life

Where did Shaley's love for western fashion come from? Shaley grew up in the western industry and knows the ropes and reins in the arena. She grew up roping and riding on her family's ranch. Her mom, Pam Capper, is very well known in the professional rodeo industry. Pam qualified in the National Finals Rodeo in 2016, also the year Shaley’s Instagram started to take off. Shaley’s passion for the western industry developed into more than she could have ever imagined. She loves her followers and creating content that she knows they will admire. She has made a name for herself through her brand, West Desperado, and has even won the Cowgirl Magazine 30 Under 30 Award.

What’s Cowgirl Magazines 30 under 30? As stated by COWGIRL magazine, “COWGIRL 30 Under 30 is a flagship program created by the editors and executives at COWGIRL Magazine. Now in its third year, COWGIRL has successfully promoted 90 young women from within the ranks of the Western Industry.”

COWGIRLS' mission is to praise young women in the agriculture and western industry who are bold and are taking chances. They might be athletes, executives, content creators, influencers, or even full-time moms. COWGIRL works to bring attention to these women in agriculture and give them recognition each year. These women are also role models for young women, such as those in college who are starting their own businesses. From the standpoint of a young woman in college, these are the women I look up to. They are honest, humble, and inspirational. They stand up for what they believe in, while not being afraid to share their true selves online.

Social Media On @westdesperado’s Instagram, you will see her love and passion for western fashion and her agricultural heritage. She is consistently sharing her favorite outfits from brands and companies that she works with. In addition, Shaley only shares brands that she has tried and trusts, in the best interest of her followers. Not to mention, she does a great job balancing work-life, staying committed to her fiance, and her social media platform. We all know how challenging social media can be, let alone how challenging it could be for an influencer. Shaley stays true to herself and shows her authentic personality, which is why her following continues to grow. It is important to always remember that people like you for you, they want to see you be yourself on social media. Shaley and other influencers in the western industry do a great job of showing who they really are. They don’t try to be someone they aren’t. She gives young women, like me the opportunity to gain confidence when it comes to expressing ourselves.