SHERIDAN — Business partners Jaeger Stander and Dee Crawford say they balance each other out well. Crawford said she’s an organizer with a sense of urgency and business acumen, while Stander is a self-described creative who enjoys managerial structure.
Both of their skill sets are essential to their latest business venture: Wyoming Lifestyle and Design, a lifestyle brand and artistic collective founded by the pair this spring.
The company is intended to help interested clients access a head-to-toe lifestyle consistent with the brand’s vision, Stander and Crawford explained. The organization’s numerous divisions can help clients with tailored clothing and wardrobe styling, hair and makeup guidance, health and wellness concierge services, interior design, event planning and photography.
For instance, if a client is looking for a distinctive piece of furniture or a tailored outfit, it would be the brand’s responsibility to connect that client with a woodworking craftsperson or a custom garment-maker within the company’s many divisions, or artisans and businesses with whom the brand partners.
“We’re really giving guidance to a good quality of life,” Stander said.
But Wyoming Lifestyle and Design offers a lifestyle brand with a uniquely Sheridan-based twist, Crawford and Stander said. The brand is intended to help folks, particularly those new to the Sheridan area, appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship of Wyoming by connecting them with items or services produced in Sheridan. Inspired by the Western spirit of living the way one wants to live — and a touch of Sheridan equestrian chic — Stander said the brand celebrates artistry and individuality through high quality craftsmanship tailored to individual needs.
“I really want to tell the story to the world of what Wyoming is capable of…I love the fact that the people of Wyoming are defining who we are,” Stander explained.
Sheridan hasn’t always been home for Stander or Crawford. Before marrying a several-generation Wyomingite, Stander traveled around the world as a makeup artist and interior designer. Crawford, meanwhile, grew up in Sheridan and left for a while, but, she said, she keeps coming back. Sheridan is the pair’s chosen home and business headquarters, and they’re looking to honor local talent and culture in their work.
Although the idea of a lifestyle brand in Sheridan may seem like urban frivolity, Stander said the idea of selecting fewer, high-quality pieces — of clothing, furniture and more — from locally owned businesses is very consistent with Sheridan’s history. Sheridan’s Main Street used to host fine department stores and custom clothiers, Stander said; although many such businesses disappeared with the influx of multinational corporations, some artisanal shops remain, selling everything from ceramics to saddles. Stander hopes Wyoming Lifestyle and Design will offer an opportunity to return to the romance of that mostly-bygone Sheridan, in which customers are able to invest in refined goods and craftsmanship.
Jennifer Striegel, owner and founder of Wyoming Lifestyle and Design’s cut-and-sew apparel manufacturer RnRiv, said she’s looking forward to partnering with the new company and excited for the way it incorporates Wyoming values.
“I think the most exciting part for me is that Wyoming is, from my perspective, a completely open field for grit and authenticity and creativity…In connecting with WY Lifestyle and design and becoming a collective together, it just enables our individual dreams to become shared dreams,” Striegel said.
The collective also offers clothing makers in Sheridan a chance to educate others on the many hands — from farmers to millers to designers to sewers — involved in the fashion industry, a process that for many remains opaque, Striegel said.
Jesse Smith, owner of local handmade garment shop Western Grace, said working with Wyoming Lifestyle and Design will hopefully make her shop more visible and accessible to the public, too. Wyoming Lifestyle and Design and Western Grace are planning to work together, Stander said, incorporating Western Grace custom clothing as one offering of the brand and eventually hosting artisan-highlight pop-up shops in the Western Grace storefront on Main Street.
“Ultimately, I would love to grow the business and create other jobs for people in the Sheridan area,” Smith said.
The Wyoming Lifestyle and Design collective has a busy future, Stander and Crawford said. This summer, the brand is sponsoring halftime at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday Bighorn Equestrian Center polo games, complete with tents displaying their branding capabilities from clothing to interior design.
Someday soon, the collective will also be preparing for pop-up events at Western Grace, intended to highlight a local artisan’s unique works through an interactive space, Stander said. Eventually, Stander hopes the collective will host about one pop-up per month.
All told, Stander and Crawford said they hope to continue to connect clients with Sheridan-based beauty. In addition to being ambassadors for Wyoming Lifestyle and Design, Stander said: “We’re brand ambassadors for Sheridan.”