I’m Harley Rhodes and I want to help tell the world something about you.
Like 100% of the people around you, your outer appearance is everyone’s first impression of you. As vein as that may sound, it’s a foundational truth. However, I believe it does not have to be a painful task or huge expense to just be you.
At Dancing Cactus Designs we started as makers of beautiful and affordable cowhide handbags. When I say “we” I really mean I. This company started in the living room of my one-bedroom rent house as I finished my senior year at Oklahoma State University in 2017. With a checking account balance of zero and my last pennies spent on a cheap sewing machine and a handful of cowhides I started making simple bags. Just like all the girl scouts do when selling cookies, I began targeting my friends and family to move and sell my newfound passion for bags.
It worked, but of course at some point each of them had a bag for every day of the week and it was time to target a larger audience. Strangely enough, I saw this as an opportunity to use my degree in Sports Media Strategic Marketing to set the world in my sights and appeal to the masses. I quickly learned that I had so many tools at my disposal to make a direct connection with people through social media platforms. So with very little capital, but all the ambition in the world, I set out on a mission to make connections with customers one sale at a time.
Nearly four years later I find myself with that same explosive passion for people, but having grown my tribe to over 100 thousand followers on social media and enough of my handbags in the world to know I’m doing something right.
Over time my design language has evolved and we’ve found such fun ways to take materials, which are available to everyone in the Western bag industry, to create such different and unique products from everyone else. When you run into another DCD bag out in the world, trust me you’ll know it. As my customer base has grown many have reached out with stories of seeing another person with a DCD bag and striking up a conversation about it. Strangely enough, these encounters typically happen when folks are traveling or not in their normal surroundings. I love that my bags have often brought two complete strangers together in conversation to share their passion for this personal style statement. That’s why I do what I do.
Proudly, I can now say “we” because of course by now I can’t do this alone and I have a team of people helping to deliver this passion to our customers. At the request of those same customers, we’ve also focused on expanding the Dancing Cactus brand into apparel and other fashion accessories. So, in January of 2021, we began curating apparel looks which best express my design language and offering them through our website, smart phone app, live sales platforms and our newly opened retail storefront. As with our bags, we don’t believe a wontedness for our clothes to represent us should be beyond reach of our pocketbooks. Our products are for everyone.
Which brings us to now and how I want to be a part of your life. Everything we offer our customers serve a purpose, whether standing on their own or working together with other items in our collections. Their purpose is to help tell the world about your personality and who you are. I’d be proud and humbled to be in that journey with you.