Jody Simpson and Kathryn Brown are the founders of the incredibly successful High Heel Huntress, purveyors of upscale camo clothing for women.
I sat down with them to find out more about their company, hunting careers, and philanthropic endeavors.
How and why did High Heel Huntress come about?
Kathryn Brown: Our husbands, and I were goose hunting in Stuttgart, Arkansas with our families and friends. We were very uncomfortable in our clothes, for the 999th time because the clothes we wore were our husband’s old clothes. We tried going to several stores to find some women’s camo but there was not a large selection and it was all the same old leaf and stick patterns. We went to eat BBQ in Texarkana and we were discussing our dilemma. Our husbands got fed up with the fashion talk and told us, if we were so unhappy, make our own! They were geniuses! The conversation quickly flipped to creating our own line of hunting clothes that would be fashionable and comfortable for women specifically. We knew that we could make camo out of any shape because it’s all about color and contrast. It was like a bolt of lightning hit Jody and I at the same time because we both looked at each other and screamed “HIGH HEELS!” The men shushed us, but it was too late, High Heel Huntress was born. With the help of an artistic husband, we drew out the first ideas on a bar napkin.
What made you two, with your non-fashion background (Simpson is a Klein ISD Special Ed Principal, Brown is a real estate broker) think you could actually pull off a successful clothing line?
Jody and I are both very passionate about enjoying the outdoors, this passion has intensified as we began to research the lack of clothing and gear specifically made for women. With our business aptitude, love for hunting, and desire to empower women to enjoy the outdoors, we felt that we would be UNSTOPPABLE in creating an outdoor clothing line that was feminine, functional, and even flattering.
What were your first garments?
Our Camo Purple base layer top and bottom. People were intrigued by the purple color as traditionally when people think of camo, they think of the tans and greens. However, we were eager to let them know that most big game animals are color blind. They see in a grey scale, so the camo is more about the contrast of darks and lights, not exactly the actual colors. We are proud to show that our camo breaks up very well in the outdoor environment. The other camo companies have done a very good job of indoctrinating the outdoorsman that camo has to be sticks and leaves in greens and browns. NOT ANYMORE – especially for women – stilettos high heels in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes.
How were they received?
People loved the first garments and kept asking for more. The women love the fit and feel of the clothes and the husbands often commented on how they liked the look of them as well. We wish we had a penny for every time someone suggested we go on Shark Tank.
How did the name “High Heel Huntress” come about?
We decided that we wanted to use the stiletto high heel as a symbol of femininity in our patterns and embrace the strong word HUNTRESS. It was an easy pick for us.
Tell us a little about your hunting background.
Jody Simpson: Being Married to Michael Simpson of Conroe Taxidermy for 29 years, I have been hunting for the majority of my life. My favorite hunt was when I went with my husband on his New Zealand hunting trip with Paul Bamber, our good friend and owner of Wanganui Safaris. To my surprise, Paul offered me an opportunity to shoot a red stag. New Zealand looks like a storybook with its lush green mountains, but they are very steep. After a half day of hiking and scouting, I got my opportunity to shoot. I had not ever shot more than 150-200 hundred yards so I was nervous to shoot from one mountain to another. I made a 370 yard shot! It was an amazing experience. The stag was beautiful and had exceptional crowns that looked like champagne flutes. Kathryn Brown: When thinking about my favorite hunting moments, it always centers around my family and most recently specifically my 7-year-old son, Zane. We treasure the memories created together and handing the tradition of hunting down from one generation to the next. During these hunts together, I love hearing my husband and son talking about conservation, connecting to the outdoors, developing life skills, teaching him responsibility, and building his confidence. Last year, we went to the Simpson Ranch in Bedias, Texas where my son had the opportunity to shoot a 29 in. black buck. The patience and skill that came together in that moment when he made the shot was priceless. Zane was recognized at the Houston Safari Club Convention this year with a Bronze Youth Award; watching him walk across the stage at 7 years old proud and with confidence was an everlasting memory!
What’s new for 2017?
We have some new garments coming out. We are attending more events including The Diva Wow Spring Clinic, The NRA Women’s Leadership Forum in April in Atlanta, and The Texas Trophy Hunter’s Extraveganzas. We are adding a Wild Game Recipe section to our website for people to share their recipes and enjoy ours (please email your recipes to firstname.lastname@example.org).
Where can people find your line?
Our website is www.highheelhuntress.com and we do many trade shows, exhibitions and philanthropic events.