I truly would love to teach teenagers about self-worth and living with intention. I would like to connect with them on a personal level and talk these two things over with them. These are things that I didn’t grasp until I was in my mid to late twenties. Sure, I had heard about both and valued them to some degree, but it wasn’t until later that I genuinely tried to implement these concepts into my life, and I wish I had started sooner. Just sharing this with younger generations would be extremely influential.
I had the pleasure to interview rising stars Kaley Thompson, Jaclyn Brown, and Misty Harris.
Kaley Thompson may come from a well-established Mississippi family, but she is as downhome a country girl as they come. In fact, when she and her husband Bubba were planning their wedding, she wanted a low-key gathering of family and friends, and Bubba wanted a more extravagant affair. She loves to ride horses, fish, and help out around the ranch. She and Bubba have a daughter, Andie, and they are expecting a son in February.
Jaclyn Brown has spent most of her adult life in the south and has been a pharmacist for the past ten years. One of Jaclyn’s callings in life was to be a mother, and she got her wish in 2014 when her son Matthew was born. Sadly, her husband James passed away a year later. Jaclyn never dreamed of dating a cowboy, but Booger swept her off her feet. Now married, she, Booger and Matthew are starting their lives together as a family.
Like her husband Cody, Misty Harris is well-known on the rodeo circuit. She’s competed in barrel racing almost her entire life, and also knows her way around behind-the-scenes, producing events. She can pull her weight around the farm as well as any hand, and she enjoys it. So after having their son Carter, Misty made a career change. She left her nursing job to start her own business called Full Moon Cattle Company. She is devoted to Cody, family and their way of life.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
Kaley: I grew up in a small town in Mississippi with my parents and older brother. I played several sports throughout my school years and worked at my father’s welding fabrication shop during the summer (which I hated at the time), but now I am very appreciative of my time spent there. I was raised to appreciate the good and bad times, trust God 24/7, give everyone a fair chance and never put too much value on someone else’s opinion.
Jaclyn: I was very fortunate to grow up with loving parents who gave their children wonderful memories and all the confidence and values to become successful adults. We lived in Indianapolis where my dad was an attorney and my mom stayed home with us. As a young child, my days were filled with playing outside, piano lessons, ballet, gymnastics and summer camp. My most treasured memories are the way my mom made every holiday magical and also running to my dad’s car when he would get home from work. My dad retired from law and we moved to Florida when I was 10 years old. This was quite a change for us city kids as we adjusted to a small town, but now our days were filled with exploring the woods, making forts, shooting BB guns, and fishing with my dad. I spent a lot of time on the beach, and to this day, it remains one of my favorite places. In high school, I was a cheerleader and very involved with school activities. I am still very close to all of my friends from back then. It is a hard task summarizing how I grew up without writing 10 pages, but if I can give my son Matthew the foundation that was provided to me, then I will feel like I succeeded.
Misty: I was born and raised in Kiln, Mississippi by the most amazing parents. My sister Mindy is eight years older than me, and she is one of my all-time favorite people! I was blessed to grow up in a very loving, supportive and empowering family. Mindy and I had the privilege of watching and being a part of our parents starting their business together with very few resources. Now that we are adults, Mindy and I are both business owners. We attribute our successes to the example our parents gave us.
Barrel racing was introduced into my life when I was eight years old. I would do all of my homework on the school bus so I could go straight to the barn when I got home. Rain or shine, I was in the practice pen with my horses preparing for the upcoming competition. My parents hauled my horses and me to a rodeo every weekend. I actually met my husband, Cody, at the 2012 Rodeo Finals in Biloxi, Mississippi and, as you know, the rest is history! I may not be an active competitor now, but the love of rodeo is forever in my heart. I also attended William Carey University where I received my Bachelors of Science in Nursing.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
Kaley: My career path as an online boutique owner was created strictly from the desire of wanting to be at home with my daughter, but also wanting to still feel like an independent woman. Trying to be a full-time mom and business owner was not easy at first, but finally, with plenty of trial and error, I think I have a decent balance of the two.
Jaclyn: I made the decision to go to pharmacy school as it offered me the opportunity to get my doctorate degree in six years, which paled in comparison to how long it would take me to get a degree in my first choice — orthodontics. I liked the idea of graduating into a field where I could spend my career making a positive impact on so many patients since pharmacists are on the frontline of healthcare. I truly love my career. I never imagined I would ever venture into another line of work, but meeting Booger changed that! I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Misty: We startedFull Moon Cattle Company to fill my agricultural void. I spent 27 years of my life with competitive horses, and I chose to give that a rest when I became pregnant with my son, Carter. No, I do not regret giving my life-long passion a break, because what it gave me was the inspiration and the pathway to start my own business.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Kaley: Honestly, there isn’t one particular thing that sticks out, but I’ve always been interested in where my customers are from. I love that people from all over the U.S. order from my boutique; it’s just a neat feeling that I could have a small impact on people from so many places and backgrounds.
Jaclyn: My whole life has been quite an interesting story since I began this journey with Booger. It is very hard to single out one story, but I would have to say going on a first date with someone while he’s being filmed is pretty “interesting”. I tried to ignore the fact that there was a cameraman sitting across from us on the Ferris wheel, but it was strange, to say the least. I really wanted to get to know him but I definitely second-guessed a second date! In all honesty, though, he made me feel really comfortable from the beginning.
Misty: The most interesting thing that has happened to me after starting Full Moon Cattle Company has been hearing the responses of others to my decision. I have had an overwhelming amount of support from family, friends, and viewers from The Cowboy Way. It never crossed my mind that this decision would bring so much encouragement to others.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Kaley: One time I had a delivery of clothing come in and my daughter (who was 1½ years old at the time) thought it would be a good idea to spill a whole bottle of milk in the box. Needless to say, the clothes were washed and donated to charity and I learned to never leave clothing boxes open.
Jaclyn: I’m not sure how funny this is. I mean, maybe one day I’ll laugh, but trying to sell my house, working full-time, moving to Alabama, and planning a wedding all while filming Season Two of The Cowboy Way was probably a mistake! I’m not sure how I did it! I learned that I actually am pretty resilient, but you can only maintain that kind of intense schedule for a limited amount of time.
Misty: One of the funniest things that happened to me when I started Full Moon Cattle Company happened at a cattle sale. I am so bad about using my hands when I talk, especially when I am pointing out the cattle I like most. Out of habit I was doing this very thing during a sale and ended up unknowingly bidding on cattle! Yes, I know it’s a rookie mistake. Lesson learned: Never underestimate the power of a hand gesture. It just might cost you some money!
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
Kaley: First and foremost, we are growing our family. Although it has nothing to do with my career, it is the most important thing to me above all else. So my current “exciting project” would be welcoming our little boy into the world and finding our new normal as a family of four. Career projects will come later when things settle a bit.
Jaclyn: We have narrowed down where we want to live, which is exciting because it gets us closer to building a home. We are way overdue for this, and I believe it’s just a matter of time now before it all comes together.
Misty: The most exciting project that I am working on now is building and creating a forever home for my family. We are expected to move in this summer!
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Just because I like it doesn’t mean everyone else will. At the beginning of this boutique venture I would only buy things I personally would wear and I quickly realized I had to buy for all styles and taste.
- Consistency is key. I can see a big difference when I post consistently and stay focused. When I was first finding my groove with this boutique owner/mom combo, consistency was an issue but I’ve gotten much better about it.
- Utilize the fact that people are interested in you. This was hard for me. Yes, we are on a TV show, but I never wanted to put myself out there or take advantage of people who know my face. But now I realize that I was looking at it wrong. People relate to me because of the show and they want to see me in the clothing and hear my opinion of the item. It’s not about being vain, it’s just about connecting to those who feel connected to me because I’m on TV.
- Don’t let the slow days discourage you. Slow days can easily become a negative force in your mind. Be stronger. Take that slow day and say, “Okay, I didn’t like that. How can I change it for tomorrow?”
- Get Help. This also was hard for me. I’m so hard-headed and thought I could do everything by myself. I quickly realized that although I would love to be Superwoman, I’m not. Help is invaluable and greatly appreciated.
Jaclyn: I have thought long and hard about this, but I can only come up with four things.
- Learn how to ask for help. I have the type of personality in which I want to do everything myself. It’s not that I am ashamed to ask for help, I just like doing things my way. The first time I decided to take all of Booger’s shirts to the dry cleaners to be ironed turned out to be a great realization to me that the time I saved was precious! I’ve decided that during busy seasons of our lives it’s okay to hire someone to help feed animals, clean the house or iron shirts.
- Learn how to cut my husband some slack. I have very high expectations of Booger as a husband to me and a father to Matthew. I have learned over time that filming can be very stressful and tiring, especially for him, since his job is so physical. Since our job is being filmed in our real life, sometimes when the camera turns off, it feels like you are done, time for a break. But in reality, there is no break from real life. It would’ve been helpful for me to understand that after a long day of working and being filmed that he may forget to take the garbage out every once in a while.
- Learn how to thrive even in the absence of a routine. I didn’t realize how much I required a routine for my sanity until I didn’t have one. Our schedule is very unpredictable and I could have been better prepared for this if I had realized my needs earlier on. I’m still working on this. My husband doesn’t clock in and out at 9 and 5, and it’s very tough on a family routine.
- Make sure to carve out time for physical and mental well-being. Being a full-time mother, wife, daughter, sister, and pharmacist while juggling Booger’s Cattle and Performance Horses business and filming a reality show can leave little to no time for myself. I am glad I recognized this early on and I am consciously making time to exercise and plan meals that are fresh and healthy for my family. Also, spending some quiet time every day with God, whether it is reading daily devotionals or just praying, is something I didn’t realize would take a deliberate conscious effort to commit to.
Misty: The one and only thing that I wish someone would have told me when I first started would be to try harder to color outside of the lines. When I first started Full Moon Cattle it was structured like many other cattle companies. I quickly realized that I wanted my business to be unique in all ways, and I put many hours into making it just that.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Kaley: A lot of people have reached out and asked for advice on starting a boutique, and although I have plenty to learn, I try to help them in any way I can. My advice would be to start small and grow slowly. It’s much easier to bounce back from mistakes when you are still in the early stages. Things will come up, and you will lose money on preventable things, but hindsight is 20/20. I was 100 percent guilty of wanting to have as much inventory and new releases as the huge boutiques, but I have realized that they all started somewhere smaller, and had to build their businesses to where they are now.
Jaclyn: Don’t forget how important self-care is. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Get as much rest as possible and make time to exercise. Also make an effort to be prepared, as this usually makes any job easier.
Misty: My tip to everyone is to keep innovating. It is so easy to get in a routine and to get comfortable with day-to-day. I have been guilty of it myself. The only solution that I have found to avoid burn-out is to give yourself challenges. My parents taught me to never let the category of your career create limits.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Kaley: I truly would love to teach teenagers about self-worth and living with intention. I would like to connect with them on a personal level and talk these two things over with them. These are things that I didn’t grasp until I was in my mid to late twenties. Sure, I had heard about both and valued them to some degree, but it wasn’t until later that I genuinely tried to implement these concepts into my life, and I wish I had started sooner. Just sharing this with younger generations would be extremely influential.
Jaclyn: A couple of years ago, I came up with an idea that could help support cancer patients who are undergoing surgeries, radiation, chemotherapy and visits with specialists. Often times the best medical center or physician for your particular cancer is not in your hometown. Sometimes it requires traveling across the country regularly. I experienced this firsthand with Matthew’s father, who was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma in his brain when I was 9 months pregnant with Matthew. We loved our local oncologist, but in collaboration with him, we decided that our best chance of a good outcome would be with the melanoma specialists at M.D. Anderson in Houston, TX. We made frequent trips to Houston for scans, infusions, many surgeries, consultations, gamma-knife radiation, and the list goes on. Each trip costs a family an enormous amount of money, with the bulk of it going to lodging. Keep in mind that sometimes families make these trips every 6 weeks, if not more.
My previous house had a guest house above the garage. The fact that it was usually empty got me thinking. If there are people around this country with vacant, private living accommodations like this, why can’t there be some kind of network of host families who temporarily donate their guest homes to patients who are traveling for medical treatment? It would be similar to Airbnb, but solely out of charity by those willing and able to help. The patients could make profiles that the host families could browse through. If they feel like they are a match, they could offer their lodging to the patient for a designated period of time. I feel like this service would help many patients and families as they struggle with dreadful diagnoses and financial nightmares.
Misty: One thing that can bring the most good to the most people is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God is love.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Kaley: God. He is my number one constant in life. All else can fail, but never Him. Also, my parents. They’re great. They have always been very involved and always provided great opportunities and guidance for me. One thing I appreciated about my parents is that they would tell me like it was when I was growing up. If I performed poorly in sports, they would let me know. Of course, they were just as eager to celebrate the good stuff, too. But nowadays, parents are scared to let their kids fail. Because of my parents’ honesty, as an adult, I’m not afraid of failure. It’s just a stepping stone on the way to success.
Jaclyn: There have been many people who have helped in transitioning from being a widow (I despise that word) to being married again and in the public eye. One particular person who has been tremendously supportive is Matthew’s aunt, Doretta, Matthew’s birth father’s sister. She has stepped in to help with Matthew frequently, even though we now live in Alabama, and she welcomes us to stay with her anytime we are in Florida (which is often since I still work there). She helps to keep James’s memory alive for Matthew and has supported me and Booger in our marriage.
Misty: I am so grateful to my husband, Cody, for being my main supporter. He has never dismissed my ideas, goals, or visions despite how silly they may sometimes be. I do credit myself for having inner strengths, but I was never able to build on those strengths because I have always been bashful. Cody helped me navigate through my bashfulness and had it not been for him, it would have been hard for me to execute to the reality of Full Moon Cattle.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Kaley: “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” — Paulo Coelho
When I was younger, I remember being scared to do certain things out of fear of failing and people seeing me fail. Thankfully, by the time Middle School came, I had gotten over that fear. People’s opinions didn’t matter, and failing was one of the best things that could happen to me. Failing is a very humbling thing that allows you to learn and grow. Embrace It.
Jaclyn: “What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
There are a couple of reasons why this quote speaks to me. I value integrity and I feel like I can learn a lot about somebody by their actions. This quote can be interpreted in a few ways. I also feel that people may intend to do many things, but I encourage everyone to take action and actually make a difference in this world, even if it is a small one. Your actions speak more to your character than your words.
Misty: My favorite life lesson quote is, “Time is non-refundable. Use it with intention.” This quote is relevant to my life because it reminds me to make moves now, in all aspects of my life. Waiting for the “perfect time” will leave you empty-handed.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
Kaley: Is it weird if I don’t have anyone? I have a love of traveling, so maybe some world traveler that could give some great insight and show some great pictures, but honestly, I can’t think of just one person out there that I can choose.
Jaclyn: Jessica Alba. As we all know, she is an established actress, but I choose her because I see how she values being a mother, is a successful businesswoman and manages to maintain a balance between being in the public eye and keeping family values. Not to mention her company, The Honest Company, is on a mission to change the world with its non-toxic and sustainable products.
Misty: I would love to have the honor of sharing a meal with Betty White. She is incredible! I am a huge fan of her career, but also her life. It would be incredible to hear her life knowledge.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Kaley: Instagram: @_KALEYTHOMPSON
Jaclyn: IG: @_jaclynbrown
FB: Jaclyn Brown
Email: [email protected]
Misty: Instagram @mistyharris_