beth cross ariat ceo

In Celebration of Women Blazing New Trails

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we recently spoke with a number of the incredible women in our Ariat family about what it means to be a leader and how, like Beth, they are blazing new trails.

When Ariat was founded, the idea to infuse boots with athletic technology completely revolutionized the industry. Our founder and CEO Beth Cross approached this breakthrough with unwavering optimism and an unbridled passion to build high-quality products that would stand the test of time. Her leadership, which is rooted in hard work and determination are attributes that remain embedded in the company’s culture today.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we recently spoke with a number of the incredible women in our Ariat family about what it means to be a leader and how, like Beth, they are blazing new trails. In these conversations, we asked questions about some of the challenges they’ve faced, where they find motivation, and how they’ve broken through those barriers to achieve their goals. Read on to hear their stories.

Beth Cross, CEO and Co-founder, Ariat

Whether working as a cook on a salmon fishing boat, the driver of a bread delivery truck, or the CEO and co-founder of Ariat, Beth Cross has always approached leadership through a learning mindset.

We know her as the CEO and co-founder of Ariat, but before she started the company, Beth Cross traveled the country working a series of odd jobs including cooking on a salmon fishing boat in the Pacific Northwest and even driving a bread delivery truck. No matter the job, Beth has always approached her work with a learning mindset, which she says is essential for any leader.

The importance of keeping an open mind: Having a learning mindset is crucial. I try to learn something new every day. It is also important to seek out advice when you need it (and even when you think you don’t) and try not to dwell on things that are out of your control. Having this mindset allows you to look at things with a fresh perspective, be creative and innovative, and remain open to new possibilities.

On the best piece of leadership advice she ever received: When you fall off the horse, you get up and get right back on. What I love most about this piece of advice is that falling off the horse is inevitable. It’s not “if,” it’s “when.” There are always going to be some challenges to overcome, but what it comes down to is resilience and hard work. The only way to keep progressing and growing is to accept that failure will be a regular occurrence and to pick yourself up and keep pushing forward.

Her greatest source of motivation? The Ariat Family: Our community is made up of a diverse group of hardworking people, and they are the inspiration for everything we do at Ariat. From the products we develop, to how we select store locations, our partnerships and beyond, each of these decisions are made with our community in mind. They are the reason we have been able to grow the company into what it is today.

jackie crawford ropping

Jackie Crawford, Ariat Athlete and 20x Women’s Professional Rodeo Champion

Jackie Crawford, a 20x Women’s Professional Rodeo Champion, is one of the most decorated female professional rodeo athletes, and one of the few to make a living solely from her rope. Last year, a career long-dream of Jackie’s was realized when she competed at the first ever Breakaway Roping World Championships during the National Finals Rodeo.

On her greatest leadership attribute: I try my best to lead by example and have humility. I know how hard it is to work for the things you want in this world and we aren’t always perfect in our pursuit. I try to be a better person and leader each day and I hope that resonates with the people around me.

An important breakthrough: There was a time I set out to build my own business under my own name and it was the scariest time in my life. It took a lot of support from friends and family and a ton of hard work and believing in myself. I just remember working as hard as I could and doing the best job for everyone and slowly doors began to open up for me that I could have only imagined.

Brianna Noble wearing Ariat jacket

Brianna Noble, Ariat Ambassador and founder of Mulatto Meadows and non-profit, Humble

Brianna Noble is the founder of Mulatto Meadows ranch and its non-profit, Humble, where she is increasing accessibility to horsemanship within her local community. Brianna works closely with children and young adults, helping them discover the benefits of the horse world through a curriculum that teaches leadership skills and exposes students to various professions within the equine industry.

Learning to lead from horses: I think my best leadership attribute lies in my ability to read those around me. A skill that I have to give full credit to horses for attaining. To be a good leader one must effectively communicate, which can sometimes be quite challenging. Because horses do not speak in words they show us how to open our eyes and close our mouths to truly listen and read the emotions of those around us.

An important mantra: I have always looked up to Maya Angelou, a woman that pulled herself up by her own bootstraps. She came from a hard life and became an inspirational, historical figure. She is a hard-working woman, that defines poise and elegance. Her poetry is profound, and whenever I find myself in a tough situation I often find myself reciting their lines in a soft mantra. “just like moon, and like sun, with the certainty of tides. Just like hopes springing high, still I rise.

Addressing challenges with a fresh perspective: From horses, I have learned that facing problems head-on is more often than not, not the best solution. Horses generally prefer to choose the path of least resistance. They will generally go around something before they jump over it, or break it down. That is a reminder to me that many times we simply need to look at a challenge from a different angle, and sometimes we will find an easier path.

Andi Sue equestrian rider with horse

Andie Sue Roth, Ariat Athlete and US Equestrian Para-Dressage Rider

Andie Sue Roth, who was recently named to the US Para-Equestrian Emerging Athletes list, has her sights set on competing in the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris. Though her journey has been filled with rough patches, the 16-year-old is determined to not let bumps in the road stop her from achieving her dreams.

The importance of integrity I believe my greatest attribute is integrity because without integrity none of the other leadership attributes matter. I always want to make sure people know that I mean what I say and do what is right even when nobody is looking. I have also grown to learn the importance of self-motivation and perseverance.

On what it means to be a leader: Being in leadership doesn’t mean “better than” or “over top of”. It is a role to be taken seriously but needs to be carried out in a way that makes me someone who people want to work with. It means that I will take into consideration others’ thoughts, opinions, and needs.