NEW PODCAST! Sarah Calhoun is the founder and owner of Red Ants Pants (@redantspants), a Montana-based apparel company that makes high-quality, American-made workwear for women. But Sarah’s business ventures are just the tip of the iceberg—she also started the Red Ants Pants Music Festival, which attracts world-class musicians like Dwight Yoakam and Lucinda Williams. The proceeds from the music festival support Sarah’s third venture, the Red Ants Pants Foundation, an organization dedicated to developing women’s leadership, supporting local farms and ranches, and enriching communities. It’s simply amazing that one person can do this much work!
Sarah was raised on a farm in New England, and spent her early career working as an instructor for Outward Bound. After reading Ivan Doig’s This House of Sky, she packed up and moved to Montana, where she began to turn her idea for Red Ants Pants into a reality. She learned to sew, taught herself the basics of the apparel business, and eventually moved to the small agricultural community of White Sulphur Springs, where Red Ants Pants opened for business. As you’ll hear, selling pants is just one aspect of Sarah’s larger vision—she’s using her company to build community, empower women, and bring together people of differing perspectives and backgrounds.
We had a very interesting conversation, and you’ll be blown away by Sarah’s focus, vision, and the staggering amount she has been able to accomplish. She talks about growing up in New England, and how her family helped to instill her relentless work ethic. She discusses her time teaching at Outward Bound, and how many of the lessons learned in that role have translated to her business. We chat about how the Red Ants Pants business model flies in the face of traditional MBA theories, and how her lack of business experience was actually a strength when starting the company. We also talk about how hard work in the outdoors builds self-confidence, as well as her future plans for the foundation. And as usual, we discuss impactful books, films, and the best advice she’s ever received. Enjoy!
Link in profile. // : @redantspants