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Episode 23: Iron Fox Clothing

Join me as I sit down with Kristi to discuss body image and her personal journey. She’s dropping some truth bombs! AND, she’s offering an amazing opportunity just for you!! Listen until the end for the details and code!!

Kelly: Hello, Kristi! Welcome to the Encouragers Podcast!

Kristi: Thanks for having me!

Kelly: So, we have a mutual friend, Aimee - I think she may have done some modeling for you with some different outfits from your company. I noticed that and I was like, “I wonder what Iron Fox Clothing is?” I clicked on it and started following that that point but the main reason that I asked you to be on the podcast, I know I shared this with you but for the listeners, was I was really thinking about how I wanted someone to come on and talk about body image and body positivity. I previously did an episode, if anyone wants to listen to that it’s episode 10 on Body Positivity with my own personal journey. But I loved some of the things you had to say and that you seemed really excited about the other podcast that you were on. I just thought it must be fate because I literally saw it and then saw your message! And I thought, “I have to have her on the podcast!” So, I’m really excited for you to be here with us.

Kristi: Well, I’m excited to be here. Thank you for asking me!

Kelly: Yeah! Absolutely! Can we give a shout out to the other podcast as well?

Kristi: Yes! The podcast I was just on recently is called “All the Things Podcast” and it’s with my dear friend, Jess Breeze. Her episode two was on body positivity so she’s brand new but getting it out there and it’s a very, very good topic to talk about, I think.

Kelly: Yeah, you’re right! And obviously even just with you being on there and then this, obviously it’s something that people are wanting to hear more about and I love the fact that you can have a unique perspective on it. I’m wondering, can you introduce yourself to the listeners?

Kristi: Yup! My name is Kristi Diehl and I’m from a little farm town in the middle of Illinois - Geneseo, Illinois. I’m married. My husband Dan and I have been married for fourteen years and I’m a mama to two little boys who are now not so little because they’re seven and nine. Me in a nutshell.

Kelly: That’s awesome! My son’s three and I just told my husband the other night, “He wanted to walk himself down the stairs in the morning!” I was so sad about that! They grow up so quickly!! What is this??

Kristi: They tell you that when you first have kids and you’re like, “Oh, whatever” and then all of a sudden you blink and they grow up so fast!!

Kelly: Absolutely. It’s mind blowing how that shifts and changes. Thanks for introducing yourself! Can you tell us a little bit about your own personal journey with body positivity and body image?

Kristi: Yeah, yeah. I mean, honestly it all kind of started in recent years because body image was something that I struggled with when I was growing up. I was always an athlete when I was younger but from the time I was in school, I was a chubby kid so I was then that athletic kid, but always overweight so that followed me all through school and still had a lot of friends and all of that kind of stuff but my confidence wasn’t necessarily there because I just always wanted to be like all of the kids that weren’t chubby or who were thin but athletic or just didn’t have to worry about that kind of thing and so I struggled with that and then went to college and gained even more weight and then I got married and gained even more weight and then I became a mom and with that came even more weight! So, there was definitely that gaining weight and not feeling like myself or taking care of myself and feeling like my body was made me struggle mentally. After I had that second baby that I talked about who’s now seven, those boys were born back to back so in two years I had two kids two and under and at that point a switch just got flipped inside of me and I was exhausted but I was determined to figure out a way to make myself feel better and to not feel so tired.

I started dialing into nutrition and focusing on nutrition and I basically had to get a serious sugar addiction under control. I realized at that point that eating healthy foods like body size or type aside, they just made me feel better. I felt better about myself! And it made me want to move my body more because I had more energy and so I started working out at home with the kids and I was feeling better about myself and then my confidence started to come alongside that body movement and that nutrition.

It ultimately really helped with my inner happiness and the peace that I felt within myself. And then when my kids turned three and one, I found Cross-fit and then a whole lot of other stuff changed. (laughing)

Kelly: That’s awesome! Thanks for giving us that summary of things and being so honest with the process that you went through. I certainly appreciate that. You know, I will say that one thing we should talk about too is your company. Some of the clothing you model yourself, the happiness radiates through you. Do you see that yourself in pictures when you’re looking at yourself?

Kristi: Oh gosh, um (laughing) there are so many pictures of myself, I don’t know! I’m just kind of a goofball at heart so when you have so many pictures being taken of yourself, I feel like, “Oh gosh, another picture but it’s what needs to be done” and so I just try to have fun with it and I feel like, I don’t know, probably people would describe me as happy and positive and that kind of thing and I’ve kind of always demonstrated that on the outside but it really wasn’t until recent years with getting comfortable in my own skin that I felt like on the inside was what people saw on the outside if that makes any sense.

Kelly: Sure, absolutely! That matching up of the inside and outside is definitely something that I think a lot of us go through trying to figure out really who we are and I think other healthy people in your life have a good perspective of it and when I say healthy, I guess I should explain that. I don’t mean physically healthy, I mean healthy relationships that you have with people and healthy boundaries can really point out some of those positive things we don’t see in ourselves because we’re so close to it. So yeah, I love that you had people in your life that were sharing that with you.

Obviously you had the experience that you did but what do you think has made you the most passionate about this topic out of everything you have experienced?

Kristi: Honestly? I feel like it goes back to developing a relationship with God. For me personally, knowing and understanding that God created us differently and that we are not designed to look exactly like the person next to us. Once I had that acceptance of that, then that confidence just internally radiates. You quit constantly comparing to the person next to you and I don’t know, I’ve also just kind of found that as women, we’re just so hard on ourselves.

I feel like if someone gives you a compliment on something like, “Oh, I love your hair!” and you flippantly say, “Oh, well I just washed it.” You try to downgrade any of those sincere compliments that somebody gives you. It’s like we can’t accept that.

And so trying to figure out a way that we can accept the good that others see in us and then also be able to turn around and give that good genuinely back to other people to make them feel that same good way and trying to learn how to accept that as women because that goes back to the whole body image and once you can take a compliment and accept it and be okay with it, you realize, “Hey, that’s not so bad. I’m not so bad!”

Kelly: You know, I read a book. It’s called “Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes. I don’t know if you’ve heard of her. She’s the creator of Grey's Anatomy. I’ve only watched one episode. Everyone always panics on me when I say that (laughing). I know others like some seriously dedicated people to the show.

But what I love about her book is there is a chapter in there about her journey of learning to say “thank you” when people give her compliments rather than trying to say things like when someone says, “Oh, you’re shirts nice!” and you say “Oh, it’s old.” Or someone saying, “Hey, your hairs done!” and you say, “I just washed it” or “I haven’t washed it in there days” and so it really talked a lot about that and how she just learned to say a simple thank you.

I know in my own life that was really helpful because that took of the pressure of trying to figure out what to say when someone does give you a compliment. Just to say “thank you” and leave it at that before we can justify it away is essentially what I think we’re doing or downplay it maybe even.

So, I think that’s fantastic.

Kristi: I feel like it’s a learned behavior, you know? It’s like as we get older and I’m sure as a kid maybe it wasn’t that way or maybe if someone said something to you it either bounced off or you didn’t say anything but for some reason, as adults, we have to learn to just yes, say thank you. Accept it and say thank you!

Kelly: Absolutely. Do you think it’s different for men and women?

Kristi: Honestly? I think for men it’s like, I don’t know, at least in comparison to my husband I feel like they don’t really pay attention to anything going on around them so it’s like they’re not internalizing all that stuff and you don’t hear men saying, “Hey, I like your haircut” or whatever. (laughing)

But I don’t know. There’s such a difference in women and what our society wants them to look at or what they project on women. You know men are judged by their jobs or their ability to provide or like that kind of stuff whereas women it seems like it’s all so focused on looks or what they’re wearing and that kind of thing.

Kelly: I love that you pointed that out. I think that those are some really strong differences and do impact how both men and women respond to positivity. And I would agree that sometimes, not always but a lot of times, men don’t always respond to like positiveness or negativeness. (laughing)

Kristi: Yeah! Like if I tell my husband, “Hey, you smell nice!” he says, “Thanks.” He doesn’t go, “Oh, it’s an old cologne.” (laughing)

Kelly: Right! Just something I had on the counter. Absolutely. That is very true and I think that it’s good for us, as women, to be aware of that and I think it’s good for both sexes to really think about the fact that there are positives in both of us and we interact differently but we can actually learn from one another and be able to take some of that and just say, “Thank you” and move forward for sure.

You know, I really want to ask you when we were talking back and forth about the podcast, you mentioned something. Is it okay if I read it and then we can talk a little bit about your perspective on it?

Kristi: Yeah, sure!

Kelly: Okay, so you said, “I’m honestly just passionate about women living a life that’s comfortable in their own skin. That may look a little bit different on the outside but self confidence radiates from the inside.”

I just loved that so much and I’m wondering if you can like share a little bit more about this perspective and how you came to believe that?

Kristi: Well I think I said before you know it comes back to my relationship with God and understanding that I’m different and He created me unique but in that just really learning to find what works for you and what makes you happy.

For me, and I think the majority of people, God created us to eat healthy foods and move our bodies but that doesn’t look the same to everybody and that also doesn’t look the same on the outside to everybody so until you find that balance within yourself that makes you who you are, that’s when you become comfortable in your own skin and also just stopping the comparison like when you see somebody that has sort of a trait that you might be envious of or something that you see in them that you don’t see in yourself, trying to find ways to encourage that person in that trait. I feel like that immediately keeps your heart in check and makes them feel good, makes you feel better because you highlighted that this person is awesome and I see that in them and I’m going to call that out in them but that doesn’t mean I’m any less awesome. I just don’t have that actual characteristic that I admire in them, you know what I mean?

Kelly: Right, right, absolutely. You know, I read a ton of books so you’re going to hear me talk about books probably a lot but well, I guess I should say listen to them a ton. I like audible but I was listening to Melissa Radke’s book and it was called “Eat Cake and be Brave” I think is what it’s called and she talks a lot about her relationship with God as well and her process through that. I just love when people are really open an honest in that journey. I often share in the podcast that if you don’t believe in God, insert what you believe in whether that’s energy or the atmosphere, whatever that is for your particular situations but I just think that it’s really important to be able to notice even if somebody isn’t super religious but just that spiritual component in all of us and how that is all connected.

And it makes a big difference with our ability to really see that everything is connected. If you thought of it differently do you think you’d be able to have made some of those connections? Like, my spiritual views are over here, God’s over here, my body’s over here. If it wasn’t all connected, do you think you would have gotten to that point where you just really see that you’re made to be exactly you?

Kristi: Well if I didn’t see a connection between God creating me and my uniqueness and my body and all that, I don’t think I would have that. There would be a missing element. There would be something that I wouldn’t...yeah, there’s just be that missing component. I think I’d still be searching, you know what I mean?

Kelly: Absolutely. I love that. Can you talk with us a little bit about how you fight that negative self talk? You mentioned earlier that if you’re envious of someone, really speaking truth into that person and encouraging them but what are some other things that you’ve tried before or things you’ve tried to really combat those negative thoughts that try to come in?

Kristi: The calling out in other people what I see is awesome. Good friendships. Having good friends around that are honest and truthful. Trying to smile a lot and have that happiness and just really not, well I don’t know.

Like I said before, I’m a pretty positive person. Even if I have something that comes across negative, I don’t get stuck there and I also am just trying to challenge myself with new things because even I think a lot of us grow up with this fear of failing and this fear of failing keeps you stagnant.

If there is something new that I feel like is something that I’m being guided to try, I just go for it and realize that if it doesn’t work out or if instead of having all of these negative thoughts that would keep me stuck, just for for it and it’s either going to work or not and that’s just going to be how it is. So just take it for how it is and also just too the realization that I’m as imperfect as the next person and none of us have it all together so just trying to figure out a way that you can continue to put one foot in front of the other, squash the negative and not get stuck in them so even if you have them, just move on past.

Kelly: I love everything you said there. I’m going to try to hit all of them because I think there’s such wisdom in there truly. I truly do believe that those negative thoughts are super challenging, especially when we start out on the adventure but I love the fact that you’re like, “I’m just going to try this and whatever happens, it’ll happen.”

I’m very much someone who, if I go into something, I jump all in knowing that if it “fails” that it’s okay because that may be one step closer to what I should be doing instead of whatever it is that I attempted or maybe I try something new or whatever it is. I think that having that flexibility in a way is super beneficial.

The other portion - having people surround you. I love that so much. Have you always found that throughout life you’ve had really great friendships or is that something that you’ve had to work to build?

Kristi: I’ve been pretty blessed in the friendships that I build but really more so in my adult years. In just the last even five years of mom friends that I’ve had, those have been the friendship that I feel like they just get me and they get my heart and they understand all of the different roles that we have to play but that once I became a mom and developed, you know there are just friends that you can’t connect with them and on that heart level I have a good group of girlfriends that are just my heart. I would do anything for them and they would do anything for me but yeah, it took awhile for me to get there. I had my own struggles. Everyone has their own struggles when they’re growing up, especially being a girl. For some reason, girls are just kind of stupid to each other when their younger. I had my own share of that and I know I took part in my own share of that but fortunately being closer to forty has done some good things in the friendship department.

Kelly: You know, I know a lot of people really struggle with getting older but one thing that I find is that every single year is better and better and I don’t know if it’s because for me personally, I can’t speak for everyone, but I just feel like maybe I’m more connected to myself and more accepting of who I am or if it’s because at this point it’s quality relationships that I want over quantity. But I think sometimes that maturity level is really is beneficial as we continue to age.

Krisit: I can definitely agree with that. Caring a little bit less about what other people think or the amount of friends you have or anything like that and really investing in people that get you on that heart level.

Kelly: Absolutely. I know for me, after having my son especially, I just didn't really care. I’ve never been a huge gossiper in general but I just didn’t care about any of that. Like I have too much other stuff to do. I really want to have deep, quality, meaningful relationships. I don’t really care who’s talking to who or who’s doing what. Not in a mean way but it’s just not something that I’m interested in. I don’t want to have that negativity in my life. I want to be able to be positive and embrace other positive people as well and maybe bring others up.

I do think that, not that you have to be a mom to have the revelation, but I do think that sometimes that is helpful.

Kristi: Yes, for sure.

Kelly: So, can we talk a little bit, I’m just curious on your perspective as far as living a healthy, confident life, do you think that that’s something we have to strive for for our entire life or is there ever a time that we just kind of reach our best life and it starts to come a little bit more naturally to us?

Kristi: Oh gosh, um. For some people, I think it’s probably more natural. For others, it’s a continuous effort. I have to make choices every day to, what I would consider, stay on track because I can easily gravitate back to old habits of just like being lazy or just not cooking anything nutritious and all of the stuff that's kind of like taking the easy way out instead of investing in me because when you’re eating healthy foods and you’re wanting to do some sort of fitness on a regular basis, you have to make the time for that because it doesn’t come. It’s a time investment. But in the end, there is a flip side because once you’ve done it for so many years, your body responds to that and if you stop doing it after a few days it’s like, “What’s going on here? You need to get your butt back in gear. You need that reset and you need to get back moving and that kind of thing.”

I think over continuous effort, it becomes more of a natural thing that you gravitate back to but I think we can all be inundated by unhealthy foods and Netflix binges in our culture versus going out for something or playing in the yard or doing something else because we’re just busy.

Kelly: I think sometimes too it’s a portion of being able to like numb our minds when we do have so much going on. Watching tv at times can be a way of numbing our mind rather than making that effort to be present in our own lives, it’s an easy way to pass time so I think that definitely can change things.

But I think I would agree in my own personal life, it is something that’s a conscious effort. Even this morning my alarm went off and I wake up pretty early. I was like, “I’m so tired. I don’t want to get up.”

But then I kept thinking first of all, I’m just going to lay here. I don’t want to get up and I’m never going to go back to sleep again but also, what did I say I was going to do before I was in this moment? What was my plan? Okay, I need to stick to that plan because it’s going to make me feel better.

For me I know that I’ve talked about this before on the podcast but until I got to the point where I could find a way to make being healthy beneficial for me, I know that sounds really silly but until I could find a way to justify it in my mind that it was beneficial, I really couldn’t get it to a point where it was more consistent for me so when I realized that I could be more productive in my life if I felt better, if I went to the gym, I was like, “Productivity! Heck yeah! Sign me up!” You know?

As silly as that sounds, it wasn’t enough to be like, “Oh, I should be healthy” or “I should view myself positively” until I really realized there were some serious benefits to it that you don’t even realized, I don’t think it really resonated with me.

Kristi: There’s something to be said about the routine and the benefits that you get from whatever you're doing to live healthy. But when we go on vacation I feel like vacation is like this chill time. You’re being lazy, you’re eating at restaurants, you know all the fun stuff but then after like four or five days I noticed I just get a little cranky and I’m like, “Why am I cranky? What’s going on here?”

Then I think I just need to get a quick work out in. I need to get my endorphins going. I need to get my blood flowing.

So, if I just do something real quick like ten, fifteen minutes, that mental reset happens and my body’s like “We’re good, we’re good. Let’s keep going!”

You asked whether it’s like something that comes more naturally or if it’s a continuous effort. I do think that it’s a continuous effort but it is something that becomes a natural habit over time.

Kelly: Sure. That absolutely makes a lot of sense. And I love the fact that you have that insight into knowing for you if you are feeling a little cranky and I think for anyone truly, if we move that helps a lot. Not that that’s always going to help things but that certainly helps to have that reset.

So I think that’s great. You should definitely feel really amazing about having that insight because a lot of us don’t, so it’s great that you have that for sure.

I’m wondering if we can shift gears a little bit because I want to be able to talk about your company.

Can you tell us, I mentioned the name earlier - Iron Fox Clothing - but can you talk about the motivation behind starting it?

Kristi: Yeah! I’ve always loved fashion. I’ve always been creative and to me it was blending those two and solving a problem. After I started Cross-fit when my boys were little, and Cross-fit is ultimately to me, like it’s not for everyone and others think that we’re crazy, but cross-fit to me was a place that I stopped looking at my body for how it looks. When I walk in that gym, I could care less about how I look. I just care about what I can do because it became being able to function and being able to compare not to anyone else but like when I started, I couldn’t do a pull-up. Now I can do XYZ amount of pull-ups. It’s like comparing yourself to yourself and your physical capabilities, having nothing to do with your way that your body looks.

This has been going on for year six. I started Iron Fox clothing about a year and a half ago because my body had changed. I was doing cross-fit, gaining some muscle, still am not a slender, thin person by any means. I have some meat on my frame and so trying to find clothing that was cute, comfortable and also functional for a life of movement was becoming a problem.

So, I decided that since it was a problem for me, it was probably a problem for other people that do stuff like that too. I decided to start the clothing company. My focus is on having fashion that changes with a woman’s constantly changing body.

I also know my body, it could be fluffier at times, it can be leaner at times. It fluctuates all of the time and so trying to find clothing that stretches and flexes for that was something I wanted to offer.

I curated my clothing line and it offers fabrics and styles that flexes with the woman’s body that is in motion and in various sizes. It goes from small to 3x in different styles.

Kelly: Awesome! I love the fact that you saw just really a lacking of what you were needing and then you were able to find a solution for it. That’s awesome. Do you feel like that’s something that you do pretty frequently in life? You’re like, “Oh, there’s something missing here. I need to be able to solve this and figure out” or was it more so just this passion for being able to start your own company?

Kristi: I don’t know. I think my husband and I are pretty good problem solvers. I also had a grandpa that was very creative, lets say, in his method of solving things so we were definitely raised to say, “Okay, if something needs to be addressed or something doesn’t exist, then figure out a way to make it happen.” So, yeah, I’d say there’s some inventiveness in our families that was probably passed along to us.

Kelly: You know, I would love to have a conversation about that but I feel like that could be a whole nother episode because I grew up in the country as well and I really believe that, not that the people who grew up in the city couldn't, but when you grow up in the country, a lot of times there isn’t necessarily a quick solution. Like you can’t call somebody and have someone come fix something a lot of times or you can’t have someone come out there quickly and so it is often that people pick up that ability to problem solve in really bizarre ways at times.

Can you tell us why your company is called Iron Fox Clothing?

Kristi: Yes! I honestly believe that all women have an internal foxiness to them.

Kelly: I love that.

Kristi: I just wanted a company that would really cultivate to that so that when people put on the clothes, they feel foxy, they feel confident, they feel like they just have that inner light that’s shining bright. And that Iron part comes from lifting weights so I mixed the Iron with Fox and there burst Iron Fox Clothing!

Kelly: I love it! I love your thought process behind that and when you said every woman has a little foxiness in them, I think it’s great to be able to remember that and to be able to think that about ourselves for sure.

So what would you say is your favorite part of the business. I’m a business owner as well and let’s be real, there are some parts I don’t love quite as much as others so I’m really curious are there certain parts that you really love?

Kristi: Yeah. Definitely not the paperwork.

Kelly: That’s the worst, isn’t it? (laughing)

Kristi: Yeah! (laughing) I love looking for new styles. I pour through stuff on a regular basis in trying to find just exactly what I have in my minds eye so that’s one of my favorite parts. Showing up somewhere and seeing a bunch of women in my clothes, that’s also one of my favorite parts, just having that social aspect and just having the brand represented when we’re out in public and taking pictures of my friends modeling. That’s probably one of the highlights when it’s not myself and it’s somebody that I love wearing it and getting to do that creative thing. I’m by no means a photographer but I love making them laugh and snapping their picture while they’re wearing the clothes.

Kelly: And everybody always looks like they’re having a really good time. You know when you look at a picture and you can kind of tell when someone’s faking it because they need to? That’s not what it is there. You can tell people are having a really great time. And I love that you use people that you know in order to be able to spend that time with them but to also be able to offer your mission to them as well. That’s pretty cool.

Have you known that you’ve always wanted to be a business owner? Or is this something that you just figured out more recently?

Krisit: Oh, heck no. I never wanted to start my own business.

Kelly: Really??

Kristi: Well, growing up, I don’t come from a family of business owners and they’ve always just worked for someone else for the most part. I remember when I was dating my husband eons ago, I remember him talking about how he wanted to own his own business someday and I was like, “Oh no, I want to clock in, clock out and not have to think about work at all.”

But then you know you get older and like I said, you have a problem and you solve it and like I said, a switch gets flipped and when it’s something like this where I own my own business, that has a lot of work that goes with it but I enjoy most of it and so even though it consumes my life for the most part, it isn’t like work all the time, you know?

Kelly: I absolutely agree with that. I probably knew for quite some time that I wanted to be a business owner. I just didn’t 100% know what I wanted to do until I got into therapy and such and this came about. I will say that when I’m working on stuff for the podcast or I’m contacting people about being on the podcast or even when I’m doing therapy, is it work? Absolutely. But when you’re doing something that you’re so passionate about, it feels different. It feels different when you’re forced into work. So, I think that makes a big difference as well.

How do you think that women can best support and encourage each other because that sounds like what this whole thing has really been a message of yours. You have friends that have been really supportive of you, you want women to feel really encouraged and empowered and so I’m just wondering, what are some of the best ways that we can do that?

Kristi: I think ultimately, we just have to somehow stop with the negative. Whether it’s negative about ourselves or about other people, there needs to be a culture shift that just needs to be drawn to the positive. I don’t know I think a good rule of thumb I honestly like to imagine is if what I’m saying couldn’t be overheard by that person and be taken well, then I shouldn't be saying what I say and the same thing goes for myself. My body image and my self talk. If I’m thinking something in my head that I wouldn’t be okay with somebody else saying about me, then what the heck? Get rid of that thought.

You can take it even further. Because I know some people struggle with their body image and they look at their kids as these amazing precious beings. Same thing goes for them. If you couldn’t imagine somebody saying what you’re thinking about yourself to your children, why are you thinking those things? Squash those negatives and somehow figure out who to shift those into a positive. That may be shifting to reading books, listening to podcasts, worship music, moving your body, getting in relationships with people who are going to lift you up and encourage you. Those are some of the many ways that you can train yourself to do that but definitely get rid of the negative.

Kelly: I love that perspective and I think that the guidelines that you shared will be super beneficial for people to be able to judge that. I recently heard that Michelle Obama was giving a speech and said, “Are you going to stand out there and allow a stranger or someone you know to say the things that you say in your own mind and if not, then why are you saying those?

That was hugely impactful. Even taking politics out of it because I’m not interested in that portion of things, just that perspective, like you said, of just realizing that if we’re not going to be okay with somebody saying it about ourselves then why would we allow ourselves to say that? It’s also that perspective of when you’re saying something about someone else. Would you be okay with them overhearing it.

That’s hugely impactful to think about those things before we all speak. So, that is excellent.

There are a few questions that I ask all guests. Do you mind if we jump into those?

Kristi: Go for it!

Kelly: Awesome! Okay, so Brene Brown, she has a book, it’s about the wilderness and it’s called “Braving the Wilderness”. She has this concept and basically, it’s about walking into the wilderness alone and having the courage to really step forward and even finding yourself along the way and even finding other people out the in the wilderness.

So, I’m wondering if you can talk about a time when you stepped into the wilderness.

Kristi: Well, as far as like my own wilderness and feeling like I branched out on a different path, I’d say it started around fifteen years ago when my husband and I went through some serious, serious marriage struggles and it all stemmed from the decisions that I was making. They were decisions that were destructive and selfish and having zero regards for the implications on anyone around me.

Through that dark time and through that struggle in my marriage, I was able to thankfully have people that were praying for me and helped pull me out. So, though that and through the rebuilding of our marriage and through the relationships that were created, past that dark wilderness where I was stepping away from everything good, I was able to find myself and find a relationship with Christ and be able to become spiritually and emotionally found and it honestly if it wasn’t for that rough, dark time where I just kind of chucked everything to the wind, I don’t think I would be and I know our marriage definitely wouldn't be but me personally, I wouldn’t be the person that I am today.

Kelly: I tell you what...first of all, I have goosebumps. I so appreciate that you were so open and honest with some difficulties that you went through and what I love and what has been so amazing each time that I have asked this question is that every single guest has been thankful that they went through that time. Not that they loved it but that they got from really braving that wilderness and who they came to be. That sounds like that was your experience as well - that you truly would not be who you are today without having taking those steps and having walked through those really hard, dark times with other people supporting you along the way. I just love that so much. And I love that you did have people praying for you and you were able to find that spiritual piece as well. I love Jesus music, so I listen to it quite a bit and I think that there, like I said earlier everyone certainly has their opinion on things but I think it is nice when you can feel a little more connected to so that’s super beneficial and helpful.

So, I’m wondering, through that process, through the body image, though whatever it was in your life, who do you think have been your biggest encouragers. You can list more than one. I realized that after I’d been asking this question I was like, “Oh, one encourager. That’s really hard.” So, if you have several, that’s okay too.

Kristi: Well, it’s kind of cliche to say but you know my family, my friends. Those are my people. Those are the people that lift me up and encourage me but through my family my husband. My husbands awesome. He would do anything for anyone but he is an encourager by heart and he helps with everything when it comes to Iron Fox Clothing. Anything I could need or ask of him, he would do. He not that super talkey person but he’s my silent cheerleader that I know I could bounce stuff off of and I know that he’d lend a hand. He’s just awesome.

The other person family-wise would be my mama, of course. Mama always encourages you. It doesn’t matter what. She even models my clothes.

My husband, my mama and my friends. I have four BFF’s forever that I trust. They offer to watch my kids, they give me advice, they’ll do anything to help me whether it’s for business, life, whatever. If I need a break for the day they’ll say, “Hey! I’ll take your kids!” They’re just awesome.

But yeah, family and friends. Those groupings in general are my strength when I need help.

Kelly: I’m so glad that you have them all. And I love how you said your husband is your silent encourager. My husband is kind of the same way. He doesn’t talk a lot really. He’s just not as social as I am but it’s that same type of feeling of knowing that you have that support and that encouragement when you need that so I’m glad you have him as well. That’s awesome.

Well, let's talk a little bit about the shopping code. Do you want to explain what opportunity you’re going to give to the listeners?

Kristi: Yeah! For the listeners of your podcast I’m going to offer 10% off the entire cart order online through April 30th and we’ll share the graphic that has the code but it’s code “Encouragers” so yeah, load your carts and save ten percent! I can’t wait to see everyone in their foxy styles!

Kelly: Yes!! Absolutely! Well thank you so much for that! I’m excited for listeners to be able to check out what you have and look into that and to really follow you through your mission as you continue on.

Can you share where everyone can find you on social media? We will link these on the website and everything as well but can you share with people?

Kristi: Yup! On social media I’m on Facebook and Instagram. The group names are Iron Fox Clothing for both pages if you search that and those will both link you to my website which is

Kelly: Perfect! Well, thank you very much Krisit for taking time out of your day to talk with me and sharing your truths and being able to encourage us along the way. I just really appreciate you.

Kristi: It was my pleasure. Thanks so much for asking me!

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