About the Workshop:
About the Teachers:
The North Country Maiden, aka Maria Bangsgaard Køster, was kicked in the head by a wild horse in her early years and since then she’s been obsessed with everything country and Western.
It's hard to be a cowgirl while living on a little island out in the Northen Sea that nobody has heard of.
So Maria did like she had read so many fine folks had done 200 years before her. She packed up her two stepping boots and travelled over the big pond as a true pioneer in search of a better life in the land of milk and honey.
She ended up in Nashville, the hometown of country music, where a native Mexican known as Manuel took her in. He himself had been sewing Western wear for more than six decades and he taught her a trick or two about the old handicraft.
She promised herself that she would keep on traveling, studying the old handicraft and sewing Western wear the way it was done when the world wasn’t out of joint yet.
So that’s what North Country Maiden does now – nurtures her passion and lives her dream while working to preserve the old handicraft so that its legacy will go on and on.
Almost two decades ago, Riley Reed hopped in the passenger seat of her boyfriend’s big rig truck and rolled along past houses, farms and fields of Illinois towards the bright neon lights of Nashville.
She soon found herself bartending her way through design school under the prismatic glow of those same neon lights that called to her. The undisputed home of traditional country music— Robert’s Western World. Nestled between the back doors of the Ryman auditorium and the front doors of the original Ernest Tubb record shop, she was steeped in palpable history and inspiration. With that came the steady whispers of what she would do next— vintage inspired western wear.
Upon completion of her Bachelor’s of Applied Science in Fashion Design and Merchandising, Riley Reed worked for two of the biggest names in Nashville Western Wear- both Katy K (Katy K Kattleman) and Manuel (Manuel Cuevas) aka “ The Rhinestone Rembrandt”. She is often referred to as the protégé of Manuel.
Later she would go on to do freelance design and her pieces can be seen on stars such as Lady Gaga, Margo Price, Pam Tillis and more. Riley Reed also created the current costumes for the Grand ole Opry square dancers, which can be seen on stage at the Opry house every Saturday night.
In addition to creating and designing, Riley Reed also produced and showed in the “Western Roundup Fashion Show” via the Nashville Boogie Vintage Weekender from 2015-2019. The Western Roundup showcased the premier designers in modern vintage inspired western wear including ( but not limited to) Jerry Lee Atwood, Ft. Lonesome and H Bar C. A star studded model roster through the years included Kacey Musgraves, Nikki Lane, Joshua Hedley and Sabina Kelly.
These days, Riley Reed only moonlights in freelance design but still keeps that rhinestone sparkle in her eyes.
Her current “9-5” is on Dolly Parton’s creative team as well as managing and maintaining Dolly’s extensive wardrobe archive with costumes spanning her decades long career.
Riley Reed continues to honor and preserve the techniques and styles of the past not only with her preservation work , but also with modernizing classic designs.