“When two boss babes collaborate, you pretty much have an unstoppable force,” explains Joli Krantz, the founder behind Crazy Consuela. Last week, we announced that Crazy Consuela and J.Forks Designs are going to be produced under one roof in Bandera, Texas. From the outside, Crazy Consuela and J.Forks Designs are two very different companies, one is primarily known for jewelry while the other is primarily known for tee shirts. However, when you peel back the curtain, their motivations behind their businesses are very similar. Both Joli and Jenny are huge proponents of the age-old saying, “High tides raise all ships,” and they rely on faith to guide their way. God brought these women together for a reason, and this is how it happened.
Originally from Dexter, New Mexico, Joli made her way to Lubbock, Texas after high school to attend college. While in school, she got a job as a sales clerk at Dollar Western Wear and promptly moved up the ranks to manager. “I quickly realized that I really liked making money, [and] college just was not really my thing.” She jumped at the opportunity to travel around Texas with Dollar Western Wear training managers at various locations. Dollar Western Wear eventually brought her to Odessa, Texas where she met her husband. Ready to stay in Odessa as a newlywed, Joli left her job at Dollar Western Wear and started selling cell phones for Cellular One where she quickly got poached from Chevron. “Chevron was one of my accounts. They came in and actually picked me up.”
“If you are going to tell me that I cannot do something, I am going to look you straight in the eye and tell you, ‘Watch me!’” When Joli started at Chevron, she was a contractor working as the assistant to the production manager. As a fiery, hungry, and driven woman entering the oil field industry, she was met with a lot of push back from her male counterparts. She explains that she would often hear, “You know nothing about working in the oil field! Why do you think that you are going to be able to be successful in a business where guys have been working for thirty years? Why do you think that you are going to pass these people up?” Her response was, “I am going to work harder than they are. I am going to put my nose down. Watch me. I will show you.” That is exactly what she did, working her way up to Surface Supervisor. “I was the first girl ever to have the position I had with Chevron. I was over about 46 field officers, so I had about 80 men that reported to me all about twice my age…. They were all pretty sure that we were going to quit selling oil.”
Joli stayed with Chevron for 15 years. “It was an interesting position, and I learned so much…about people, about relationships, but more than anything I learned about what I was capable of.” Joli made a great salary, had stellar benefits, and enjoyed perks like jetsetting in their private jet. But the job did not come without stress and high demands. “At the end of the day, they owned me.”
While Joli loved the experience she had at Chevron, her personal life suffered. “I have two boys, and I missed out a lot on my kids’ life.” Eventually, Joli divorced her husband and started getting her boys every other week. “God was pulling at my heart and telling me, ‘Joli, there is more to life than this. I am calling you to do something, and you are not listening to me.’ My soul was empty. For a year, I was just surviving.”
While at Chevron, Joli needed a creative outlet. She started painting and making caps selling some of her creations at trade shows. “I would get busy and put it on the backburner…. So, I kind of tried to run it on the side.” Everything changed in October of 2013. Joli’s mother was a professional artist and sold her work through her gallery. She aspired to reach a larger group of customers and hit a more economical price point. Joli recalls saying, “Mom, you need to create something that the blue collar workers could afford.” Joli began to research options for her mother and learned about a machine called “Direct to Garment” which enables artwork to be applied directly to a garment similar to a computer printer. The two ladies went to a trade show in Dallas where they could purchase this coveted machine. After an approved finance application and a signature, Joli was in the tee shirt business, and Crazy Consuela was born.
Joli made a promise to herself that she would give Crazy Consuela a hard push during 2014. With her Direct to Garment machine living in her master bedroom, and continuing to work full time at Chevron, Joli managed to grow the company enough to hire an employee by March. Then, in April of 2014, Chevron was doing a mass layoff, and the company had to let 10,000 employees go. Joli knew in her heart that she needed to leave. So, she went to her boss and asked if her job was one of the 10,000 layoffs. He responded with, “No, are you kidding me?” She requested to be laid off to which he responded, “‘You are asking me for your job to be a part of the 10,000 [layoffs]?....You know what, Joli? You deserve it! I can make your job part of the 10,000. You have bent over backwards for this company, and you have sacrificed so much for this company.”
Joli left Chevron with a severance and was quickly able to match her former income. “I should have listened to my heart strings to [God] a long time ago. He provides. He has a much bigger plan! Yes, I produce tee shirts and that is my passion, but truthfully that is just an avenue to create something so much bigger. It is an avenue to bless other people’s life.”
While Crazy Consuela was growing, many people in the industry kept telling her, “You need to meet Jenny Forks.” Both Jenny and Joli used the same photographer, Janzen Tew of Denim & Velvet, and their products were often times photographed together in various photoshoots. After years of cheering each other on, they finally met when both companies were showing at the Dallas Apparel & Accessories Market in March of 2017. While Jenny had been attending that particular trade show for years, this was Joli’s first. “I go to Dallas Market, and I walk in and Jenny is the first person I see. We walk up and give each other hugs, and we have been besties ever since.”
Over the next year and a half, Joli went through an extremely hard personal time. One of their mutual friends reached out to Jenny and explained Joli’s situation. At the time, J.Forks was about to expand into a larger production facility nestled on Main Street in Bandera, Texas. Jenny knew that J.Forks was going to fill up half of the space, so she called Joli and told her to move herself and her production to Bandera. Joli was still living in Colorado at the time and was not ready to move back to Texas. But Jenny kept hounding her about the relocation, and Joli decided to make the trip to Bandera to visit the new J.Forks studio. Upon seeing the new facility, she immediately knew she had to make the move and set up her tee shirt business in the back.