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Wickum wins creativity contest

Photo chosen for clothing website

"Congratulations! You've been picked as the winner of our contest!" read the email to Libby Wickum, FACS and Special Ed teacher at Northome School.

Wickum entered a photo contest sponsored by Cowgirl Tuff Company, a clothing company that features Western styles.

The contest asked people to submit a picture of themselves or someone wearing Cowgirl Tuff apparel.

Wickum dug out her camera and her daughter's Cowgirl Tuff jeans for a photo shoot at Rachel and Dr. Scott Larson's house in Blackduck.

Using the barn, fields and a stream as backdrops, Wickum snapped photos of her daughter, Paige Wickum, and her friend's daughter, Ella Larson, goofing around in their Cowgirl Tuff jeans.

Before submitting her photos, she used a computer graphic design program to paste the Cowgirl Tuff brand name on the photo. A few days later, she found out that she had won the contest.

Her photo is featured on the company's website. and Wickum is to receive free Cowgirl Tuff merchandise for her efforts.

Wickum said she was attracted to the company not only because of their quality products but also because the business is owned and operated by a Minnesota woman who started out of her home.

In 1999, the Cowgirl Tuff Company started in the little town of Litchfield by Lisa Bollin. Since then, the company has grown much, but it still sits in the middle of a field that was farmed by the owner's father.

She started printing tops and retailing them at many of the major barrel racing events throughout the U.S. When she realized she couldn't keep up with the demand, she looked into wholesale. Lisa went to her first wholesale market in 2004 and at that market landed 18 stores!

If you see Wickum wearing Cowgirl Tuff apparel this fall, you can guess she has claimed her prize.