Founder and Owner
Red Ants Pants
White Sulphur Springs
- Entrepreneur/Business Owner
Sarah Calhoun has nearly two decades of leadership experience in both the non-profit and small business sectors, working in the outdoor education industry before founding Red Ants Pants in 2006.
Calhoun was raised on a farm in rural Connecticut and was inspired to move to Montana by Ivan Doig’s This House of Sky. From her home in the small town of White Sulphur Springs, she has become an inspiration to entrepreneurs nationwide and is known for her dedication to supporting rural communities.
As Founder of Red Ants Pants, the inspiration for her high quality work pants came from experience. Tired of wearing men’s work pants that didn’t fit, Calhoun designed pants that would fit, function and flatter working women. The pants are made in the USA and that will not change. Red Ants Pants is based out of White Sulphur Springs, Montana where the storefront, distribution center, and international headquarters all reside in an historic saddle shop. Known for their grass roots marketing efforts, including ‘Tour de Pants’, the direct sales business model is proving effective, even in tough economic times.
Calhoun’s hard work has brought her national recognition as the 2012 National Women in Business Champion for the Small Business Association. In 2011 she was invited by President Obama to attend a White House forum on jobs and economic development after serving as a US Delegate to the APEC Women in Business Summit hosted by Secretary Hillary Clinton in San Francisco. Closer to home, she was honored when Governor Schweitzer named her the 2011 Entrepreneur of the Year for the State of Montana. Calhoun and her company have been featured in many national periodicals including Entrepreneur, Delta Sky, Country Woman, Sunset, and Airstream Life. She has given two TEDx talks, dozens of keynote addresses, and has been featured on national television programs such as CNBC and Bloomberg.
In 2011, Calhoun’s creative mind needed more exercise and thus was born the first annual Red Ants Pants Music Festival, where 6,000 fans came to celebrate rural Montana in a cow pasture. Over the years, their ears have enjoyed headliners including Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, and Charley Pride. The Red Ants Pants Foundation was formed as the non-profit branch of the project, in support of women’s leadership, working family farms and ranches, and rural communities. The festival continues its success with a growing number of fans every year.
Calhoun spends her free time enjoying Montana’s great outdoors, cutting firewood, hunting, and camping. She lives in White Sulphur with her dog Nellie and cat Magpie.