Crafting Cowgirl Jewelry: My Journey of Passion and Resilience
In the heart of the Pennsylvania mountains, where the rugged terrain and a love for the great outdoors have always been a part of me, my journey as a cowgirl jewelry maker began. It's a story that intertwines my personal experiences, creativity, and a deep love for Western style.
A Humble Beginning
I grew up surrounded by the beauty of the mountains, and my first connection to Western-style jewelry was rather unconventional. It was through a biker chic girlfriend of my dad's best friend. She was wearing a turquoise ring on each finger and a big necklace in sterling and turquoise. I was in awe. Little did I know that this chance encounter would ignite a lifelong passion for cowgirl jewelry.
In the early days, my resources were limited, to say the least. I had a strong desire to create, but I had to make do with what I had. That's when I turned to my uncle's cooper recycling bin for scraps. Those discarded materials became the foundation of my early creations.
I've always had a deep love for turquoise, but finding the real stuff was a challenge. I dabbled in various styles, but my heart always gravitated back to Western style. After all, I'm a cowgirl too.
A Twist of Fate
My journey took an unexpected turn as I juggled my role as a hair stylist and salon owner. The salon was thriving during the summer months, but in 2007 as winter approached, it became evident that I wouldn't have enough money for Christmas gifts if I also wanted to put food on the table come January.
Desperation led to determination, and I turned to my uncle for guidance. Alongside countless YouTube tutorials, I learned the art of soldering. Armed with this newfound skill, I embarked on a path I never could have predicted.
From Modesty to Recognition
Initially, I crafted jewelry as gifts for my family. I wore some of my creations myself, but I never believed my designs were good enough to sell. It turns out, I was wrong. Winning second place in the Delphi glass design contest was a turning point. A box of jewelry making supplies arrived at my doorstep and I knew the universe was telling me this is what I was supposed to do.
Strength and Endurance
In my hands, cowgirl jewelry is not just about aesthetics; it's about embodying the strength and endurance of the wearer. Every piece I create is meant to match the tenacity of the person who wears it, a testament to their unyielding spirit. When someone wears my jewelry, it's not just an accessory; it becomes a part of their life story.
The Evolution of Design
My journey through design evolution mirrors the diverse paths of my customers. I began by adapting existing styles with my unique twist. As I honed my skills and learned new techniques, I started creating designs inspired by the stones I loved. Over time, my style shifted towards a more delicate aesthetic.
What I cherish most, however, are the designs born from collaboration with my audience, especially the cowgirls and their ideas. Their sketches and suggestions, combined with my craftsmanship, result in top-selling pieces that deeply resonate with our community.
The Urban Collection: A Special Connection
One collection, in particular, holds a special place in my heart: the Urban Collection. It's a collection that I had envisioned for a long time. I sketched out the designs and added personalization to the pieces. To this day, it remains my favorite collection,
and I continue to expand upon it. This collection was the first to add a personal touch, and it was a big hit.
A Shared Love and Loss
Most of my customers are horse lovers, like me. We share a deep connection to farm life, love, and loss. The loss of a beloved animal, especially a horse, is a heart-wrenching experience that I intimately understand. After losing my own pony, Indy, I created a pendant in his likeness. Months later, I was moved by a video sent by one of my customers. She had lost her horse and ordered a pendant as a keepsake. Her tears of gratitude and her love for her horse reminded me that I make more than just jewelry; I make cherished memories.
The Journey Continues
My workshop is a place of constant creation, and my customers keep me inspired. Currently, I'm crafting personalized bracelets, a labor of love that will be ready in time for the holiday season. These bracelets will carry the essence of my journey and a piece of our shared connection.
Through my cowgirl jewelry, I'm not just crafting adornments; I'm weaving stories, connecting souls, and embodying the enduring spirit of the West. Join me in this journey, a journey of passion and resilience, where cowgirl style jewelry is more than just an accessory; it's a piece of my story and a part of yours.