by Emily Phillips, LV Arts Council college intern
This month’s Arts Council Membership Profile features jewelry designer, Wenda Boyer, and her unique and stunning designs using horsehair. Her company, Braided Love, is only five-years old and combines her lifelong enchantment with horses and an appreciation for fine jewelry. It also serves as a connection to other horse owners.
Wenda owns two horses currently, named Opie and Bellagio, and they were the main inspiration for her to begin making jewelry out of horsehair. She had enrolled in a class and was hooked after the first session. Her creations include bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and key rings, which she sells all over the United States, Canada, and Europe. More than 95% of her customers buy from her website and most of her customers are horse owners.
Every piece of jewelry has a personal story. Most of her customer’s horses have died so the jewelry is providing this incredible sense of peace and closure for them. “I can’t tell you how many times customers have called me when they receive their jewelry,” Wenda says, “and they’re crying and telling me how happy they are that they have their horse with them forever. It’s probably the main reason I do it. I am able to give back to people who have lost such a wonderful thing in their life.”
In order to buy a piece of jewelry from her, customers can e-mail her through her website, order a specific style, and then mail her their own horsehair. If customers don’t own horses, she selects from her own stock of horsehair. Once she receives it, she washes and sanitizes it, and then begins to braid it into jewelry. In order to personalize and create one-of-a-kind pieces, Wenda will often use beads that her customers select from the catalogue or send to her. These add color and texture to the bracelets and necklaces.
Wenda has started an amazing business that not only fills her customers with joy, but also allowed her to help hundreds of horse owners all around the world. For more information on Braided Love, visit Wenda at her website.