But now we are (semi) grown up gals, with a WEDDING on the way for Miss Bridget this fall, as well as a booming new business in J&B Custom Leather. Between a part-time job, wedding planning, and collar making, I was thrilled I was able to pin her down to discuss her business and truly amazing handmade products!
In the winter of 2013, Bridget and her soon-to-be hubby packed up and moved to Kentucky, where his parents are located. Like so many people, they were faced down with a tricky job market, and after a month of searching to no avail, Bridget's future mother–in-law, a well-known face in the Quarter Horse industry, offered to teach Bridget leatherworking and bring her on as part of the family business, Horsewares Custom Chaps.
Horsewares mainly deals in chaps, though they also dabble in other leather items such as belts, ottomans, and throw pillows. Since winter months are slow for riding gear, Bridget's mother-in-law had tried her hand at making Western-inspired dog collars, but they had not sold as well in stores as she had hoped. She offered Bridget the opportunity to market them on her own with the promise that she could keep the profits of anything she sold. It was then that Bridget's knack for entrepreneurship emerged--she threw her energy into growing Horseware's Facebook Fan Base and set up an Etsy shop featuring the collars. Soon after, the collars began to sell, and she received a message asking if she accepted custom orders.
Bridget realized she had a unique product that was not really available elsewhere on the market--high quality, wholly custom handmade leather collars at a price point that was palatable. (Many of the designs are under $50). She began doing custom work and contacting friends (myself included) to market her product even further--I am proud to say I was one of J&B Custom Leather's first official custom customers!!
|Holly's first J&B Custom Leather Collar|
|Modelling her collar on Valentine's Day!|
|Some of the new collar designs with turquoise stones and hand stamped name plates.|
|MLB collars make great gifts for the baseball lover (and great accessories for Bark In the Park events!)|
|Just a handful of gorgeous custom collars. Image via J&B Custom Leather on Instagram.|
|Hand stamped name plates. Image via J&B Custom Leather on Instagram.|
|Zeus, Bridget's pup and official brand mascot! Image via J&B Custom Leather on Instagram.|
|The leather offerings. Different leathers may be paired together to create collars with borders |
(like the ones pictured above)
|The beautiful collar came packaged with love and exactly how I imagined it.|
|Holly modeling the finished design.|
So the next time you are in the market for a collar, I highly recommend checking out J&B Custom Leather. Not only are you sure to get a high quality, handmade, completely custom piece for a fraction of what you would pay elsewhere, but you will be supporting a small business backed by two very big hearts. And as an added bonus, J&B Custom Leather is offering readers of Little Holly's Big World a 10% discount on their Etsy shop with code LITTLEHOLLYBIGWORLD. So get shopping and support small business! Your pup will thank you :)
Until Next Time, Darlings!