Anderson Jewelers Ship ‘Rowdy Cowgirl’ Jewelry Across U.S.
Jeff and Alicia Brady of Brady’s Jewelry in Anderson ship their handmade leather jewelry all over the United States.
Brady’s Jewelry was established in 1905 by Jeff’s grandfather, C.O. Brady. He was an optometrist and a jeweler and sold glasses and jewelry, Jeff said. Jeff’s father, Clyde Brady, ran the store next and sold jewelry, gift items and China, Jeff said. Jeff has been in the jewelry business for 40 years. He used to sell diamonds and gold and other traditional jewelry, but a twist of fate changed everything.
He said he had gone to Tucson, Ariz., to buy gems, and there was a lot of turquoise for sale. However, the silver was so expensive it would have ended up costing the average customer more than they were willing to pay, he said. He started thinking about another medium, and he thought about leather. Thus The Rowdy Cowgirl line of jewelry was born. That was 10 years ago.
“Our main business is wholesale,” Jeff said. “We ship jewelry all over the U.S., Canada, Mexico. We’re wholesalers now. That’s what we do.”
Alicia said, “We go to the Dallas market and the Denver markets and sell to western stores and boutiques. We’re open here locally so people can come in and buy. We do a lot of shows.”
They go to the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas and Cheyenne Frontier Days, they said.
Jeff makes most of the jewelry himself, but their daughter, Amy Whipkey, works for them and makes a lot of it also, Alicia said.
They started out making leather rings studded with Swarovski crystals and turquoise and branched out from there, she said. They have earrings, bracelets, necklaces, belts, boot jewelry and headbands. Turquoise and Swarovski crystals are used generously. Some pieces feature bullets or sheriff’s badges. One belt was made of crocodile leather, Alicia said. All the leather is hand-cut and the stones are all set by hand.
“There’s a lot of time, a lot of work that goes into everything,” Alicia said.
“If it’s the same as everyone else’s, we probably don’t make it,” Jeff said.
“We try to be very unique,” Alicia added.
Alicia and Jeff hope to retire at some point. They are both turning 65 soon, she said.
“Hopefully, someone will take it over, because it’s a great line,” she said.
She added, “It’s fun. We really do enjoy it. We’ve met a lot of wonderful people over the years.”
Alicia and Jeff Brady of Brady’s Jewelry are pictured at their storefront in Anderson. The couple sells handmade leather jewelry with turquoise in a line called the Rowdy Cowgirl.