An­der­son Jew­el­ers Ship ‘Rowdy Cow­girl’ Jew­elry Across U.S.

McDonald County Press - - COUNTY - Rachel Dick­er­son

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.”

RACHEL DICK­ER­SON/MCDON­ALD COUNTY PRESS

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.

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