BECAUSE MY HORSE DIED...
Is usually how I start my answer when I'm asked - How did you get into this?
For the first few years my answer was sugar coated, a bit embellished and padded to protect the emotions of those who were curious how I got my start in the peculiar world of horsehair jewelry. Over time my answer became more blunt and to the point with the harsh reality of why I started doing this flashing like neon sign to the poor person who asked me.
SO WHY DID I GET INTO THIS?
We've established that the main reason is because my horse died.
And when he did I felt crushed. A part of me desperately wanted to keep a piece of him close to me, I just wasn't ready to completely let him go. I had heard about horsehair jewelry and started my search online for someone I could trust to send my precious boys tail hair to.
After days of scouring the internet I came to the conclusion that I was A - not sending his tail hair overseas, B - terrified of getting scammed like the people on the horse forums had, and C - it can't be THAT hard, I'll just do it myself!
I quickly learned that doing it myself was not as easy as I had assumed it would be. (let's all go back to our parents old saying "Don't assume. It makes and ASS out of U and ME)
I DON'T GIVE UP EASY
Being the stubborn person I am, I spent months attempting to make a bracelet with his tail hair. Each time I thought "I got it!" it would end up scrapped for being not perfect enough. This is another problem I discovered I have. I want the things that I do, that I put out into the world, to be something I'd be proud to give, it needed to be perfect. When I finally created what I thought was the first horsehair bracelet I was proud of I realized it was the last of his tail hair I had left. I packaged it up in a neat little box and sent it off to the girl who had loved Seaver for most of his life. It was so hard to let that piece of him go, but the sense of purpose it gave me when I sent him back to his original owner is what sparked me to do more.
I began asking friends for their horse's tail hair, not telling them why, then surprising them with bracelets and key chains. From there this little side hustle took off.
EVOLUTION OF JEWELRY
As time went on my designs became more intricate. Word of my horsehair jewelry was spreading fast and the orders were coming in quickly. I decided to put myself into debt and picked up a booth at the great equestrian trade show, The Mane Event, little did I know that debt would be paid off by the middle of the first day there and my hobby officially became a small business.
I was often asked if I could make rings for horsehair. I did some digging and found suppliers that I could buy pre-made blank rings from, but something about it just didn't feel right. The jewelry I was making was made FOR someone. To celebrate the bond that person had with their horse, it was special and unique. It wasn't generic like the ring blanks that were available.
So the search began to find someone that could bring my ideas to life. In 2017 I began to offer rings and over the last three years Verstara has transformed from a side gig to a full blown, six-figure business gaining worldwide recognition.
Through my jewelry I have been able to help countless people, and THAT is what matters to me. It all comes down to the reason I started this in the first place. Helping to heal broken hearts, keeping families together, and providing a piece of comfort is the real driving force behind what I do. It's a passion that burns so deeply that I never want to quit.