If you’ve made your way to the rodeo arena in the last few months you may have noticed the appearance of bead work….EVERYWHERE. From hat bands, to belts, even tack, it’s a bead explosion and I couldn’t be more excited. As much as I love rhinestones, bead work has been a nice break from the norm. It’s a style that both genders can get behind without looking odd.
So where can you get in on this fashion trend? A few stores have picked up on the trend are carrying generics on their floors. Double J Saddlery carries belts, headstalls, saddles, and breastcollars inlaid with beads but they will cost you a pretty penny. I’m not saying their brand isn’t worth it, they are well known for their quality tack (I own a few of their beautiful pieces) but if you are going to spend the money why not get custom?
You may have noticed Everything Cowboy’s, Ted Stovin sporting the trend at the Stampede this year. You can learn more about his custom belt and the maker, Kathleen Brannon of Desert Sage Bead Art here.
You can also find custom pieces on Etsy, which I will talk about in a later post.
Maybe you aren’t ready to commit to the custom belt or tack piece yet, but you like the idea of the bead work trend? Well you can find cheaper accessory options at department stores. I picked up a beaded headband from Forever 21 for around $7. Gypsy Soule, National Roper Supply (NRS), Forever 21, Nordstrom, Ralph Lauren the list goes on and on, all carry beaded accessories.
Throw on a long seed bead necklace, beaded bracelet or headband to pull your outfit together and you’ll be surprised how many compliments you get.
So what is it about bead work that makes it so appealing? Is it the amount of time we know goes into the intricate process? We asked Kathleen Brannon of Desert Sage Bead Art a few questions to get more insight into the process.
How many beads are there per project? It varies in what the pattern dictates. Loom work is all geometric, so one needs to create a pattern on graph paper….warping (stringing) on an even number and beading on an odd number.