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Fashion Focus: An Interveiw with Kelly Herd

Get to Know Kelly Herd


Jewelry is always in style! Whether you are buying a gift for yourself, or your favorite equestrienne, a quality piece of jewelry is always appreciated - especially if it has a bit of equestrian flair. Equestrian Collections recently had the opportunity to interview Kelly Herd, of Kelly Herd Jewelry.  Kelly Herd Jewelry is unique in that they combine state of the art craftsmanship, original design, and a love of horses and equestrian lifestyle, to create jewelry you will treasure for years.     

EC:  You've been in the jewelry business for over twenty years. Can you tell our customers a bit about how you got started ?


Kelly Herd:  The jewelry industry is very unique. No matter the size of the company, the industry is primarily derived from family based businesses.  The same hold true for me.  I actually had dabbled in the jewelry business while in college in the mid '80s, and started designing and manufacturing in 1992. 

EC:  Tell us about your designs.  While you advertise as a designer of "Western Jewelry," I see a lot of English influence as well.

Kelly Herd: I have the advantage of being a person from the jewelry industry that crossed over into the equestrian industry, so I don't take an "either/or" approach to riding disciplines.  When someone asks us about our line, we tell them we have 10% Western and 10% English, with 80% that crosses over for both.  This year we have used a more contemporary influence in our designs.  Each year we try to bring a breath of fresh air to what we offer.  

EC:  You specialize in equestrian themed jewelry.  Many of our equestrian clothing designers watch trends outside the equestrian world.  Do you do the same?  What trends do you see in jewelry fashion?

Kelly Herd:  Since my background is in the jewelry industry, I often visit with other business friends that have a global perspective on trends.  One of the biggest driving forces right now in the jewelery industry is the high cost of precious metals.  As most people have heard, precious metal prices, especially gold, have been rising steadily.  We have been on top of this market change, and for the last five years have been focusing on designing our line in sterling silver and alternative metals due to such high cost.  Our number one focus is on providing the consumer with style combined with value.

EC:  Do you have a favorite or signature piece?  Or perhaps a design that surprised you with its popularity? 

Kelly Herd: My favorite piece is the ring I designed for my wife.  We got married on the 18th green of Pebble Beach Golf Course and I did not let her see the ring until the ceremony.  Other than that, I have designed a big 5 ring for a gentleman who hunts big game.  I've also made a California congress woman a belly button ring!  We have the ability to do almost anything.  Every year brings a surprise.  

EC:  I'm dying to ask who the Congress woman was, but we'll let her remain anonymous!  Your silver jewelry is made of .925 Sterling Silver.  Since most of us aren't jewelry experts, can you explain what that means?  What should consumers be looking for in a quality piece of jewelry?

Kelly Herd:  By its very nature, silver by itself is too soft to use as an everyday metal.  However, when you combine silver with an alloy metal, such as copper, it gives silver strength strength and a functional purpose.  This allows the metal to retain its value.  The term "sterling silver" find its history from the 13th century, referring to its strength.  ".925" means that 92.5% of the jewelry is composed of pure silver, and the remaining 7.5% is an alloy (such as copper) used for strength.  Since we manufacture our own jewelry, we also alloy our own silver and gold. For those who are looking for a quality piece of  jewelry, find something that is comfortable and that you can wear everyday.  The more you wear it, the more you can appreciate it.  

EC:  What about caring for jewelry.  Is it really safe to wear a quality piece of jewelry around a horse barn?

Kelly Herd:  Our jewelry is made to wear all the time.  Rings probably see the most contact of any piece we sell.  Of course, the consumer should have certain considerations where they wear their jewelry.  The barn and the ball field open up certain risk just by wearing jewelry!  We rhodium finish our silver jewelry to help with the issue of tarnishing.  Time, elements, and care are all factors in how your jewelry looks.  Wear your jewelry as often as you can, but a little rinsing with mild soap, warm water, and a touch of the polishing clothe will go a long way in keep that "just like new" shine.

EC:  Can you tell our customers a bit about what you have in the works?  Any new designs you are working on?

Kelly Herd:  We have featured almost a dozen new designs for the fall and holiday season.  These can be seen on Equestrian Collections.  We also have seen a rise in popularity of custom designed pieces of jewelry.  Everyone has their own taste, but quality and value never go out of style.                

 
 

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