Sister-owned business customizes everything with Western bling

Nov 17, 2016 By Andrea Novotny, Staff Writer

Customers can customize tack and western accessories in almost any way they can think of at Wind River Tack and Embroidery, which opened Monday.

The store, located at 611 E. Main St., Suite 1, is owned by sisters April Garhart and Dawn Planinshek.

It offers hand-made leather tack, tack hardware, dog collars, western wear, checkbook covers, purses, beadwork, horse boots and shin guards, embroidery services and "everything bling."

Gerhart started her business, then Rafter B Boot Bags, in 2010 in the basement of her house in Ethete.

She made her first purse from the last pair of boots she bought her son, Brad Abbe, before he died in 2009. Abbe, originally from Lander, was a student at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. He died in a car wreck on his way to a bull riding competition in Texas.

Gerhart plans to offer these cowboy boot purses at Wind River Tack and Embroidery, and, like the rest of their merchandise, it will be completely customizable.

"We can make just about anything custom that they would like," Planinshek said.

The shop is equipped with a station where customers can design the product they want.

"They can say 'I want that style, I want that hide, I want these buckles and conchos -- put it together for me,' and that's what we do," Planinshek said.

She said they would also be able to create custom awards, and that right now, the store has a lot of "stocking stuffers," items like key chains, leather coaster sets, saddle decorations and zipper tags.

There is also a used tack section, where old tack can be traded in for store credit.

The operation is currently made up of Planinshek, Gerhart and Tanya O'Neil, of Crowheart, who builds tack. The team is planning to add one more part time staff member once the store is fully opened.

The store is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and can be reached at 855-4002.

A grand opening is scheduled for December 1 with 15 percent discounts.