In case you missed the previous blog about millennials and small business, you can read it here. But for now I’d like to introduce you to a young woman who has taken the American Dream by the horns and made it her own by remaining a nomad while fulfilling her passion.
Kenyon Lomax was born in the small town of Bartlesville, OK, in 1992. From a young age she bounced around from location to location with her “tumultuous”, blended family, setting her up for her transformation into the free spirit she is today. Kenyon acquired all of the education one could hope for, and even had plans of attending law school after satisfying her hard-earned scholarship at TU. As fate would have it for any drifter, this gal just wasn’t cut out for suits, heels, or “stuffy law offices”.
Any hardworking college student can express the grievances of attending school + working 40 hours a week to stay above hot water. For Kenyon, this no longer had to be her reality and she realized that. Right after college graduation, she began to honor her creative side by investing her time and money into her business, Prairie Sky Jewelry Co.
“I started Prairie Sky in 2011 as a way to decompress from the stress of full time school + part time work. I hung out in my mom and stepdad’s basement a lot and started tinkering with hot glue and weird odds and ends [garage sale jewelry, lost earrings, etc.],” Kenyon says. To the dismay of her family, she fell in love with her newfound business over the idea of law school, and with the support of her loving husband, would further pursue her talents.
After meeting her (now) husband, Luke, at a music festival hosted by a restaurant she worked for, Kenyon jumped headlong into a relationship with him. Influenced by “complicated family dynamics”, the couple ended up eloping to Rocky Mountain National Park, enjoying a quaint, small, and private wedding in the snow. Not only were the costs of an actual wedding unrealistic for the two, they simply were smitten with the idea of enjoying privacy on their special day.
Fast forward a couple of years later, the couple is living their dream in a camper with their three dogs, whom they consider to be family. That’s right, Kenyon and her husband enjoy a life on the road and live from a 36 foot-long, 2017 Springdale mobile home. This trailer is also the headquarters for Prairie Sky Jewelry Co. Having had a custom, 6-foot work bench built specifically for her, Kenyon and her husband willingly sacrificed much of their kitchen area so that she could fulfill her dream of silversmithing without doing so at the expense of less time with her husband, whom is a traveling tank welder. According to this maverick-minded power couple, “home is where you park it”.
Today, Prairie Sky Jewelry has blossomed into a fully functioning business. With Kenyon being a sole proprietor at the moment, she has high hopes of expanding her business enough so that she will, one day, have a handful of employees for larger distribution. Kenyon was professionally trained in the art of silversmithing by way of the coaching of two professional jewelers. She became part of a 6-week intensive, and never looked back.
Having always had a creative streak, Kenyon is thankful to be afforded the opportunity to do what she loves while simultaneously living the life she loves, with the person she loves.
“This business has grown organically from a few gemstones and beading supplies to a 6-foot silversmithing bench and a full-time job, and I couldn’t feel more blessed to have the opportunity to do what I love everyday. Custom orders inspire and challenge me, but my true love is creating one of a kind heirloom pieces. My style is inspired by 90’s country music and classic Western staples.”
Prairie Sky Jewelry was named after their home, which constantly exists under an open, prairie sky.
“Our official slogan is “Handcrafted Jewelry for Dust-Kickers, Wanderers and Dreamers” and that’s exactly who we cater to. Hard working babes with great style are the backbone of Prairie Sky and we love it. I’m so proud to have developed a brand that is loved by ranchers, cowgirls, rodeo babes, and just generally girls who don’t mind getting dirty to get work done.”
Since Prairie Sky Jewelry has taken off, Kenyon has been invited to include her pieces in features such as the western-fashion-sensational Cowboys and Indians Magazine, Cowgirl Style Diaries, West Desperado, DisFunkshion Magazine, and western fashion’s finest models, who have represented Prairie Sky Jewelry in numerous, popular photo shoots. Models such as Salt Lick Sisters, Katy Jade, Western Couture, Fit on the Farm, and even Miss Kansas, can all be seen rocking their hand-crafted jewels by Kenyon. Even the Cavalcade Rodeo Queen was awarded hand-made saddle conchos from Prairie Sky Jewelry! As far as social media features go, Kenyon has made a name for her trade among the western fashion industry.
“My business, and female entrepreneurship as a whole, is important to me because it’s such a strong response to culture, parents, and social norms. I didn’t go to law school because it wasn’t going to make me happy. I didn’t get a mortgage. Sometimes I feel crazy, but every day I’m thankful to be out here taking wild risks. You’ll only get as far as you’re willing to leap,” Kenyon says. “This business represents so much for me. I feel like the only way to seize the American Dream anymore is to get out into the last frontiers and bust ass.”
While Kenyon does her best to form her work hours around her husbands, when she’s not hammering away at her work bench, she can be found enjoying the peaceful atmosphere, somewhere on a lake, with a rod and reel in her hand.
The American Dream, by definition is the idea that all Americans should be afforded the opportunity to succeed though prosperity and determination. While this definition is true, it doesn’t apply to everyone. Sitting in an office work space for nine hours a day is not ideal for everyone, especially audacious women like Kenyon. Some souls belong in the open, where the wind blows and the birds sing. We were born to do what sets our spirits on fire. Earning a living does not have to come at the expense of your freedom and passions. Prairie Sky Jewelry Co. is a surefire example of what everyone in this country is capable of accomplishing. Owning a one-man-shop isn’t the easy way out, it’s still work and it requires a great deal of self-discipline. But finding a way to make your passion your job is the true definition of the American Dream, as defined by women like Kenyon Lomax.
To learn more about Prairie Sky Jewelry Co. and how to place your custom order, please visit www.prairieskyjewelryco.com.