Rutherfordton, North Carolina
Owner, Stitching Fox needlepoint shop, and executive director, Green River Foundation
How long have you been part of the horse world?
My love of horses has been lifelong. I was raised in Augusta, Georgia, graduated from Sweet Briar College in Virginia and then spent the better part of my 12-year career in New York City working for Hèrmes. I was fortunate to have wonderful riding instructors in all three of these life stages. A riding accident in Central Park ended my riding days, but my fondness for horse sport continues.
What part do you play in the horse world?
I am the executive director of the Green River Foundation (GRF), a 501(c)(3) in Rutherford County, North Carolina. Working side by side with equestrians and like-minded individuals, GRF works to address the pressing challenges faced in the rural communities of North and South Carolina. Also, I just opened a new small business at Tryon International Equestrian Center, Stitching Fox, a needlepoint shop. We carry a large selection of equestrian and fox-themed needlepoint. Stitching Fox is proud to support Green River Foundation through the creation of Green River Bags, whereby upcycled leather and vintage or heirloom reins are transformed into chic, functional leather bags and accessories.
Tell us more about the Green River Bags.
Green River Bags are handmade by Jessie Fletcher at Down South Leather in Campobello, South Carolina, a woman-owned business. Jessie and I have partnered to design high-quality, upcycled tote bags that use equestrian leather tack as straps and details. Green River Bags are sold at Tryon International Equestrian Center through Stitching Fox and available in-store and online at www.stitchingfox.com. Customizations available include custom lining, hardware and straps. Ten percent of all sales are donated directly to Green River Foundation.
How are Green River Bags made?
Old or broken reins that aren’t being used anymore are donated to GRF for a tax deduction and crafted into gorgeous bags. The reins are upcycled into bag straps and the bags are constructed with upcycled top grain leather. They’re created with a custom lining and are available in three sizes.
What’s the best thing about your life?
The best thing about my life is where I live and who surrounds me. I love living in rural North Carolina. It’s where I met my husband and where I feel most at home. I’m grateful for our community and that I’m able to give back. I’m especially passionate about empowering young women to set and achieve goals, and I serve on the Girl Scouts “Peaks to Piedmont” Board. I find my career and volunteer work very fulfilling.
Best kept secret about what you do?
Some afternoons at Stitching Fox, when the light is right and I can watch the horses in Ring 2 schooling through my shop window, I sit at the table in the back, put my feet up and stitch. I smile and think to myself, this is my life!