Hello and welcome to Bonnie Jayne Art.
My name is Dave O’Keeffe. I’d like to personally thank you for visiting Bonnie Jayne Art and take this opportunity to introduce myself, our product, and Bonnie Jayne Art.
There was a significant change to Bonnie Jayne Art this year (2020). Bonnie, the creative genius behind our products, passed away in April. Before she left on her latest adventure though, she passed on to me her design secrets, and her cutting and stitching methods. Recreating her ability to get the most from a hide will be a challenge for me. She had a knack of being able to capture the best look the hide could provide. She did tell me that if I got stuck on a design she’d sprinkle some fairy dust on me to get the inspiration I’d need. My plan is to honor her memory and keep her legacy alive by continuing the business under her banner. With that in mind I thought it appropriate to leave the origin of Bonnie Jayne Art as she wrote it.
“I was born, grew up and spent most of my adult life as a resident of Warwick, Rhode Island. While living there I was in business preserving wedding floral arrangements. Seeing the delight and satisfaction on the faces of my clients brought to me a tremendous sense of fulfillment. Knowing that I was able to play a small part in not on only preserving the flowers, but the memories as well was so rewarding.
As beautiful as New England is, about six years ago my husband, Dave, and I put our fears of change aside and decided to relocate to a warmer climate. Leaving friends, family and the flower business behind, we moved to the gorgeous Amelia Island area of Northeast Florida. The relocation gave me more time to be outdoors, something for which I really have a passion. Being at one with nature sure gets my creative juices flowing.
So how did I get into making cowhide handbags? Well, Dave and I were on a birthday trip to Cherokee North Carolina when we stopped at a motorcycle rally in Maggie Valley. One of the vendors at the rally was selling tanned, hair on cowhides. I fell in love with the hides. I thought that I could make a wonderful pocketbook out of a hide so I bought one. When I got home I laid out the hide to see just how I should proceed. I thought that making the handbag by taking advantage of the coloring of the hide and its overall shape would look pretty neat. When I was finished and started using the pocket book, compliments started pouring in. I made a few more and gave them to family members as gifts. Since that time, so many people admired them and wanted to know where they could get one. Since I get great pleasure in making beautiful and unique items that bring joy into people’s lives, the idea of starting a business making cowhide handbags began to form. So with urging from my family and a tremendous encouragement from my husband, Bonnie Jayne Art was born. Be it in the mountains or on the water, inspiration comes from the wonders of nature’s creations.
I love turning back to a more simple time. Using skills of long ago, each Bonnie Jayne Art handbag is lovingly hand stitched. Each bag is unique; each makes a statement that is as individual as the person wearing it.
I trust you have as much fun using your Bonnie Jayne Art natural cowhide handbag as I had making it.”