Episode 025 - Engraver & Silversmith,
Clint Orms

Bonus Episode - The Legendary Clint Orms took time to sit down with host Taylor McAdams during the Western and English Sales Association (WESA) show to look back on his career and life and share stories from his humble beginnings. World-renowned, Clint is known for his jewelry quality engraved Western ranger buckles, trophy buckles, dress buckles, money clips, cufflinks, and more.

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Podcast Transcript

Taylor McAdams: You're listening to the Kick Your Boots Up Podcast, where we swap stories of the West. Whether you're just waking up or getting in for the day, come on in and kick your boots up. Hi, everybody, and thank you for joining us on a special Ouisa edition of the Kick Your Boots Up podcast. We're so excited to be in the legendary Clint Orms show room. gasp I know I have the I wish you could feel the energy in here. So many hours of dedication of knowledge and silversmith and craftsmen. Wow, I'm fangirling a little bit here. So thank you, Clint for taking the time to be with us. This is so fun.

Clint Orms: Taylor. Thanks a lot for having us.

Taylor McAdams: You know, I, I have so many questions for you personally. But I feel like we better stick to that little bit of a timeline since we have this podcast. But I guess to get us started, tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got started in the industry, how you found silversmith and how it became a part of who you are today.

Clint Orms: Well, I grew up just north of Fort Worth in a little town called Wichita Falls. And my dad worked in western store there. And so that store was called the catalog. And that Fleming, in my opinion was one of the greatest guys in western wear business because he loved to fit cowboy boots. And that was really what he was known for. If he came in there, he wouldn't let you leave until he he fit you in a pair of boots. And that's where I kind of learned the art of making something special for someone even though he had a pair of boots that were on the shelf, he could really make them special for you because he made them fit for you before he left. And it was it was a great experience. My dad worked there. And then later on my brother worked there. And then that was the first store that started selling my belts when I was 13 years old. And so they did custom made. I was taught how to make belts, and do the Custom Hand Tool, ya know, and the catalog started selling them. And so that really kind of set me on the path of wanting to make custom pieces for people and pieces that were extra special.

Taylor McAdams: And I can't help but stop at that 13 years old. What is that, like having started so young and becoming who you are today? And just all the growth, the growing pains they've experienced through all that? What is it like?

Clint Orms: Well, you know, I love the Western business. You know, I think almost everybody in the world wanted to have a pair of cowboy boots, you know. And so I got to grow up with my my dad being a rodeo judge and a rodeo competitor. And so I got to be around, you know, all these really great cowboys. And I just I wanted to be able to fit in that industry somewhere, you know. And so I started rodeo and my dad took me to rodeos. And we had friends who went to rodeos when we started like at seven years old and did the Lord riches thing. And then when I got to be a little older, I like I said it was taught how to start making belts. And that's kind of what got me started and what evolved

Taylor McAdams: That is incredible. And having that experience to that I think just adds to it because having that rodeo background restarted so young, you understand the need first of all that your clients need. So that's incredible and kind of moving on your buckles are very iconic, they have their own style, tell us a little about the middle of the minimalism there and the designs that you choose.

Clint Orms: Well that all my designs I believe are really influenced from the buckles back in the 20s or the 30s. And I believe the craftsmen back then that just took a lot of time with their designs and with the handwork in the in the engraving and back then the buckles were all made from solid gold and solid silver and when I started our company that's when I said I was going to do this for you solid gold solid was so solid silver on the buckles. And then if you use those materials, they're just going to be a family heirloom and they're gonna look really good and 100 years from now

Taylor McAdams: I couldn't agree more and and hearing stories and seeing people's wedding rings their buckles that they've earned I mean it doesn't matter the ring so and so for you know their grandpa, their dads, bolo ties, things like that, that is so iconic. And what's it mean to you then to have you mentioned the the family heirlooms to be a part of their families now they've invited you into your home into their homes, almost a satiny,

Clint Orms: it's just a great it's a thief as you can keep those family stories going on, you know that some of my friends when I was very young, and they received their grandfather's buckles when they passed, and I got to see you know how outrageous special that was for them. And when they picked up the buckle every day and they put it on, they put on a pair, a part of their grandpa and carried on and it's, it's probably the most important thing for me is to be able to pass some of those positive affirmations from a gift.

Taylor McAdams: Oh, yes, and family is key. And so that's very beautiful that you've been able to kind of take a full circle with the relationship that you had with your dad and pour it into your craft today. And you mentioned earlier a little bit about the changes you've seen in the 20 He's 30. So let's kind of live there for a second, let's talk through the changes. What have you seen all across your career? What do you look forward to? In the future? Just tell us all of it. Yeah.

Clint Orms: Well, you know, it's, I just think, you know, as I had done that, and made part of the world, has always been appreciated. And that's why it was, you know, way back in the earlier years of my career, that the craftsmen and just took so much pride in what they did, and I see that now even was younger craftsmen coming along with the ability to learn, I think I can see him really appreciating the handmade part of the products. So that, you know, just over the years, it's, it's it's great to see people still appreciating, and knowing that somebody really sat there for hours and worked on that piece. It's, it's really what makes her work.

Taylor McAdams: It's kind of humbling, I can tell you're very, it's very surreal to think about. And you mentioned earlier that you wanted to you had a goal to only do silver and gold, you know, the real true metal. So talk to us about that. Where do you get your metals from? And go through all of the this process there? Yeah,

Clint Orms: you know, I can't tell you exactly where they came out of the ground. But we buy in from different metal suppliers for the jewelry industry. And they come out of Louisiana, and out of New Mexico, but I'm sure as a metals, you know, comes from all over.

Taylor McAdams: Oh, yeah, it definitely does. And you have such good quality. So maybe talk through a little bit about the quality of the jewels, the quality of the metals you're using to

Clint Orms: Well, that's something else. It's been a great journey in our career, my wife, Roxy and I really traveled the world to see different stone cutters. And to be able to, you know, buys some of the best stones that we can we can buy. And when we set our stones, we set them just the same way a Cartier a diamond setter would set his paavai diamonds are in a piece of jewelry. And that's really important to me, too, that you get tech buckles anywhere in the world. And they can, anyone could look at the stones and look at the settings and see that we really took the time to put that good products into it.

Taylor McAdams: And one thing I noticed you were talking a little bit before we started recording the podcast, you're talking to the legendary Tom feller here with Justin telling about all the different rodeos that you've gotten to make buckles for. So you mentioned rodeohouston. And that's a huge iconic one. A lot of rodeos spend all their time and money hoping to make it to rodeohouston What's it mean to you then to have these larger rodeos and rodeos in general having that should be you're the creator of their award, their buckle that they earned, they worked hard for what's that mean?

Clint Orms: It means a lot, you know, because he's rodeos that. It's not easy, an easy business to be in, in order to trick create a rodeo and keep it going on and you really have to work at it. And to keep to stay hands full keeps people there. And to be able to to represent the Western industry, you really have to work at it. So making the buckles for Houston was is a great experience and I've been able to do and Houston is a real special rodeo. You know, I know they have over 40,000 volunteers and they're all professional people that really take their time out of their career to come in and work for the Houston rodeo. And people come from all over the world to to study the Houston rodeo because it's such a successful event. If you haven't been there out become Houston is another really super special place for me because when I started my company, two months after I started my company, I was in Houston showing my products there and I was invited to come there with MLMs out of Fort Worth. And we were selling my products there and my wife actually came up and introduced herself and bought about local and that's how I met her so going back to Houston is always a great thing for me and this will be my 31st series to go back

Taylor McAdams: why an incredible meet you yeah so we would say now today on how you met your life that is so beautiful. I'm glad that everyone got to hear it here and I have so many questions about that. But my first question that comes to mind is how I mean since you she went and bought a belt buckle the first time you met her Have you made anything special for custom since then?

Clint Orms: Yeah, oh yeah. What else about probably not as many as I probably would have liked to make but I made some really great bracelets and some different buckles for that are really special and then it's been fun. Like with my son, he's 24 years old now. By he used to come there shop and my daughter would come to the shop and we would make pieces together for and we would just do what they could do on him and he knows how are them and beat them and turn them into buckles and some of those pieces are real special who because you know that didn't have the skill level when they were super young. But we just we may do and turn out something really great for and there again You know, you have to, you have to help is really super special now. And she picks it up and puts it down and remembers when Clayton and Mary made them when they were just little kids,

Taylor McAdams: little youngsters and probably for Mother's Day and different holidays like that. That is those are timeless pieces. I'm so glad you shared that with us. And I can't help but wonder too, like, how many people out there? Have you continued to like we talked about earlier, the heirlooms, the family aspect there. But I'm curious, did you have you continued to train your kids since then? Have you continued to, you know, they started when they were younger, just for fun? Do they know the trade?

Clint Orms: They do know it pretty good. And they both just graduated from college and they're out in their own careers. Once is really great. That's kind of what the way we've planned it from the start that they would step out and go out and do their careers. And we'll see if they circle back in.

Taylor McAdams: That's right, once they live life a little bit experience the world. And before we go, I just have one more question for you. What is the most challenging process? Because this is I mean, hours and hours and hours, depending on the piece, depending on a simple or more intricate. What do you think is the hardest most time consuming piece going into any of your designs?

Clint Orms: Yeah. Well, you know, sometimes it's trying to figure out exactly what the person wants to do with the backhoe and how they want that to accent their personality. Because it is an accessory that I believe a man or lady can actually wear every day. You know, they can wear it with different outfits and they can just you know, where where the buckle everywhere, when the buckle that Tom feller was wearing earlier. I mean, that says everything about Tom, is this a great piece, and it's a it's a buckle that anyone would love to wear. I didn't make it. But it's a really terrific Rocco. And that really sets off his personality and that kind of style.

Taylor McAdams: Oh, yeah. And that's what's fun that you get to kind of without even knowing the customer, sometimes you get to kind of give them a piece of their style that they're going into it. And since we're here at least talking about fashion, what are some trends that you are seeing personally within your business that you're really hoping does good in the future, or is currently doing well, that you've seen a lot of walking around

Clint Orms: was the one piece Marco and we call him a trophy buckle, as it seemed to be coming back and being really super popular now. And that's it. I mean, that's the buckle that was given back in the, the 20s and the 30s in the rodeo era. And it's a real it's a beautiful look that you can see in the fashion world. And I'm with even like a Ralph Lauren is, you know, pulling out some buckles like that from the past and bringing them up, and you'll see him in fashion sheets all over the world.

Taylor McAdams: That's about it feels so iconic. So being new to the company, I've seen a lot of pictures in the archives adjusted. There's so many different aspects of the company. But one is particularly dealing with Ouisa and the salesman and everything here, the salesman of the year buckles for Justin brands, they're iconic, I've seen pictures of them the detailing the time, and it's kind of twofold here because you put time and effort into these buckles. And then they put time and effort into earning the title of salesman of the year. So talk to us about the nose buckles and what it's like, being a part of that

Clint Orms: I was it was really excited when I got to call to make those buckles because I love that Justin takes care of the Cowboys. You know, I mean, what it just is sports medicine. It's just remarkable the program that that you guys have had, and the longevity of that program, it's, it's to serve so many people well. And so when I got the opportunity to highlight the salesman, for the company, Justin, it was a great opportunity to pull out some, you know, some great designs and make a super classic buckle which is, is just an existent gray classic company and it's, it's been around forever. And because of they they do more than just make boots. And so it was a great thing for me to be able to be a part of and just so what I tried to do with that buckle is is you know, go back again just he's our solid principles and keep it pretty simple that we did some really nice filigree work on the backhoe and I did a combination of three different goals on it. And hopefully we had to sell them that early proud because it's just great to work that those guys do. And it's not easy man. A salesman out there.

Taylor McAdams: You're exactly right. It's not we mentioned family a little bit and that's so cool. Thank you for having your family be a part of our family. It seems like a natural tie, but I know it goes a long way here at Justin braids. Thanks, Clint. It has been iconic, legendary, humbling all of the words to have been able to sit down at a table and take a little bit of your time to get to know your story. Thank you. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart from the bottom of the listeners heart. We're so inspired by your work continue to keep going and again thank you so much for letting us take your time 

Clint Orms: You bet. Hope that the best is to come.