Woman of the West

Buckles & Bling

By Chelsey Becker

If you know me, you know that my outfit is not complete without accessories. I feel incomplete without wearing (at minimum) a pair of earrings, a necklace with my favourite turquoise stone rings, and of course, a belt buckle. 

For anyone in the rodeo and western industry, a belt buckle is a staple accessory that pulls together an outfit, and also tells a story. Fortunately for me, I know a fair bit about these beautiful works of art, as my dad, Kraig Becker, is the owner and president of Becker Buckles Inc., creating trophy belt buckles and custom jewelry.

Since a very young age, I have always admired the craftsmanship that goes into every piece of silversmithing work he creates. 

My dad, Kraig,  has been a silversmith for more than 30 years, and each piece of artwork that he creates is all done by hand. This is especially important in this day and age, where mass production is largely taking over..

Custom-made is something that I appreciate because I know the time and craftsmanship instilled in each piece.

I remember the very first belt buckle my dad had made for me. It was my fourth birthday, and he had crafted this beautiful tiny belt buckle with my initials and the cut out of a Quarter Horse head on it, and on the back of the buckle has engraved, “Happy Fourth Birthday Chelsey.”  I wore that with such pride everywhere I went andI still have it to this day, almost 20 years later. 

Years later, as I started to outgrow this tiny buckle (that once seemed so big), I was determined to win my next buckle at 4-H on Parade, when my dad was making all of the trophy buckles at the time. Sure enough, I achieved that buckle in the show pen with my Black Angus steer at the 2011 4-H on Parade at the Calgary Stampede grounds. I don’t think my smile left my face for months; I was so proud to have won something with such meaning. 

I incorporated these buckles into almost every outfit I put together, whether it was doing chores and riding horses or with a chunky belt to fasten around a dress; I was rarely seen without one on. 

My most recent custom made Becker Buckle was a graduation present this past April. My dad put our family brand on it, with the addition of pink stones to reflect my love of anything sparkly and pink. 

Belt buckles aren’t the only silversmith work that makes for a great accessory. Another great addition to your western jewelry collection has got to be a statement necklace; my particular favourite is the cross pendants with the addition of a birthstone. 

When it comes to accessorizing western outfits, handcrafted, -made pieces featuring sterling silver are sure to tie together any outfit and are truly unique to you.