A Sherwood Park business owner is trying her best to keep her inner fan girl at bay as celebrities wear her products on the national stage.
Colleen McGale is her name, she is a horse lover and owns a business called Verstara. McGale runs the business out of her home in Sherwood Park.
“It started in 2011 when my horse passed away. I wasn’t quite ready to let him go so I made a bracelet out of his tail hair,” McGale told River Radio. “A few friends saw the bracelet and wanted one from their horse’s tail so this fun hobby began.”
A hobby which quickly turned into a business for McGale, doing something she loved while adding a special momentum to other people’s lives.
“I started to see a real market for meaningful, quality jewelry, and began introducing precious metals and stones into my designs,” McGale said. “It also became apparent that it wasn’t just equestrians who wanted a way to stay close to their horses, so I started designing jewelry that would hold pet fur and the ashes of pets or loved ones.”
McGale says that through trades shows, word of mouth and social media she has gained a wonderful following of fans and clients from all over the world.
This includes messages from celebrity clients for the Sherwood Park business owner.
“At the beginning of this year I was contacted by Cat Thomas, a costume designer in New York who was working with Kaley Cuoco on her new upcoming show The Flight Attendant,” McGale said. “She had become good friends with Cuoco and wanted to get her a really special gift as a wrap up present at the end of filming in April.”
McGale says that with the help of Cuoco’s husband and assistant, Thomas was able to sneak some of her special horse’s tail hair and send it to her in Sherwood Park.
“I tried my best to keep my inner fan girl at bay while composing myself as a professional but the more Thomas told me about Cuoco the more I realized how much she was just like all my other horse loving clients,” McGale said. “She was just a girl who missed her horse because she was working out of town.”
Due to the pandemic, filming on the new show was postponed. However, McGale who is a humble woman, kept the exciting news to herself.
“I didn’t tell many people about this special project I was working on and the suspense was killing me,” McGale joked.
Cuoco would receieve her ring in October and when she finally received the ring, Cuoco sent the business owner a private message on Instagram to thank her and tell McGale how special the ring was to her.
“She also posted a video of the emotional moment she received the ring. Her reaction was no different than any of my other clients, tears,” McGale said. “Tears have become my biggest compliment! I know I have done my job well if it sparks that much emotion.”
Earlier this week McGale watched Cuoco’s interview on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and noticed she was wearing the ring she sent.
“It was right there, front and center for the entire time she was on the show. The next morning, I caught her interview on Good Morning America and again, she was wearing the ring,” McGale told River Radio. “There is something really exhilarating about seeing your creation on a celebrity on TV.”
McGale says Cuoco then posted a picture on Instagram of her with her special horse Netty (the one who’s tail she used for the ring)
“The ring is shown in that picture as well. I reached out to her to ask if I could use the picture of her and her horse, she said “Absolutely! It’s my favorite ring,” McGale said.
While McGale is over the moon about this particular piece being worn by Cuoco, what really makes her happy is seeing how important it is to her because of how much she loves her horse.
“I have also created a ring for Amberley Snyder, a barrel racer who was paralyzed from the waist down in a car accident,” McGale said. “She went on, paralyzed, to become an American champion barrel racing champion. There is a Netflix movie about her story called Walk. Ride. Rodeo. – which she had engraved into her ring.”
For all you Instagram users give @verstarajewelry a follow.