Opal .R. Helm, the namesake, existed long before the product. Opal was my great-grandmother. Her life and the antiques I inherited from her inspired me to create a line of products built with the same premium craftsmanship and detail of those antiques. When I found her driver's license and saw the unique signature, I knew it represented the creativity and authenticity that would eventually characterize my products.
I coupled this idea with my love affair with leather. In 1962, my grandfather, a Dallas, Texas-based airline captain, horse breeder and entrepreneur, started a saddlery in his garage long before big business covered the wide-open space of downtown. At that time, the blue sky stretched farther and wider, and families raised their children and horses on spacious property in the heart of the city. Life moved slowly. Times were simple. I spent my summers there, collecting memories of a simple, happy childhood surrounded by family...bare feet running across the land, swimming in the pond, catching frogs, riding horses, and lapping up homemade ice cream. A love and curiosity developed over many hours spent in my grandfather's garage where I sat surrounded by the scent of leather and captivated by the handmade saddles that I helped oil and polish.
Inspired by this love and Texas family heritage, Opal .R. Helm presents an inaugural leather accessory collection dedicated to sophisticated simplicity, Texas authenticity, and refined craftsmanship.
Welcome to Opal.
Jennifer Huggins is the founder and designer of the OPAL .R. HELM brand. Raised in Marshall, Texas, with stints in Paris, New York, and California where she honed her marketing (and French) chops, Jennifer’s unmistakeable designs combine the soul of the country and spirit of the city. She lives in Houston, Texas with her 13-year old beagle sidekick, Cotton.
Photo credit: Meredith Staggers