CIRCLEVILLE - A local artisan saw her handiwork gain national exposure this week on the arm of an HGTV star.
Shauna Goodhart of Circleville founded Legacy Leatherware primarily as a hobby after discovering her father's old leatherworking tools that had been packed away for decades. With each new design for her bracelets and cuffs, Goodhart assigns a new name, often based on the inspiration behind the design.
Such was the case with "Jo-Jo," a wide leather cuff she said was inspired by Joanna Gaines, star of the HGTV series "Fixer Upper."
"She's so beautiful," Goodhart said. "I love her outfits, I love her jewelry, she's so funny, her husband is a hoot, the works. I always noticed she wore these really huge 'statement' bracelets, really big, thick, chunky bracelets. I thought if I ever found some really wide leather, I wanted to make something like I think she would wear."
Soon afterward, Goodhart said she was out shopping and found a wide, 80s-style belt that she knew would serve the purpose.
"As soon as I saw it, I could see in my head the bracelet I was going to make," she said. "When I sat down to make it, I was visualizing her and the type of bracelets she wears."
The belt produced just four of the original Jo-Jo designs, one of which Goodhart sent to Gaines as a gift in September.
"I told her I was a huge fan of everything she touches," Goodhart said. "I loved her style, I loved her designs, and her relationship with her husband and kids was just a huge inspiration. I just gushed and gushed."
About a month later, she received a card in the mail with no return address but postmarked from Dallas, Texas.
"It was handwritten in beautiful script writing, of course," Goodhart said. "She thanked me for reaching out and said she loved her cuff and was wearing it every day. She said, 'You're doing beautiful work. Keep it up.'"
As excited as she was, Goodhart said she always wondered if the response wasn't just a pleasantry.
"It was totally crazy," she said. "She wrote me that card, and it was so sweet, but you kind of think she's just a very important person being very important and doing her due diligence to keep her fans happy. I never really thought she'd actually wear it."
Then Goodhart got the surprise of a lifetime while watching "Fixer Upper" on Tuesday.
"I was sitting on the couch talking to my husband, and the TV was in my peripheral view," she said. "Out of the corner of my eye, I caught it. Oh my God, she's wearing my bracelet!"
Goodhart said after the shock and excitement wore off, she was just completely flattered.
"My gosh, that was huge," she said. "The biggest compliment for me was there were no strings attached to that. She wore it because she chose to wear it, not because it was sponsored by such-and-such or someone threw big bucks at the network or the show. It was just little ol' me."
The upcycled "Jo-Jo" design is just one of many styles Goodhart has designed with her father's old tools and a bit of imagination. More can be found on her Legacy Leatherware Facebook page.