Bend Artist Amy Brannan

Amy’s love for the outdoors is apparent in everything she does.  When she is not making her colorful natural stone bead and sterling silver jewelry you will often find Amy in the snowy backcountry helping the visually impaired cross-country ski as a volunteer for Ski for Light International.  We asked Amy to share some of what she loves about life in Central Oregon and here is what she told us!

Amy Brannan: For 45 years I have made jewelry for myself, friends, and family using sterling silver, gemstones, and pearls. My jewelry comes to life with inspiration from the outdoors as when I am not making jewelry you can find me XC skiing, mountain biking, gardening, or hiking with my dog Kitsu.

I love working with all gemstones and also started creating with my Grandmother’s antique buttons.  Many of these are Victorian Era metal and glass buttons that are over 100 years old.  The details are intricate and it’s fun to wear a little bit of history.

Along with gemstones and pearls I use sterling silver wire for hammered shapes and Silver Metal Clay for button and textured pieces. The metal clay is fired in a kiln for 2 hours at 1650 degrees resulting in 99.9% silver pieces.

I moved from Fort Collins, Colorado to Eugene where I lived for three years before moving to Bend.  And for the last 7 years I have been enjoying all that Central Oregon has to offer. I love exploring our trails, and skiing at Mt Bachelor’s Nordic Center and Virginia Meissner.

One fun fact about me – I have a Shiba Inu and she screams so loud when getting a bath I wear earplugs. She is actually quite a good girl and we get many comments on how much she looks like a red fox.

Super fun fact for me as a cross-country skier – this past week I made and gifted 8 pairs of “mini” Color of Snow earrings to our USA XC Women’s team that was here in Bend starting their training season. And not only did I see my earrings in use on 4 of the ladies, but I also talked briefly with two Olympians – Jessie Diggins and Rosie Brennan. Too Fun!

Come meet Bend Artist Amy Brannan of Rainbows by Amy at our June 3rd First Friday ArtWalk from 5-8 pm.

The Stokes Story

Desperado has proudly been carrying this incredible line of locally made top grain leather bags and totes… but it is our pleasure to be hosting our first Trunk Show with Matt Stokes.  We recently asked Matt to share his story with us.  Here it is in his own words…



Matt Stokes/Stokes Co. Leather

My parents moved us here when I was 2 years old in 1976, I have always been motivated by creating, art has always been a big part of who I am.

I love to fly fish and spend time on the river, but I don’t do very much anymore. Since starting my leather work I have given it almost everything I have. I feel like I am doing the thing I love more than anything, so my life is a vacation. I’d rather be in my shop than just about anywhere.

I have been doing leatherwork for about five years now. I began very organically, at the time I was a metal artist, and I wanted to learn how to sew so that I could patch my own clothing, and also make bags for safe transport of my artwork to and from shows. What started as a simple desire to sew turned into a passion once I started designing and building canvas bags. I fell in love with the process, never taking a lesson, nor watching a youtube video I learned the hardest possible way by trial and error. I knew at some point I would be able to see how other bags were made by simply looking at them so I really wanted to maintain my own artistic style before that day came. Once I decided to add some leather accents to my canvas bags, I realized that the leather was simply amazing to work with. It became my new medium. I designed several staple bags in my collection that are always available, however, my true heart still longs to create, design and build something totally original (even if it is just for me)!

You can meet Matt at Desperado this Friday, May 6th from 5-8 at ArtWalk!  This special collection of handbags will be at the store (while supplies last) through next Saturday.

10% off ALL sales at Desperado during the 5/6 ArtWalk from 5-8 will be donated to COVO.

the Central Oregon Veterans Outreach


Desperado’s Denim Fit Event!


Getting the perfect denim can be daunting!

So don’t miss our April Denim Event & let

Desperado’s Denim Diva Experts

help you find the perfect fitting jeans!!!

All year we have been curating the perfect spring line of On-Trend Denim. The Divas know perfect-fitting jeans can be hard to find! You want them snug in all the right places with enough breathing room to keep you moving throughout your day.
So give us a few minutes to help take the fear out of finding the perfect fit! Plus… 10% OFF all denim purchased during our event!
Pop into the store Friday, April 8th through Saturday, April 9th, or you can set up a personal fit appointment by emailing us at bend@godesperado.com

Secrets to Jean Care by Dear John Denim

Dear John care tags.While washing clothes is never fun… you won’t want to miss this entertaining article from one of our favorite denim lines… Dear John!   It’s worth the read and we promise it will add life to your jeans.

Love, the Desperado Divas


Dear John,

I’m terribly sorry I had to do this through a letter, but this felt better than talking to you in person because I am a wuss like that.  This note will be the last memory you’ll ever have of me.  I’m leaving you and I’m not looking back…This should come as no surprise to you since you’ve ruined every nice pair of denim I’ve every owned.  I have tried reminding you time and time again to stay out of my dirty laundry!  My jeans don’t need to be washed all the time, and when it’s time to wash them – machine wash cold with like colors! Also, wash denim inside out so that it may retain its color longer and doesn’t damage embellishments or embroidery.  And never use bleach!  Hang dry as lycra, which keeps me comfy, hates the dryer. And no short cuts John…denim hates the dry cleaners! But like the typical “Macho Man” that you think you are, you just don’t hear me…I know you listen John…But you never HEAR me and I’m sick of explaining the difference.  So I leave you now and my only hope for you is that you find someone new…and when you do, I hope you’ll be kinder to her denim than you have been with mine… Have a Nice Life!!!  

Here’s what to watch out for at Desperado…

plus…Save the Date!

Mark your calendars for these upcoming events!
March: Annual Spring Break Shoe Sale starts Friday, March 18th.
April: Denim Fit Event, get help finding the perfect pair of jeans. Stay tuned for denim details!
May: First Friday ArtWalk with Bend Leather Maker Matt Stokes 5/6
For the latest updates on new merchandise, event details, and specials please check out our Social Media pages & follow the links below!

July’s Jewelry Artist Spotlight…

Amy Wells Designs, located in Memphis, Tennessee is the entrepreneurial dream of designer and artist, Amy Wells.  Amy began her professional life with a successful career in the financial services industry.  After her daughter was born Amy decided to return to her passion…creating beautiful and eclectic jewelry.  Her love of all things rustic combined with her love of design formed the perfect balance for Amy Wells Designs, and has continued to do so for over a decade.

Amy describes her unique jewelry as “Free Spirited”.  Each piece is handcrafted using natural gemstones, freshwater pearls, Thai silver, Sterling silver, other mixed metals, and fine leather.  The amazing color variations in the stones and the diversity of organic shapes mean no two pieces are exactly alike.

We hope you enjoy Amy Wells Designs as much as we do.  You may notice that most of her necklaces are named after songs!  Amy says one of her favorite bands, the Grateful Dead, said it best and is an inspiration for her art: “Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.”

Visit Desperado Boutique and see our special collection available starting this July and watch for pieces to be added to our website soon!

May Artist Spotlight… Handy Crafted Goods!

Our monthly “Artist Spotlight” takes us to the small town of Eagle Creek, Oregon where jewelry artists Hannah & Andy park their tiny home on wheels.  We recently met Hannah & Andy when they popped into our store on one of their road trip adventures.  We immediately fell in love with their vintage leather ‘upcycled’ jewelry.   The jewelry is lightweight, very affordable, and comes in a wide variety of styles from playful cactus and sasquatch designs to geometric shapes made from old tooled leather belts and handbags.

When not making jewelry, this Oregon couple spends their time adventuring in the woods, fishing, and looking for materials to use in their art.  They also scour thrift stores for vintage leather goods to create their amazing and unique jewelry line.  But that’s not all that makes Hannah & Andy special.  The two have also been traveling to places ravaged by natural disasters and volunteering their time to help these communities rebuild.

During the 2018-2019 hurricane season in the Gulf states of Florida, Alabama, and Georgia the two volunteered for 7 months on the front line.  Hannah says, “On many occasions, we were overwhelmed by the devastation, but more often we were overwhelmed by the generosity, kindness, and fellow feeling displayed by both the volunteers and the victims of Hurricane Michael.”   Hannah has been deeply and profoundly moved by their experiences as volunteers and calls it “love in action”.  She adds, “There is truly more happiness in giving than receiving!”

We think their work reflects that happiness!  Please stop by our shop or check out the ‘Jewelry’ tab under ‘Accessories’ on our website for a look at our special collection of Handy Crafted Goods!