A BYRON BAY woman’s self-taught American Indian carving skills have caught the eyes of Australia’s top designers.
Terry Cronin started off as a creative teen with an artistic passion for leatherwork in New Zealand and, after moving to Byron Bay 10 years ago, this passion grew into her own label, Buffalo Girl. Now her designs are seen on the likes of Elle McPherson, Olivia Newton-John and pop singer Pink.
Widely known for her American Indian-insp- ired leather tooled and fringed bags and rustic-looking cuffs, the mother-of-one created some uni- que feather headdresses that were profiled recently at Rosemount Fashion Week in Sydney – a humbling experience Ms Cronin.
“It was very humbling watching it come down the runway,” the 40-year-old said.
“A few designers came up to me after the show and asked if I would be interested in doing some for them. They would only be used for shows and photo shoots and things like that.
“Some of the headdresses were made from the feathers of my friend’s macaw parrot. They do take a while to make because you have to wait for the birds to moult.
“I love making things that are unusual and different.”
Ms Cronin has made a name for herself by using uniquely-sourced materials such as crystals from the Crystal Castle and leather shipped in from Melbourne that is then dip-dyed and modified in the studio at her Byron Bay home.
The keen surfer was selected by chain store giant Sportsgirl as an Australian Young Des- igner last year and asked to create a line of products exclusively for the store to be featured in Melbourne.
She even created a custom-made cowboy hat used in the TV series, East of Everything.
Ms Cronin can remember making her dad a leather bag for Father’s Day when just eight years old, but never thought her passion would take her to where she is today.
“I never thought I would make it the level I do now,” she said.
“I have had my label for about five years, but I have always been obs- essed with American Indians and carving.
“I am coming to the transition now because I make everything myself, so it takes time. I would like to do Buffalo Girl exclusive and maybe another branch of the label.”
Despite her recent success, Ms Cronin has managed to keep true to her roots by showcasing her works at the monthly Byron Bay Markets.