By Cheryl Van Tuyl Jividen :: Photography by Mark Humphries
For the Orms family, life has always had a silver lining.
This trajectory began long ago when junior high schooler Clint Orms was a budding entrepreneur in his native Wichita Falls, making Western belts and selling them to a local retailer. It occurred to him that his leather goods wouldn’t stand the test of time and become treasured family heirlooms, and thus began his love affair with sterling silver. Clint’s leather tooling skills transferred easily to silver which he began to hone at age 16.
Following high school, Clint was off to college and work as a silver engraver, first in Reno, then California and four years in Australia before returning to his beloved Texas in the fall of 1991.
In early 1992, Clint formed Clint Orms Engravers and Silversmiths, focusing on handmade, jewelry-quality belt buckles. That same year, while selling his wares at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo with Fort Worth-based M.L. Leddy’s, he met his wife Roxie, a native Houstonian who had studied two years in Switzerland before graduating with a degree in finance and international business from the University of Texas in Austin. Sixteen months later they were married.
Roxie was integral in the organization of the business. “Clint was off to a Quarter Horse Congress and handed me the makings of his business at the time — a box full of papers!” Roxie put her education to good use, formatting the business and creating the back office. Their combined efforts took off like a skyrocket, finding an enthusiastic (some might call them fanatical) following during their 10 years in Houston — all which led Clint to be widely recognized as one of, if not the best, engravers in the world. Clint Orms has in fact outfitted celebrities, world-class athletes, Presidents and rock stars all the while growing fans and clients worldwide. But as importantly are those clients who have saved up with anticipation for a special Orms’ piece be it a buckle, cuff links or a money clip. “We are a small business and it’s really rewarding that people allow us to commemorate special events and accomplishments in their lives with something they consider so special,” says Roxie. It is for Clint, says Roxie, the fulfillment of a dream. “He wanted artistry that would last — that gets handed down through generations.” In recent years, Clint’s portfolio has expanded to include jewelry pieces such as cuff bracelets for men and women as well as other custom requests. Bracelets with initials, ranch brands, horses’ names and other personalized designs are very popular. Roxie proudly acknowledges her husband’s talents. “Clint, throughout his career, keeps raising the bar and revolutionizing our industry through his own innovation.”
Working together since the beginning of the company has been important to the success and cache of the business. “We contribute in such different ways and work collaboratively,” says Roxie. “I’m thankful that I can do a lot of work remotely, allowing me to be home with our children.”
The growth of Clint Orms Engravers and Silversmiths included leaving Houston and relocating operations to the Hill Country hamlet of Ingram in 2003. The business decision was largely driven by their personal aspirations and a quest for a different lifestyle. “We have always liked the Hill Country. There came a time with our boarded horses when it would take an hour in traffic to get to them. Houston was so important to us, but we wanted to raise our children in a smaller rural community where they could experience living outdoors.” That meant buying property in Kerrville and eventually commuting son Clayton, now a junior, and daughter Mary, a sophomore, to a private school in Boerne.
Eventually, the commute had the Orms buying a second home in Fair Oaks Ranch. The couple was aware of Cordillera Ranch from its very beginnings as Clint and Roxie knew Mac and Carla Northington, one of the original land owners of the development, through the Tejas Vaqueros. “Over the years, many of our friends built in Cordillera Ranch and we watched it grow and become a beautiful community. Cordillera Ranch had always appealed to us and when we realized we wanted to stay in Boerne for our kids’ high school years, we bought a home here. We wanted to be part of the Cordillera Ranch community.” The Orms moved into an existing home this summer. “The home was built by Robert Thornton who we knew to have an excellent reputation. This was actually a pretty big selling point for us.”
The move has been ideal. “We love the friends we’ve made here, and the kids enjoy spending time with their friends here, too. It’s a great environment for teenagers; it’s far enough from town that they’d rather spend time at Cordillera Ranch going to the park and hanging out at each other’s homes.” The family takes advantage of many of the Cordillera Ranch amenities. “We all enjoy the Fitness Center. I had a knee replacement in July and Ann-Kristin Allen has been very helpful with post rehab workouts. Our daughter Mary works out with her, too, and also practices yoga. We all enjoy the parks and hiking trails. The kids enjoy cooking out at the river park with friends. We have been kayaking multiple times and we are looking forward to going fishing. Clayton is a shooter and frequently uses the Gun Club.”
The Orms’ children, both Champion high schoolers, don’t spend all their time in the neighborhood. Clayton has spent the last five summers staying with family friends in Italy and attends a sailing camp in Sardinia, becoming an accomplished sailor. Younger sister Mary is a talented actress who has performed for years at the Cailloux Theater in Kerrville and during summer breaks attends a fine arts training camp in New York state called Stage Door Manor.
Even though they are new residents to Cordillera Ranch, Roxie recognizes the serenity and long-term potential. “We love how quiet and pretty it is here. It might just be our forever home.”