By Renee Huang

page77What started as a hobby during a stressful time has grown into a labor of love for Kathy Pederson. The owner and artist behind Boom Dog Creations, which specializes in handcrafted,
repurposed leather works—dog collars, wrist cuffs, bootlets and trophy dog bowls—sought solace in her creative side while helping her husband, Brad, recover from a series of strokes he suffered three winters ago.

“My company is all green and one of a kind,” Kathy says, gesturing around the sunny garage-turned-art-studio of her Park City home where all of her creating takes place. Her affable Golden Labrador, Boomer, who inspired the company name, lazes at her feet.

Along a far wall hang hundreds of worn tooled leathers of all shapes and sizes. A cluttered work table displays her tools of the trade. Bins hold finished leather dog collars, boot cuffs (she calls them “boot bling”) and wrist cuffs. But it’s the tool bench that holds her true bounty—unique broaches, baubles, Indian turquoise jewelry and Southwestern silver conchos.
Kathy creates 20 unique leather pieces a day, stockpiling inventory for her upcoming busy season. She is a one-person miracle team—all pieces are created by her.

It’s this same go-getter attitude that ultimately saved Brad’s life in December 2010. The Pedersons were skiing at Deer Valley on their annual winter break from their Las Vegas home. Brad was an executive with a gaming company. Kathy taught special needs kids in the Las Vegas school district. Their teenage son was with friends at Canyons Resort.

They were in a hurry to get down to Stein Eriksen’s Lodge to meet friends for lunch. Kathy remembers Brad stopped at the side of a run, turning to her to say, “I don’t feel so good” as he dropped face-first into the snow. He wasn’t breathing. She immediately administered CPR while yelling for Flight for Life. Time expanded and contracted. Brad was airlifted to safety. He died several times that day. Yet miraculously, he lived.

A full year of painstaking rehabilitation ensued during which Brad relearned how to walk, read and speak. Every day, Kathy would drive him down to Salt Lake City to work on his recovery. One day, she came across an old Western belt that she dressed up with some silver conchos and made into a collar for Boomer. Soon friends started requesting hand-tooled leather studded collars for their pooches. Her business was born.

For Pederson, Park City is a place Kathy feels grateful to call home. “It’s the greatest place in the world to live. Brad wouldn’t have survived it if it wasn’t for this community,” she says firmly. “I’m indebted to Park City and Deer Valley. They saved his life.” And through his journey of recovery, gave her a new artistic platform to call her own

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