Hobby gone wild: "Along the Way"

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It's a business built on the outdoors, thinking outside the box, and working out of a garage.

We look at how one couple is putting a 'new' twist on 'old' antlers: 'Along the Way" in Rapid City.

A one stall garage is often simply that, and sometimes: simply more.

Bruce Carpenter of "Antler Wears" says, "I'm gonna be using all 3 of my machines. I've got my band saw, I've got a sander, and I've got my drill press."

Buckets under shelves are filled with calcium castaways, while opened drawers display more and more antlers.

Bruce Carpenter and Carol White say, "I'm Carol White and I'm Bruce Carpenter and we are Antler Wears."

Their best seller is jewelry.

Carol White of "Antler Wears" says, "This is a very popular bracelet for men. It's magnetic hematite with deer antler beads."

While a chunk of their antler supply is from hunted animals, another chunk they say, is searched for, and found on the ground.

Bruce Carpenter of Antler Wears says, "Late Winter to Early Spring is generally when the animals will shed their antlers for your white tails, mule deers, and elk."

Carol White says, "The animals grow the antlers back every year. So it is a nice renewable resource. It's recycling on Mother Nature's terms."

Each individual antler has its own personality,

Bruce Carpenter of Antler Wears says ,"Once you cut into it, it's kind of like breaking a rock, you don't know what's inside a rock until you break it open. So cutting in, you have all the characters of different colorizations and animals"

Like a look at what's inside Elk antlers.

Bruce Carpenter says, "It's very porous, it's almost like a honeycomb type or Styrofoam inside and your outer calcium layer is what protects it."

But perhaps their most unique products are made from horns, not antlers.

Bruce Carpenter says, "Antelope horn is harder to come by because it's not hard calcium as an antler is. The horn is actually hair."

Antelope horns take extra care to prepare.

Carol White says "We dip it in polyurethane which makes the hair stand back up. So we have to repeat the process and it takes about 4 days."

But the payoff is clear to see.

Carol Whit says,"On very few pieces of antelope, there's just a small section that will do it for us. We'll have a bit of translucence when you get it into the light."

They've found Antelope horn is also lightweight.

Carol White says, "So those that like the larger earrings it's not gonna pull on their ears."

While jewelry is their most popular product, they make all sorts of novelty household goods as well. Another option they offer are fire starters with an antler base.

Bruce Carpenter says, "It works great cold, wet dry, it doesn't matter"

Never guessing antlers and horns would spark such an interest.

Bruce Carpenter and Carol White say, "No. No, this was a hobby gone wild."

On a mini manufacturing floor in a one stall garage that's become simply more, than a place to store a car.

They say a lot of what they do is just trial and error.

An interesting note about antelope horns: they say the animals push the hair horns off in the Fall and they're already re-grown by Spring.

If you've met someone cool "Along the way", please e–mail or call us with your story ideas.