In Design—Fashion Designers, Trendsetters

Farm, Law & Horses

For APHA member and Brown Acre Designs creator Brandy Brown, homegrown inspiration and sticking to her roots has helped create a life she wouldn’t trade for anything.

By Raquel Lynn

Growing up on a horse farm in Northwest Ohio, Brandy Brown was born a horse girl. Her parents own and operate Mark Smith Training Center, where they raise and train flashy Paint Horses. A passion for horses and a dedicated work ethic led her to become an accomplished young woman at age 28. Today she’s a wife, law graduate, a modern farmer and creator of Brown Acre Designs, her homegrown equestrian business. With an abundance of chores, projects and never-ending work, Brandy wouldn’t have it any other way.

 A Creative Outlet

Finding success in the show ring with horses, an equine career might have seemed like the predictable career choice. But even at a young age, Brandy was determined to have a future in law.

“I decided in elementary school to pursue law. I’m not 100 percent sure why, but my mind was made up early on and I couldn’t be swayed,” Brandy said. “Later, a desire to ensure justice for all motivated me.”

Brandy received her undergraduate degree at the University of Findlay with a dual bachelor’s degree in pre-law and history, followed by her law degree at the University of Toledo. She pushed through the grueling, time-consuming schoolwork, but found herself missing horses and precious moments at the barn more than ever.

Home for the holidays before her final spring semester, Brandy stumbled upon an old horse show stall sign. Daydreaming about returning to the arena, Brandy looked up the company, only to discover they were no longer in business. Brandy got to work on her Cricut cutting machine, determined to make her own sign and searching for a creative outlet outside of her serious day-to-day law school routine. Soon, friends were clamoring for their own custom signs, too.

“I started talking to my friends about it, realizing there was a market for this,” Brandy said. “I wondered if I could make a little business out of this. And that’s how it started.”


This is an excerpt from the full article—get the whole story in the Spring 2022 Chrome magazine, which is sent to all current APHA members. Not a member? Join or renew at apha.com/join.