Mandan woman uses brain injury as way to start bracelet business for a cause

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Emily Montgomery uses her Instagram as a platform to educate people on things like Parkinson's, Breast Cancer, and Brain Injury Awareness.

With any serious brain injury, time and patience are needed to help heal. KX News met up with a Mandan woman who used her healing time to create a new hobby.

Emily Montgomery is taking a new approach on life and turned her hobby into her mission.

“I tried it. It was really difficult at first. My dad had helped me tie the string and my mom was just like, ‘Keep doing it. You’ve got this,” said Emily Montgomery, Creator of Crafts Galore by EmilyM.

Last summer, Montgomery was in a car accident while visiting family in North Carolina. The accident caused a serious brain injury that led to her attending therapy.

Montgomery says, “I did quite a bit of occupational and physical therapy and speech therapy to just get back going and that’s when they recommended just making bracelets and doing that kind of thing.”

But she didn’t think she could even string a bracelet.

She adds, “I was like there’s no way I can do that. My eyes were so messed up at that point
and I just had so many migraines and everything.”

But it’s that thing that led her to where she’s at today. She says the best therapy is just doing something that you love to do and her hobby soon became a hit among her friends.

Montgomery shares, “It was kind of at the cusp of quarantine and people really anxious about what was all going to happen because it was so unpredictable and friends were like ‘Oh you should just like sell these bracelets, just see what happens.”

At first, she gave them away on Instagram and an act of kindness then started an Etsy shop. And, then last August Emily began an “Awareness Line” with the bracelets.

Montgomery says, “That just started when a friend asked if I could make a Suicide Prevention Awareness bracelet. I was just like, that is so cool like I should just do something each month because I realize that there are so many things people probably don’t know about or they know a little bit about but should be educated more.”

She uses her Instagram as a platform to educate people on things like Parkinson’s, Breast Cancer,
and Brain Injury Awareness.

Now, she sells them locally. One place is Punky’s Bath and Gift Shop in downtown Bismarck. The owner says it’s special to have Emily’s creations there because she can relate to her story.

Rhonda Koch-McCoy says, “I think it’s amazing because I too had a brain injury when I was younger I was in a really bad car accident.”

She says her mission is connecting people to items that bring people hope

“Even though we live in a fallen world there is just so much hope and love here that we can just share and it’s just been an honor to make bracelets for people to remind them of that,” Montgomery added.

Montgomery says she has has stepped out of the bracelet box and began making car charms and keychains too.

Check out her Etsy store here and follow her on Instagram here.

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