With her primary business closed for five months at the start of the pandemic, Ty Sanford needed something to address being trapped in her Flower Mound home.
So she turned to art.
At first, the long-time Legacy Lace Wigs owner painted pieces for her home. Then husband Ryan suggested she start selling them. Not knowing how to do that, one of Ryan’s co-workers told them about Etsy online stores which she opened in October 2020. Since then, she has sold 144 paintings globally.
“I didn’t even realize I made that many paintings,” she said. “I had it to where it would take two weeks to get it but sold them so fast I had to shut off my shop for a while because I had to catch up.
“I had no idea anyone would buy them. I knew I had the talent – I had a scholarship for art in college – but never thought I could make a business out of it.”
That business has helped her fund the Tresses of Care non-profit organization she started in 2018 after learning of children with medical hair loss issues.
“My mother always told me you have to give back one way or another whether it’s in church or in life,” said the mother of six. Her own children have donated hair for other kids.
All of her art proceeds and 10 percent of every wig sold at Legacy go directly to Tresses. That also helped her create a room to display her work in the building she and Ryan own adjacent to Alforno’s Italian Kitchen on Morriss Road.
After starting college at Texas Women’s University, she transferred to the University of North Texas where she earned a bachelor’s, executive master’s, and Ph.D. in psychology. She employs a homeopathic way of helping clients deal with hair loss through wigs.
“A lot of people come to me and say, thank you for not making this awkward,” she said. “How can anyone not make this fun. I mean we’re playing dress-up here.”
Sanford started her business out of her home in 2010 before opening a shop on Sagebrush Drive in 2013. That had to close in February when the pipes burst during the snow and cold storm.
“It was like it rained inside the shop,” she said. “I lost everything.”
She engaged her overseas connections to restock her inventory and moved to her current location in June.
“It’s exciting. It’s a new place with new space and new energy and motivation,” she said.
While Sanford has an online site for clients to browse her wigs, she prefers serving them in-person by appointment only to maintain privacy.
Sanford is planning two promotional events in 2022 – one called Giving of Yourself – where stylists give free haircuts used to create wigs. The other is Mocktails on the Mound where people will create their own artsy version of cocktails.