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Country Star Zac Brown Is A Fan Of This Wis. Artist

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(credit: CBS) Holly Wagner
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Wisconsin artist is especially excited about the concert Friday night at Target Field.

Kimberlie Gilbertson is a big fan of the music and turns out some of the stars are big fans of hers.

“There are times when I really can’t believe it,” she said.

Gilbertson, of Houlton, Wis., has handcrafted a personal collection of buffalo hide guitar straps for Zac Brown and his base guitarist John Hopkins.

Some were specifically designed for the songs “Free” and “Jump Right In.”

Gilbertson tells us she was surprised when Zac made special mention of her at a recent concert at Red Rocks in Colorado.

“Zac surprised me by thanking me live by name in front of 10,000 people,” Gilbertson said. “I stood and cried.”

It all feels surreal for her, who in her late 40s left a successful, secure career to pursue her passion after tragically losing her younger brother.

“The kick starter of losing somebody is it makes you re-evaluate your life,” she said. “Later on, you wish they could see it but realize you may not have done it if they were here to see it.”

After meeting her in May of last year, she’s made great strides with her business, Ruliens Lost Muse.

She’s making a name for herself in Nashville, and her hand-crafted designs are becoming more colorful and intricate.

Gilbertson showed us a guitar strap she’s working on with beautiful, bright red coral beading in the shape of a rose on one end.

She’s also expanding her art.  While the guitar straps are for the musicians, she’s making Rock Cuffs for the fans. They’re cow hide leather bracelets, with an antique dye in shades of mahogany, ebony, and oak, imprinted with an artist logo.

“It takes up a lot less space than t-shirts,” she said.

The business started out as a dream is now reality.

“My biggest accomplishment was realizing that what I did was good,” she said.

You can check out Kim’s work on her website www.buffalostraps.com or on Facebook.

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