For me, ReFind Originals has been full of surprising twists and turns. I had never planned to start a small business, but my interest in working with my hands and the satisfaction of taking materials at hand and making something useful and beautiful, has always been a passion. I've been pursuing creativity all my life, but it wasn't until an old worn jacket jumped out at me at a thrift store here in Indianapolis, practically begging to be made into a bag, that the idea of ReFind Originals was born.
A dozen years ago I knew nothing about bag making, but through hard work, and diligence, and a whole lot of trial and error, I have learned more than I ever thought I could, both about the process of bag making, and having my own business. My idea, a dozen years ago, was to learn to make a bag from a discarded leather jacket. That was it! It wasn't until others saw the end result and encouraged me to pursue bag making as a business that I began to do that. Little by little my business has grown into something that I am very proud of. I continue to use vintage jackets and repurposed leather, along with leather hides when I can find seconds and overruns. I have also branched out into making leather jewelry and other accessories from the smaller left over pieces in order to use as much of the leather as possible.
One of the biggest surprises and probably the thing I love most about doing this is that customers began to bring me their much loved vintage jackets to commission me to make keepsake bags. Giving new life to these cherished pieces brings real joy, both to the customer, and to myself! This is really the heart of what I do.
I spend many hours each week in my studio researching ideas and methods and making products. When you own your own business there isn't a lot of spare time, but my husband, Don, and I love to travel, when we have the opportunity, and have been fortunate to travel to some interesting and beautiful places all over the world. Last year we got to explore England and Scotland with some of our children and grandchildren. What an adventure that was!
Speaking of children and grandchildren, we have 3 sons and 6 grandchildren, and I never get tired of spending time with them! Our family is chock full of artistic and creative people. All of our sons are musicians so music is very much a part of our family, as well as all kinds of art and film.
Our little community in Indianapolis, called Irvington, named after Washington Irving, has been the perfect environment for Don and I to live and work in our historic and cozy house for the past several years. It is a thriving community that welcomes everyone, encourages art and music, appreciates history, and has many growing small businesses, including some wonderful restaurants and coffee shops. A community that has the tradition of a Halloween Festival that draws 50,000 people can't be all bad!"