You’ve seen them online, tagged in social media posts, or even at local boutiques: lightweight, leather earrings. They are hot, popular, and on trend right now. In Anoka, MN, you’ll find mother and business owner, Michelle Carlson, who is showcasing her talent using “Resurrected Leather” to make these cute and affordable earrings, necklaces, and bracelets.
Becoming Resurrected Leather
Several years ago Michelle had started seeing leather earrings around stores and online. So, with her background in crafts and jewelry making, she decided to take an old, expensive leather ottoman and make something out of it. The idea of Resurrected Leather came because this ottoman was the first piece of expensive furniture she had ever bought herself. It had been loved, used, and jumped on by her kids. Most importantly, she wanted a way for it to live on even though it needed to go.
So began her journey with repurposing leather. She started cutting it apart and made some earrings and bracelets and wore them around town. Friends and local people began commenting and her business began to gain traction. Michelle was able to gift them to people and then soon after, customers wanted to buy them. She remembered, “It felt weird to sell my ottoman here and there, but then I just started doing more of it. I began to hunt for more leather–Coach purses or otherwise, and then I found a few local places where I could buy the leather from. Working with a local company called Round Barn Trading Company, in Andover, MN, I was able to start selling my leather earrings from that point forward.”
Upcycling & Repurposing
Michelle shared, “It’s really just evolved from that ottoman. Although much of my leather is purchased, I still try and incorporate reused leather and mark them with an upcycled arrow. This way people know that it came from something else. I have so many different styles and colors, there are probably thousands in my craft room as we speak! I have to keep a lot on hand so I can sell them, and the best part about them is that you can wear them and they are so lightweight, it feels like you don’t even have them on. It’s a growing business and it’s so fun!”
Michelle continues to be intentional about seeking out opportunities to expand. She recently joined forces with another local company called Sisters Heritage who had a booth at the US Bank Stadium Holiday Show. Additionally, she and her husband Bryan have four kids, and she shared this about
being a business owner and a mother all at once, “We are always running the kids, so I try and get up early. I’ve learned to squeeze my work time in then, and I definitely take advantage of the days when my daughter is in half-day kindergarten. I search for those windows of opportunity, even when it’s a challenge. I’ve had to figure it out and do my best!”
The majority of Resurrected Leather earrings are nickel-free metals or stainless steel. The leather is almost always a high quality that has some substance to it. Michelle uses a Cricut, which allows her to cut up most of the leather and makes the process faster. She even offers special orders for events, as well.
In the end, she had this to say about Resurrected Leather, “I find great joy in people wearing my earrings! I recognize them and I feel that I can identify with what’s mine. I want to continue to value and go above and beyond to provide excellent quality and good customer service.”
Be sure to head over to Michelle’s Etsy shop and use code HOLIDAY2019 for 30% off your order from now through Cyber Monday (Dec.2): https://www.etsy.com/shop/ResurrectedLeather…