When Nicki Lang’s father made her a leather bag many years ago, she had no idea what impact it would have on her future career.
This bag is now hanging on the wall of his studio Leather goods found, which is at 1000 Harris Ave. on the second floor above Wood art and Bonne Terre Pottery. Lang founded the company six years ago after becoming a mom and looking for a career with flexible hours. It makes handcrafted leather bags and accessories, including wallets, largely from recycled materials.
The bag her father made was originally a leather coat, and this is something she returned to when she sought a new career after being a teacher.
“I don’t think I would have ever thought of starting a business like this,” she said.
The business has grown steadily and about a year ago Leah Macaleer joined Found as a co-owner. Macaleer, who has a background in marketing, was also looking for a career that balances work and family, and both like to call themselves “momtrepreneurs.”
The business continued to grow, allowing owners to launch a new website as well as an expanded fall / winter line. Found has six models of bags and five models of wallets ranging from $ 20 for some wallets to $ 300 for bags. Most of the bags are sold online, but they are also available at Whatcom Museum gift shop and Backcountry essentials as well as at the Found studio.
Lang said she started the business because she felt there was an opportunity to sell bags and wallets that weren’t mass produced and offered personalized features. She describes them as having a rustic elegance and a vintage feel.
“It’s a bag that someone can carry for years,” Macaleer said.
It takes Lang about a day to make a bag, using his hands as well as a few old sewing machines. The name Found refers to the idea that at the start of the company Lang only used “found” second-hand materials, including yarn. Lang is now using new material, but also continues to search for reused material.
Lang started out by selling her products using the Etsy e-commerce site, which she said was a great place to start. Selling a product like a bag or wallet was previously difficult to sell online, as these are items people usually want to touch before they buy. Customers are more than willing to buy the product based on pictures, and they tend to be pleasantly surprised when it arrives and find out what it looks like, Macaleer said.
For more details about the company, call 360-296-0860.
Local submitted a municipal building permit to set up a bar at 1425 Railroad Ave. This is an expansion project as it attempts to establish a non-profit brewery, giving home brewers an incubator format to try out recipes and see if they have a viable product. … A building permit has been submitted to renovate office space at 2219 Rimland Drive for a company called Regus, which provides workplaces to businesses. … The Way of the Lake Fred meyer The gas station at 918 Lakeway Drive has opened its new expanded area, adding six more supply islands. … a crossfit setup called Iron industry opened in the old Brenthaven location at 909 Harris Ave. in Fairhaven. Details on this can be found on its website or by calling 360-305-4284. … Computer network services company NW network solutions changed his name to Team technology. The name change was made to better represent the company’s mission to take a team approach to helping customers, according to a press release. Details can be found at teamtechnology.com. … Plumbing and Heating Gary moved to larger premises at 4769 Pacific Highway, between Bellingham and Ferndale. The new location spans two acres and includes two stores, offices and an employee training room. The company now has 15 technicians, according to a statement. Details can be found on its website or by calling 360-734-9700. … Star Sports Center at 5519 Hovander Road in Ferndale has started a dance program for children and adults. The company will organize an open house on Thursday, October 15. Details can be found at gymstarsports.com or by calling 360-384-3861. … Clothing store Shop on the sidelines plans to open on Saturday, Oct. 24 on the first floor of the Herald Building on North State Street. Details of the company are available on its Facebook page.
This story was originally published October 3, 2015 5:29 am.