Todays stallholder profile is Amalia Fernand Leather Designs
Amalia Celeste Fernand
Your Business name:
Amalia Fernand Leather Designs
The suburb/town you live in now:
What is it that you make and what skills do you use?
I make leather bracelets and earrings out of repurposed scraps from my father’s handmade shoe business. I grew up around leatherwork and use skills that have been ingrained in me since I was a child. Some of the techniques that I use include: tooling, riveting, punching, and braiding.
What inspired you to start your business?
As a child, I was always creating something beautiful out of scraps on the shoe shop floor. As I got older, and travel became a part of my life, I used this passion to help fund adventures. I teach environmental education classes to local children in developing nations when I travel. I incorporate art as an important way to allow an opportunity for creative expression, and reinforce lesson concepts throughout the community. The money from Amalia Fernand Leather Designs helps to support my Nature Explorers International projects. For more information: www.natureexplorersinternational.com and www.gofundme.com/NEI-AroundtheWorld
How long have you been ‘creating’?
For as long as I can remember. When I was 5, I used to sell tooled leather scraps for 25 cents! I have been selling Amalia Fernand Leather Designs in stores and markets since 2000.
Is it a full time/ part time/hobby or business?
A part time job that supports my passion for environmental education projects. I recently spent a year in Borneo working with orangutan and sea turtle conservation. Selling bracelets along the way helped to support educational volunteer projects.
Where do you sell your creations?
The Handmade Expo, Cleveland Markets, and Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/AmaliaFernandLeather
What makes what you do special or different?
Every bracelet can be customised on location to give customers a truly unique accessory or gift. I can add names, dates, initials, quotes, designs, etc. This is a perfect opportunity to make a bracelet that really means something to yourself or loved one. For example, I make “Mother’s Bracelets” that have childen’s names and birthstones in a leather bracelet. Because I use scraps, every piece is different, and handcrafted to what best fits the individual. These leather bracelets are also different because they directly support a good cause, Nature Explorers International.
What is the most rewarding part of what you do?
I love to see someone wearing a well-loved bracelet that I had made them many years earlier. I enjoy finding the right fit for each customer and adding a special custom touch.
What is your favourite product that you make?
The double wrap bracelet with a spiral is currently my favourite!
Do you teach classes or workshops?
Yes, I teach workshops for both kids and adults at schools and art centres. These leather working classes introduce students to the basic tools and skills involved with using leather as a medium.