One of the many pleasures of having our shop in Ballard is the times we find an opportunity to interact with our community. We have great restaurants, shops and artists working in our little neighborhood and nearly all the local businesses are owned and operated independently (ok, so we do have a Starbuck’s). We love being acquainted with so many entrepreneurs in our business community. Here’s a great example: We were seeking a resource for a simple wristlet bag for our shop, not a collection but a single item we could stock in many colors. We didn’t have to look far, right around the corner is an artist collective, Fifty Four Sixteen. Inside there is a group of spaces occupied by creative people of many disciplines. One of these creatives is Michelle Pozniak who, among other things, develops “Miishka Handbags”. She makes mostly custom and bespoke bags made from new leather, calfskin, pony hair and repurposed leather garments.
Michelle’s talents go far beyond handbags, one visit to her studio and you’ll be in awe of the eclectic talents of this artist. Pysanka eggs, soaps and blown glass surround the workspace, all of these are created by Michelle. On the walls, creative installations of some ordinary objects, arranged in a way that reflects the artist and the connection to her materials. The vintage machinery (a sewing machine from long ago, a vacuum cleaner that could have been her grandmother’s) are reminders that today’s technology just isn’t necessary. Continue reading