BY MARCY SHORTUSE – Erin Kaleel, an island resident who now lives primarily in Asheville, N.C., will be back on-island next week for a trunk show at The Gasparilla Inn & Club with her eco-friendly Italian leather bags.
Erin’s company, “Feel Handmade,” was created 14 years ago in New York City with her dream to create one-of-a-kind bags.
“Over the years I wanted to reach more people with my work so I streamlined my designs, carefully selecting styles, materials, colors,” Erin said. “I reflected on my experience with what women loved, what made them smile and how they wanted to feel good through their self expression. After the birth of my son (Oli), my respect for life and beauty in this world was all my eyes wanted to see, so my heart launched Feel Handmade – mindfully-made accessories hand built from sustainable materials. Behind these handbags is a core business value that will remain strong – a commitment to being made in America by artisans hands, by my hands.”
Erin said that giving back to the earth and reducing our carbon footprint is vital to her creative process. The materials she uses are free of toxic chemicals, heavy metals and pollutants in general, and the leather used is “eco-certified,” meaning that the tanneries she buys from maintain harmony with nature in every way possible.
Stop by and see her on Tuesday, Wednesday or Friday, March 10-12 at The Gasparilla Inn and Club between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.