Name and Business name: Kathy Fowler / Art of Spirit LeatherWorks (aosleather)
Tell us a little about yourself and your business: Working with my hands
brings a satisfaction nothing else can compare to, and I strive to make sure
a measure of that fervor comes through in what I make. In the years since I
made my first belt I have gone through a few changes, from hippy
leathercrafter in the beginning through a western phase while I lived in
Texas, to the "now. I began to have a strong focus on Native American
styling when I returned to my birth-area here in Northern Michigan. There is
a large Native population here, and my roots are part Maumee so the
transition was, in part, an exploration of that side of my heritage. Much of
that influence is evident in what I currently do, and I spend much of the
summer season vendoring at Powwows here in the Great Lakes area. In the past
year my primary energy has gone into perfecting my Earth Medallions, which
have been quite popular for me. Playing with beautiful natural stones,
wrapping them in leather, is almost too much fun to consider it work!
What made you get started in your business?: Simply put, selfish drive. I
love working with leather and seem to have a natural skill for it. I started
in a small hippy leather shop when I was 17 and though I have had other jobs
along the way, nothing else has ever given me the same satisfaction.
Anything else you'd like to share: I'd like to express my joy
at finding Etsy. It's a great community full of awesome talent -- my
daughter met Rob (Kalen?) at a conference she was attending and told me I
needed to check his crafty website out. In typical fashion it took several
months before I followed her advice, a delay I kick myself over!
Tell us about your favorite item currently listed in your shop: This is not an easy question to answer -- if I don't like something I make, it doesn't get listed. If I have to narrow it down, though, from what is in the shop
today I'd say any of the Earth Medallions (especially the Kona Dolomite or
the Howlite) or the hand-carved Regalia Dance Belt with the sunrise
pattern... lol -- see? Difficult to narrow down!
Check out Art of Spirit Leather Works here: www.aosleather.etsy.com
My Favorite from aosleather: I'm with Kathy - it's hard to choose a favorite from among her wonderful creations. I finally decided on her Big Blue Flowers wide leather wristband. Wristbands are a bit edgy and the flowers on this one soften the look without taking away from it. It is totally something I could see myself wearing on a daily basis.