Seat belt chic
After a visit to an auto junkyard, Clay Bush was driven to start a new business. Last year, the Nashville artist began Salvage: Upholstery and Design, making bags, purses and furniture from recycled seat belts, buckles and air bags.
As a longtime furniture upholsterer and former fiber arts student, Bush saw design potential in repurposing the colorful seat belts found in junked cars. With a nearly unlimited supply of industrial-grade material, he went to work to create a product that would last — and make a stylish impression.
The hip, hardworking messenger bags ($180) are tops with men and women. But Bush also makes purses ($120), wallets ($30), zippered pouches ($10 to $20) and tablet and computer sleeves ($50 to $70). Salvage also uses seat belts on custom-built ottomans, benches and bar stools ($200 and up.)
Find Salvage on facebook.com or etsy.com/shop (search Salvage: Upholstery and Design). In the Atlanta area, find Salvage products at Gifted! Artist Market & Gift Boutique, 944 Canton St., in Roswell.
To keep her daughter’s expensive leather boots upright and from creasing at the ankles, Veronica Young created BootKeepers in Greenville, SC.
Combining great-looking fabrics, plus features that shape and freshen boots, Young came up with a functional and fashionable solution to a common wardrobe problem. The company’s unique, dual-boot design keeps boots standing tall and together in your closet. As a boot lover and native Texan, Young stands behind her handmade product.
BootKeepers in textured solids and graphic prints are popular. So are the collegiate combinations. The company also has a new men’s collection. Prices range from $30 to $35. Packaged in a clear cellophane bag with a fabric tie, BootKeepers are ready to give.
To order, visit www.mybootkeepers.com. In the Atlanta area, find BootKeepers at Atlanta Saddlery 1600 S. Main St., in Alpharetta (www.atlantasaddlery.com). Or at the London Trading Company, 30 E. Andrews Drive, in Buckhead (www.londontradingcompany.com). In keeping with its British ties, the store carries BootKeepers in tartan plaid.
Nicole Saadé was born in Paris and traveled the world as a diplomat for the French government. When she retired, Saadé decided to make Atlanta her home.
In 2004, Saadé and her daughter Jennifer Saadé, started “An American in Paris,” an Atlanta company that makes various handcrafted items, including stylish, travel-smart bags.
The idea for the business was a no-brainer. Saadé was raised at a time when girls in traditional French families, like hers, were taught to sew, knit and embroider. She later passed on those needle-art skills to her daughter.
There are colorful drawstring cotton bags for lingerie ($56), laundry ($35), shoes ($25) and jewelry ($19). Made with fabric bought in France, the bags are labeled and cross-stitched in French (bijoux for jewelry, or chaussures for shoes). In addition to the travel collection, Saadé recently added aprons ($24 to $45) and French linen tablecloths ($57 to $120) to her home collection.
Shop for “An American in Paris” products at 5Continents Boutique, 2986 Grandview Ave., in Atlanta’s Buckhead area, (www.5continents.us). The co-op, owned by the mother-daughter team, features handcrafted products made by local and international artists.
Best of the South
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