When I asked Milwaukee designer, Charlette Boyd, owner of Nailah’s, what she would say to aspiring designers, she said "Search within yourself to see what you are good at, enhance it and make it big!" That’s exactly what she has done with her leather handbags and accessories business.
At one time, this was a part-time job for Charlette. The business started out with Charlette making simple bags; more like totes. They were just bags, no zippers, nothing extraordinary. She took them around town and sold them. Then in 2008, her life changed. She lost her corporate job and set out to turn this once part-time business into a wonderful new career. She did not know it then, but now she says it was a blessing in disguise. Losing her job opened up a door that may have never opened up otherwise.
Charlette began sewing at a very early age and she even got picked on by other kids for "making stuff." She spent summers visiting her aunts and helping them in a family store; learning, growing and preparing for her future business. Little did she know then that "making stuff" (the thing she had been teased for in childhood) would become such a huge part of her future. She is over eight years into Nailah’s now and she is going strong, bringing her creativity to life with her bags and accessories.
I asked Charlette what inspired the name and she said that she wanted her daughter to have something and named the business after her. She is now training her daughter and is very pleased with how well she is doing with creations of her very own.
These eco-friendly designs are created from recycled leather and discontinued upholstery leather. She visits the local Goodwill and thrift shops to find things she can use to help her produce these works of art. Because each handbag is uniquely handcrafted, a limited amount of each design is produced, making each piece special and priceless to its owner. Charlette takes what others would just throw away and turns it into remarkable treasures and works of art. They are full of color and vibrancy with great style and versatility. The designs are unique and one-of-a-kind, giving each customer a fabulous piece to add to their collection.
Nailah’s has recently participated in many events including Essense Marketplace & Art Expo (Essence Music Festival), New Orleans, 54th Annual Gold Coast Art Fair at Grant Park (Monroe & Lake Shore Drive), Chicago, IL, African Art Festival, Chicago, IL, Essential Elements Trunk Show, Chicago, IL and in September of 2011, they were a part of the New York Fashion Week, partnering with great designers to showcase their leather handbags and accessories.
Visit nailahs.com and see how recycled leather looks at the hands of a great artist!