Tag Archives: virginia made

Virginia Made: The Leather Lotus

Little green sprouts will soon begin to make their debut. The occasional hint of a warm day will bring smiles to faces and a little extra pep to everyone’s step. It may not feel like it quite yet but spring is on the horizon. With the start of each new season comes inspiration and new ideas. Her love of the outdoors is where Taylor Smith finds her own creative inspiration to create handmade jewelry. A reflection of leather and natural beauty, her business The Leather Lotus is taking everyday casual to the next level.

Inspired by the colors of the season, Taylor’s jewelry is designed around a carefully selected stone or piece of metal before various colored leather is chosen to complement the element. The textures and shapes used seem right at home in her favorite photo studio, the great outdoors, as she photographs each piece for her Etsy shop. Taylor still remembers fondly the day she heard “cha-ching!” the sound that has become music to an online seller’s ears. Having no idea what it meant, she looked at her phone and was ecstatic to find notification of her first sale, a leather wrap bracelet. To this day, the sound still evokes the same excitement as if it were the very first.  More than a few products later, the fringe earrings offered by The Leather Lotus are this maker’s must have wardrobe accessory. “Something about fringe just seems like so much fun to me. Pair them with a basic tee and jeans and suddenly I feel excited!”

The best of both worlds is how Taylor describes her life as a stay at home mom and entrepreneur. She takes pride in the two young boys, Grayson (4) and Finn (2) whom she and her husband are now raising in Roanoke. A native of the area and a Hokie for life, there’s no place Taylor would rather be than outside with her boys chasing chickens. Although, a vacation to the small island in Puerto Rico where she and her husband honeymooned or Spain would not be unwelcome. Nap times are for making jewelry and craft shows a welcome break in the routine of full-time wife and mother. It’s a way to connect with amazing customers as well as fellow makers who have become friends. Taylor’s advice to anyone contemplating starting a new business? “Go for it! I had so many hesitations when I started this. It has grown more than I ever thought it would and I love every minute of it.”

This month, we will hosting a giveaway on our Facebook page for The Leather Lotus! Taylor is giving away a $50 gift card to her Etsy page! Stay tuned!
Also, use the code BELLA during the month of March for 20% off in her shop!

Find The Leather Lotus:
FB: /theleatherlotus
IG: /theleatherlotus


Written by Faith Jones

Virginia Made: Shop Local!

Cozy. The word itself evokes images of crackling fires and hot chocolate with extra marshmallows. Cold days are here and snow is on the horizon. Extra blankets are thrown over beds, winter decorations adorn the walls and scarves are a must. The season for all things cozy and warm has arrived.

Simple and classic. That’s how Chandy Haskins of The Nifty Needles describes her knitting style. Taught at a young age by her oldest sister, the 24-year-old has turned a hobby into a business. Palettes of navy, gray, and cream come to life in her downtown historical Danville apartment. There Chandy creates puffy cloud-like blankets using super soft bulky yarn. “I am definitely the cat lady of the family, known for my love of naps and carrying my own blanket to the movie theatre.” When she’s not knitting Chandy is likely to be hiking, reading with her cat, or watching old movies. That is, if she’s not travelling the world.  (Find Chandy on Instagram @theniftyneedles. This month, she is giving away a 45×65 Bulky Knit Blanket to one lucky Bella reader! She has also provided a coupon code for free shipping:SHIPMEFREE12.)

Under over, under over, under over. As a working mom of two young children, Christine Dwyer is no stranger to stress. Looking for a creative outlet from her day to day job in public relations, Christine discovered the meditative process of fiber arts. Learning through books and tutorials, a class with Maryanne Moodie along with a nudge from friends and family, inspired her to start Copper and Fringe. The unique wall creations are made on a frame loom using cotton, wool and alpaca yarn for varying textures and are customized to order. “Advice starting a business? Don’t rush into it. Take it slow, hone your skill, and invest time. The rest will come.”
Christine enjoys weaving, teaching classes and spending time with family in the Virginia Beach area. Find her at West Elm and somewhere between avoiding seafood and grooving to Landslide by Stevie Nicks.  (Email Christine at copperandfringe@gmail.com, or find her on Instagram @copperandfringe! This month, she is giving away a free custom small weaving to one lucky Bella reader.)

The Minted Evergreen is more than just the name of a business. For Kasie Chapman it brings back memories of her childhood home in Michigan surrounded by blue spruce trees and camping amongst evergreens. Kasie is a self-taught maker of knits, crochet and macramé in Lynchburg. She enjoys working in earth tones and neutrals with a pop of color to create stylish knitwear and home décor. “I’m a wife, mama, believer, maker and wanna-be homesteader.
Making and Jesus are what help keep me sane. Well, those and date nights.” Kasie and her husband hope to own a farm one day. In the meantime, homeschooling her wildlings, gardening, and tacos will have to do. (Find Kasie on Instagram @themintedevergreen. This month, she’s giving away a $50 credit to her Etsy shop to one lucky Bella reader, and offering a coupon code: MEETMINTEDINBELLA for 15%off!)


Written by Faith Jones of The Hill City Handmade and Faith Inspired.