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Daily Inspiration: Meet Cindy Lorain Meharg

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cindy Lorain Meharg.

Hi Cindy, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I was born in Los Angeles but raised in Cali, Colombia. I moved to Colombia at a very young age and lived there for 18 years before returning to the States. I settled in New York with family for a few months before I made the decision to join the Navy and serve my country. After training, I was stationed here in San Diego for eight years. I then made the decision to separate from the military, go to school and get into another adventure. I obtained an associate degree in Fire Science Technology and a Bachelor’s in Interior Design. I graduated from San Diego State in 2019. A week before I was scheduled to start my bachelor’s, I went on my usual Sunday cycling ride and ended up breaking my right clavicle and left wrist. All that and surgery happened within that week before the first day of school, but it did not stop me from being at school Monday morning as scheduled. Long story short, I was a total mess trying to get around campus and carrying everything I needed to carry with a recently operated collar bone and still a broken wrist.

Moving onto the leather goods story; growing up, my grandpa would always make sure I wore leather shoes, belts and bags. I have had a strong connection with leather and have always loved the smell of it. Leather is a sustainable, strong material that could last you a lifetime with little care. My first idea to carry my essentials while my arms were temporarily disabled was a leather clutch. I thought, easy to grab, I can handle it with one hand, and it does not need to go across my body and over my injured bone. Unfortunately, I could not find anything I had in mind. Not just a leather clutch, but the design so I decided to make it myself. Crazy enough, I ended up finding a shop near me that sold leather scraps. I drove myself there one day; my husband was gone (shh), got some leather scraps and glue. Came home and put together the most amazing clutch! Well, it was amazing at that time; taking in consideration not being able to do much with my arms. I was practically a T-Rex!

Working on that clutch was truly enjoyable; not only was it better than working on my Interior Design homework, but it was therapeutic. I no longer felt depressed or angry because I was broken and useless; I felt calmed; it gave me a different perspective and brightened my day. From then on, I found time to make something using leather, even when I felt overwhelmed with school projects. It became a need to find inspiration and to bring peace and joy into my heart.

Once I graduated, I was jobless for over a year and decided to fully dive into the leather craft. I learned more techniques, upgraded my tools, started hand-stitching rather than using glue… Well, the rest is history. I’m still learning because there is always room to learn, but it has been a great experience and although I’m now working full time, I’m still producing even more than before, all thanks to my family, friends and clients that cheer me up, support me and keep me going. I love it!

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road; obviously, I started rough. Asides from that, I have made many mistakes along the way, from ordering supplies to messing up nearly finished client’s goods that I’ll have to re-do when that leather I messed up was the last of that kind I had.

I have gone to events where my sales did not even cover the cost of it. I have paid for expensive events that were scheduled for 2020 and guaranteed to be successful, but they never happened due to the pandemic and a refund was never issued. Now that I am working full time, it is very challenging to keep up with orders and prepare for events. It has been challenging, but I think that rough roads prepare you best. They expose you to more experiences and teach you versatility.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
At Leather Provisions Atelier, I’m the owner, designer and crafter. I love working with natural and sustainable materials and incorporating them into my designs. I’m currently a Design Manager Assistant at a construction company with large government contracts, but I spend my evenings and weekends crafting small leather goods and showcasing at events.

I don’t like narrowing myself to the title of interior designer. I know well the capabilities of my artistic and creative side; for that reason, I simply call myself a designer. That title gives my creativity the freedom to design whatever I want. I am a very hands-on person; I work with lots of tools and equipment to craft what I design and bring my ideas to life.

I am proud of my ability to create things; my brain is in constant production. If I cannot find it, I’ll make it. If it is not up to my standards, I’ll perfect it. I will not rest until I’m completely satisfied. I have a few business ideas for the future, I hope my lifetime gives me the time to develop all of them.

Before we go, is there anything else you can share with us?
I am very lucky that I have so much support in my life and I am beyond grateful. My husband is my number one fan and the person that encourages me to pursue all my crazy dreams. It really makes a big difference when you have someone that supports you unconditionally and pushes you to be the best person you can be. I want to thank him for being the best partner in crime I could have ever asked for. I am extremely proud of him, the work he does full time, and his side business which he has been working on so hard to start, Eleven 71 Cigar Cutters. My husband is my inspiration, and he has my unconditional support.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Custom Built Films Eleven71 Cutters

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