Over the past weeks I’ve felt an continual urge to make stuff out of bike tubes. I finished a new wallet for myself, which is extra spacious and very well made. I have also started thinking about making purses, belts, pouches and such. It’s one of those things that gets me through the work day. I can go home and even though I may be too tired or busy to make anything I can think about making something; think about buying grommets for a tube belt, think about getting new extra wide tubes for pouches.

On Saturday I finally had time to get some more tubes. I went to a local bike shop and asked for tubes. He responded excitedly, “what are you making with them?”
“Wallets right now, I’m trying to work my way up to purses next,” I responded
“Awesome, do you have a sample?”
I pulled out my wallet and handed it to him.
“Very nice construction. Are you selling them? If so I would be interested in selling some here.”
“I would but right now I hand sew them so it takes a while; but I am selling trying to get ahold of a sewing machine.”

As I left the store a feeling of excitement overtook me. Not only did I had tubes, I had someone who liked my product and wanted to sell it.

Next stop fabric street, South Philadelphia. On the way there Smiles and I talked more and more about the idea and I slowly realized that it is more and more plausible. And not only that but it is something I’ve enjoyed my whole life, working with my hands, creating things.

When I was a kid I made duck tape wallets, and duct tape roses. I even sold the roses at two arts festivals. Since then I taught myself how to work on bikes and ran my own bike shop. My dream seemed like it was becoming a reality.

I looked over to smiles and asked her, “Is this really plausible? Or am I just dreaming… I feel like I’m dreaming.”
She assured me that it was.
Then she called her grandmother. “Do you still have that sewing machine you were trying to get rid of?
“It hasn’t been used for 30 years?!”
“Oh okay, great thanks so much. I’ll see you next weekend”
Smiles to me, “She’s getting it repaired for you, we can get it next weekend.”

That’s when I started realizing this dream was actually a reality.

I’ll keep you updated on my progress. I’ll probably stay as a community organizer for a bit longer, while I look for a part time job or a entry level job where I’m working with my hands to do in addition to tube work.


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