100 Creatives 2013: Cheryl Schulke, Handmade Leather Pursemaker

Categories: 100 Creatives

Cheryl Schulke Stash Co by Debora Smail.jpeg
Debora Smail
What She Does: Along with her partner Paul Forde, Cheryl Schulke has a leatherworking shop called Stash set up in the historic Haynes Mattress Factory, which was purchased by her grandparents in the middle of the last century. Schulke first got into working with leather after receiving a cowhide in trade for some photography work, and from there has gone on to establish herself as a dedicated creator of unique, custom bags that you can find at Houston's Urban Market.

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Schulke's specialty is bags, usually incorporating rare or unique collected materials. A particularly nice item in the 2013 line is the Eastwood, a leather satchel with an antler clasp worn stylishly around the waist to leave your hands free for adventure. At $39, it's also one of the more affordable items you can get crafted by Schulke. Stash also sells leather-bound journals, camera cases and other items that all have her personal, rugged but soft style.

Why She Likes It: "I see usability design and leatherwork as a series of focused and complex problem solving. Always iterating. Always designing. The work is constantly challenging."

What Inspires Her: Schulke is a huge fan of the social media net, and draws a great deal of inspiration from interactions that she has with other artists. In particular, musicians have a profound effect on her, and the Haynes factory occasionally hosts concerts for friends like Sarah Jaffe. She also likes Johnny Cash.

More than artistic simpatico, Schulke's drive was sparked by a high school guidance counselor. Convinced that she wasn't college material, the counselor declined to enroll her in PSAT prep like her classmates. She never did ace the SAT, but did well on the ACT and ended up with a college scholarship. A desire to prove naysayers wrong is one of her defining drives.

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If Not This, Then What: "I have a painting of Roberto Clemente by Will Johnson hanging in the factory. It quotes Clemente.

Any time you have an opportunity to make a difference in this world and you don't, then you are wasting your time on Earth.

"I'd like to think I'd be making a difference and if I could do that while being creative, then any endeavor combining those two things would be just fine."

If Not here, Then Where: "If pressed, I'd say coastal Turkey. The lovely simplicity of the place, the history, old beauty and abundant produce. But nearly anywhere warm near water."

What's Next: Be on the lookout for a new roadtrip collection from Schulke in the near future.

More Creatives for 2013
(In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).

Anthony Rathbun, Alternative Lifestyle Photographer
David Salinas, computer-less analog photographer

Danielle Burns, art curator
Alicia DiRago, Whimseybox founder

Katia Zavistovski, contemporary art curator

Ashley Horn, choreographer, filmmaker
Amanda Stevens, scary book author
Peter Lucas, film and video curator, music lover and self-described culture-slinger

Ana MarĂ­a Otamendi, collaborative pianist and vocal coach

Billy D. Washington, comedian
Michele Brangwen, choreographer and dancer

Kristin Warren, actress and choreographer

Kelly Sears, animator and film maker
Colton Berry, Bayou City Theatrics' artistic director

jhon r. stronks,dance-maker
Joe Grisaffi, actor, director, writer, cinematographer
Jordan "Monster Mac" McMahon, artist, designer


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