IBJ Podcast: He stitched handbags in his Irvington basement, and now it’s a $1M business

In his mid-20s, Christian Resiak decided to learn how to hand-stitch leather handbags. He went to thrift stores, bought all of the leather jackets he could find and set up a workspace in his basement. He sold his first bag on Etsy within a month. He called his fledgling company Howl + Hide, partly in reference to his talkative Siberian Husky.

Eight years later, Resiak has built Howl + Hide into a million-dollar business with 17 employees without the help of any investors or bank financing.

Howl + Hide’s flagship location in Fountain Square doubles as its main retail site—where it sells a wide variety of handbags, tote bags, duffels, keychains and wallets—and its main production facility. But that will change in the near future as Resiak plans to at least double his employee base and double—maybe triple—his sales this year, with some partnerships with national brands on the way.

In conversation with podcast host Mason King, Resiak details the process of building the business from scratch and his grand plan to become a global brand.

Click here to find the IBJ Podcast each Monday. You can also subscribe at iTunesGoogle PlayTune In, Spotify and anyplace you find podcasts.

You can also listen to these recent episodes:

IBJ Podcast: Amy Brown’s unusual route from family studies to tech CEO

IBJ Podcast: A look back at celebrated Indy jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery

IBJ Podcast: Internet banking pioneer Becker has bucket list but isn’t going anywhere

IBJ Podcast: Jeff Wood’s white-knuckle ride from F-16 pilot to head of Tom Wood Automotive

IBJ Podcast: Digging into Salesforce’s ‘restructuring’ and what it could mean for Indianapolis

Looking for another podcast to try? Check out IBJ’s The Freedom Forum with Angela B. Freeman, a monthly discussion about diversity and inclusion in central Indiana’s business community.

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