Visalia woman repurposing old items into trendy crafts and accessories

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- From the necklaces to purses to the table they are displayed on. All of it is hand made by Traci Gardner of Visalia, owner of Gardner's Goods.

"It is the most rewarding thing to see something from the small to the big stuff that I have done and to have people go, that is so cool, I love that," she said.

She makes a wide variety of boho and country western inspired accessories out of her home. What is even more astounding than her assortment is what she uses to make them. All her materials are re-purposed and each one tells a different story.

"The cuffs are all old belts and I use bullet shells to make some of the necklaces and the purses are made out of old cowboy chaps," said Gardner.

She started her business about three years ago. One summer the former elementary school made a few crafts and was bit by the DIY bug. She finds inspiration for her creations in different places. One of her biggest influences is the thrift shop.

"I embarrass my daughter so much whenever I find something really good at the second-hand stores and she can't stand to go in with me anymore, because I get so excited," she said.

She has immense love for her crafts, especially her keep safe cuffs, leather cuffs made out of belts, sometimes belonging to a loved one. The one on her wrist means the most, it used to be her grandfather's belt before he passed away.

"We took all of his old belts and what were we going to do with five or six belts, but we cut them all up and I made all of us keep safe cuffs, so we get to keep a little part of him," said Gardner.

You can catch Gardner selling her merchandise at different trade shows and events. Her next one is May 18th and 19th at the Rusty Roots Show in Tulare. Her items are also sold at Vivily in Central Fresno off Weldon and Echo.
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