Whitney Cecil’s Baltimore studio space houses an antique letterpress, work tables, and … play space. Complete with a ‘busy board’ created by her husband with many of the buckles and latches you’ll find on her handmade leather goods.

If you visit the Almanac Industries space on a weekday morning morning, chances are you’ll find Whitney working on projects while her two-year-old son, Ezzie, busys himself in the play space. Then it’s out to lunch (probably Atwaters!) and home for Ezzie’s after nap. She hits the shop again after her husband, a high school art teacher, comes home and takes over E. She’ll work until, well,  the projects are done.
Almanac Industries - Whitney Cecil - (cool) progeny Almanac Industries - Whitney Cecil - (cool) progeny … During the holidays? That’s very late. She’s finishing custom holiday card orders and getting merchandise ready for all of the holiday markets popping up all over the mid-Atlantic area.
Almanac Industries - Whitney Cecil - (cool) progeny

Whitney started working in a letterpress studio right after college at MICA. When she and her husband created Almanac Industries, they started making bound leather notebooks. Then customers started asking for wallets. So they started making those. Products expanded to clutches, catchall trays, and more. 

“It’s really the two of us,” said Whitney. Parenting and the business is truly a partnership — that’s how they make everything work.
Almanac Industries - Whitney Cecil - (cool) progeny

The (cool)est thing about Almanac’s leather works is that she uses untreated leather — so it changes it’s look and becomes more weathered over time.

Almanac Industries - Whitney Cecil - (cool) progeny Almanac Industries - Whitney Cecil - (cool) progeny

Whitney and Ezzie were enough to show us an easy last-minute holiday gift you can make yourself: a hand-stamped leather bracelet. Of course, if you’re less of a DIY-er, just call Whitney and she can make you one! You can find all of the leather supplies you need at Tandy Leather in Essex. You may also be able to supplies or blank leather cuff bracelets at your local craft store.

Almanac Industries - Whitney Cecil - (cool) progeny

diy hand stamped leather bracelets

materials

alphabet stamp set
leather strip 
clasp 
mallet
clasp

instructions

Almanac Industries - Whitney Cecil - (cool) progeny

Start by measuring your leather strip to fit your wrist. Cut the strip to size.

Almanac Industries - Whitney Cecil - (cool) progeny

If you’re using a blank leather cuff bracelet, you can skip this next step: which is add your clasp! 

Almanac Industries - Whitney Cecil - (cool) progeny

Now it’s time to personalize. You’ll need a very hard surface to place to the leather strip. Whitney uses a slab of granite. Choose the word you’d like to create with the alphabet stamp set.

Almanac Industries - Whitney Cecil - (cool) progeny Almanac Industries - Whitney Cecil - (cool) progeny

Using the mallet, ‘hammer’ the letters into the cuff so they leave an impression.

Almanac Industries - Whitney Cecil - (cool) progenyWrap and gift!

Almanac Industries - Whitney Cecil - (cool) progeny

 

Photos by Laura Black.