February 20, 2022
Behind the Brand
Hey there! My name is Aubrey (I'm in the center of the photo below), and I run this shop with the help of my mom, Joanne (left), and my husband, Demeke (right).
We’ve always been dreamers.
So it’s no surprise that when the idea hit, we quickly jumped on the opportunity start a business together! Zelaki Leather Company was born in 2020, first under the name of Polka Dot Jo. Demeke and I specialize in handcrafted leather goods, and Mama Jo is the creator of our beautiful quilted goods.
With Demeke and I being a multicultural couple, leatherwork has served as a gateway in connecting our countries. His background is actually what made this dream become a reality! Growing up in Ethiopia, Demeke shined and repaired shoes. The knowledge and skill he gained throughout those years gave us a solid foundation for starting in leatherwork!
No matter where you go in this world, there are some things that never change— like the joy that is sparked when discovering a unique, practical, and timeless item. These are the feelings we want our products to bring, not only to the consumers, but also to the creators.
Currently, all of our production takes place in our apartment in Indiana, but someday we hope to carry that impact much further. This summer, we plan to travel to Ethiopia where we will connect with local leather tanneries. We’ll start by importing leather, with the goal of eventually partnering with Ethiopian leather-crafters who could bring our designs to life before they reach our hands!
Until then, we are paving the way forward by donating 10% of our sales to KIBIR Consultants, an organization training and equipping Entrepreneurs in Ethiopia. When you shop with us, you’re not only investing in a product that will last, but also in the lives of our friends across the globe.