HaloMiner turns castaway items into works of art

HaloMiner, a new apparel and accessories company in Oakley, has a slogan with layers of meaning -"elevating the everyday." Owners Pam Fellerhoff and Nicole Reblando are self-described "treasure hunters" who enjoy finding cast-off items and transforming them into useable art. As Fellerhoff explains, "A miner digs, and a halo is one step down from the divine." She adds, "Well, the name also reflects our sense of humor."

A passion for conservation permeates every aspect of HaloMiner's business. They are located in the LEED-certified Brazee Street Studios in Oakley's up-and-coming arts district. They strive to use as much repurposed material as possible in their products, and give practicality equal footing with style. 

For example, their Backup Bag, made from retro neckties, holds several plastic grocery sacks on a keychain clip. Fellerhoff and Reblando are also developing a recycled portfolio frame; proud parents can slide a child's most recent artwork on top while storing other masterpieces behind. 

Fellerhoff and Reblando feel that their children- nine between them - are an integral part of the business. On their web site, they claim to draw upon "the practical resourcefulness of motherhood" in repurposing items. The two grew to enjoy collaborating through projects at Sands Montessori, which their children attend. 

Their business experiences complement one another. Reblando worked in retail marketing, and co-owned Angst, one of Cincinnati's first coffeehouses. Fellerhoff, a graphic designer, had her own business for fifteen years. They are developing an Etsy store to sell their products, and plan to partner with local stores to sell HaloMiner goods.

For Fellerhoff and Reblando, HaloMiner is more than just a company - it's a means of living their values in the community and getting others on board. Future projects include workshops where participants will develop repurposed art for themselves, and creating a sculpture for Cincinnati's first Ecosculpt event this Earth Day. 

"We're going to recreate our products on a ten-foot scale, using discarded plastic items and a fusing process," says Fellerhoff. Students from Sands Montessori - including Fellerhoff's son - are making it interdisciplinary by documenting the amount of plastic used.

It's a large-scale reflection on HaloMiner's core belief - small steps can change the culture and reap big benefits for our planet.

Writer: Elena Stevenson
Source: Pam Fellerhoff, co-owner, HaloMiner
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