TAMPA, Fla. - Ybor City was once known as the cigar capital of the world, which means the city has produced its share of cigar boxes as well.
Now, one local woman has made a business out of up-cycling these pieces of Tampa history. Susan Jordan of Humadorables by Susan turns the boxes into beautiful purses.
"I just became obsessed with the cigar boxes. That’s how it started,” she explained. “I made one, then I made two, then I made 10, then I made 20. And I thought, why not sell them?”
The artistry is fun and easy for Susan. But she says there’s a lot of legwork involved, too.
“I’m always looking for cigar boxes. I go to smoke shops, I go to flea markets,” she continued.
Susan says she tries to preserve the original artwork and detail where possible. She designs some herself but also takes custom orders. And it’s not just for the ladies – she says she also makes valets for guys.
“It’s a perfect fit for me because I love handbags and I love jewelry,’ she added. “My handbags are kind of a combination of both of those things.”
You can find Humadorables by Susan at the South Tampa Trading Company, the Tampa Bay History Museum, and in Tampa International Airport.