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Tire Shop Goes Into the Luxury Handbag Business

The Passchal Hobo, available at Waukegan Tire in north suburban Park City.
The Passchal Hobo, available at Waukegan Tire in north suburban Park City.

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How does a male-dominated tire dealership go about attracting more female customers? The marketing geniuses at Waukegan Tire in north suburban Park City have recently figured it out. They decided to inject a little sophistication into their storefront by creating—get this—a store-within-store that sells a full range of Passchal handbags and wallets. These are no ordinary accessories, however: all Passchal merchandise are fabricated from recycled tires.

Passchal is the brainchild of ex-welder Ken Kobrick and inventor Angela Greene. Committed to recycling, the duo created their collection using discarded tractor tire inner tubes, which happen to be super pliable and soft to the touch. The bags are then trimmed with vegetable dyed, chrome free leather. As each bag comes from a different tire tube, no two are exactly alike. Passchal's eco-friendly practice has been a hit with the celebrity crowd including Bret Michaels, Susan Sarandon, and Carrie Ann Inaba.

The more than favorable response from customers so far has prompted Waukegan Tire to frequently reorder the more than 30 styles available in its store, sometimes twice in one day. Prices range from $24 for a credit card holder to $400 for a travel bag, with the average price tag at around $200. As a bonus for those who make special trips to purchase Passchal bags at Waukegan Tire, customers are offered a nice discount from its e-store, plus 10 percent of all profits go to the United Way of Lake County. Talk about auto-friendly, eco fashion-friendly, and charity-friendly.

· Luxury handbags use recycled inner tubes—an unlikely spot sells them [Chicago Sun-Times]
· Passchal [Official Site]
· Waukegan Tire [Official Site]

Waukegan Tire

3444 Washington Street, Park City, IL 60085 Visit Website

Waukegan Tire

3444 West Washington Street, Park City, IL