Collection: Nicolette Kaliebe

Bio -Nicolette was born in Jackson, WY and moved to Laramie to attend The University of Wyoming in 2008. In 2013, she graduated with Honors with a B.S. in Business Marketing with a focus on Consumer Behavior and Psychology.
After graduating, Nicolette turned down a corporate career and moved to the Mendocino Coast, California, to work sales for a small art company, Siobhan Silks.
Working alongside Siobhan, Nicolette honed her ability to sell artwork directly to customers at art shows or to upscale gallery buyers. Inspired by Siobhan’s approach to wearable artwork, in 2015, Nicolette created a line of repurposed leather apparel and accessories, hand painted with designs, calling it The Nicolette Collection. Nicolette took commissions or sold her work at art shows and gallery spaces until 2020, when she then exclusively sold online.

Statement -I did not originally think I would pursue a career selling my own artwork, but following a sales job selling artwork for a professional silk painter at Siobhan Silks, I was inspired to achieve the same level of passion and satisfaction spreading joy through the creation of beautiful things.
I was inspired by Siobhan’s approach to wearable artwork, because it brought a utilitarian aspect to a conventional painting. But I also wanted whatever I produced to be conscientious of the environment. It led me to the idea of turning repurposed leather handbags into a 3-dimensional canvas.
Over time, I taught myself the meticulous process of painting various leather grains and colors, and how to achieve a permanent design with the proper sealants.
My entire process of repurposing a pre-owned handbag first begins with deep cleaning the interior lining, and then using leather cleaner to wash the outside surface. I then prep the leather for general tinting or artwork by rubbing the surface with a “leather de-glazer”, which strips the factory finish and allows the paints to absorb properly. Once the handbag has been painted with artwork, I top-coat the surface with a poly-acrylic sealant designed for leather, which maintains the supple feel and flexible nature of the original leather.
My designs are inspired by the shapes, creatures, and colors of nature, and I am always challenging myself to try painting something I never have before!