For this duo, losing their jobs was the start of something beautiful.
Patrick Turiello and Leah Fabish know a thing or two about silver linings. When the Westchester-based couple found themselves jobless during the 2008 economic crisis, they decided to put their heads together and do what they’ve always wanted to do: create. “Starting our own business had always been in the back of our minds,” Patrick explains. “After the economy took a nosedive, we decided that there was no better time to do it than the present.” Applying their experience—Patrick came from the architecture realm, and Leah worked in industrial design—the twosome launched an Etsy shop selling totes under the name LAYERxlayer. “We were always interested in fabrics—that natural look of un-dyed denim and all-cotton linings,” Leah remembers. They quickly dove into backpacks, wallets, T-shirts, and, though the business is thriving, this is only the first phase of their master plan. They’re in the process of moving to New Haven, Connecticut, where they play to pursue community-based projects like sustainable architecture and urban farming. “We hope to take all the skills we’ve learned from LAYERxlayer and go back to where our roots are,” Patrick says. No doubt their signature bags will come in handy then as well. —liza darwin