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It’s You, Only Faster: Misty

Misty Torres spends a lot of time at home. But this isn’t just any home: It’s also the world headquarters of her small-batch leather wares company,

Charlie’s Goods. To get herself out of the house, Misty hops aboard her Vado and jets to the beach or zips across town to meet with suppliers.

Sometimes It Just Clicks

Even though I love fashion and crafts, I never really expected to be a full-time leatherworker. It all kind of started on a whim: I got a leather tote bag from my husband as a gift. And I was so enamored by this beautiful, handmade object that I signed up for a weekend workshop to make my own. I got there, and the instructor just so happened to be the woman who’d made my bag! I became obsessed with leatherworking right away. I started doing it as a hobby, then started posting pictures, and then people started commenting, like, “I want one!” So, eventually, I went all-in and invested in this industrial sewing machine and all the serious tools to do this full-time.

Think Small

I love handmade, small-batch stuff because it’s so unique. Like, I can only pump out so many bags, and each one will always be a little bit different. So everyone who buys my bags will have a one-of-a-kind.

For me, handmade is making things by and for your community. You’re supporting small businesses in your area—people who aren’t trying to get rich, just make a living and keep their community thriving.

Slow Fashion

Then there’s the environmental side: I get to control everything that goes into my bags, from the source of the leather to the style of tanning to the hardware. Leather gets a bad rap—which I totally get—but it’s ultimately a byproduct of the food industry. So I feel good about using something that might otherwise go to waste, rather than creating something made of plastic. And because these pieces last a lifetime, they’re much more environmentally friendly than a series of throwaway fast fashion bags.

Santa Cruzin’

I’ve always loved to ride a bike. It’s calming. It’s therapeutic. I love the sights and the sounds of moving through the air at cycling speed, rather than blasting by with the windows closed. But there are a lot of hills and beaches and trails where I live, which is amazing! But you end up being dead when you ride more than five or ten miles.

Having the Vado now, I don’t really have to worry about the hills anymore. It’s easy to jump on and get to the beach for lunch when I only have an hour. And when I want to go into Santa Cruz, I don’t have to worry about losing steam halfway there or showing up super sweaty and exhausted to a meeting.

The Magic Is Real

People still have a hard time with e-bikes, and I feel like I was one of those people. But now that I have one, it feels like I’m progressing with society in a fun way. It makes me want to go further and actually makes me want to ride more.

I took it out recently to deliver local orders, and it was magical! I had it on Turbo mode the whole time. I was flying! I got there right on time, and I wasn’t stressed or tired. I definitely plan to deliver more of my orders by bike from now on!