Natalie Alberti Salamone has parlayed her love of writing and designer jeans into a business.
The Northamptom mom of two launched Behind the Seam Designer Jeans in July. Her company recycles designer jeans and shares the back story of where the jeans were worn.
"I love designer jeans, but they are really expensive," said Alberti Salamone. "I have two small kids, the days of buying them are long gone."
The Lehigh Valley mom also has a day job as a reading specialist in the Easton Area School District.
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So, Salamone took a page out of the movie "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" and began discovering her own set of stories from friends (and clients) to launch her new business venture. She says she always wanted to own her own business and was brainstorming to come up with a way to combine eco-friendly fashion with her love of writing. Salamone decided recycling designer jeans fuels her passion and does the planet some good, keeping jeans from "sitting in a landfill."
Salamone started off with an inventory of 25 jeans. She purchases the designer jeans outright and captures their story from the previous owner. Her love of writing and telling stories makes the second part of her business strategy fun.
A pair of Citizens of Humanity jeans, which retail for $200, were recently sold by Behind the Seam Designer Jeans for $50. The back story of those jeans is that they were worn once at the White House during a private tour, which included the Rose Garden.
"People love the stories. It's a creative twist on recycling jeans," said Salamone.
The jeans' stories are printed on recycled paper and placed in the back pocket.
A pair of party jeans desperately needed a new owner.
The never worn Miss Me Jeans which retail for $200 were sold for $50. They were originally purchased by a woman heading to a bachelorette party in Atlantic City, but she left them at home and never got the chance to wear them. They sat unused until they got a new owner and a new life.
"I love it -- social good and fashion," said Rakia Reynolds, a mom, entrepreneur and multimedia strategist at Skai Blue Media. "It's really smart to position a company around the art of storytelling. Denim is never going away. It's a staple piece."
The Behind the Seam Designer Jeans resale price is about 75 percent off the retail price. Salamone scours Craigslist to find the designer denim and sellers are now approaching her from around the country.
She has three retail stores selling her product -- Girlfriends Boutique in Bethlehem, The Beauty Bar in Allentown and All Gussied Up in Easton. She hopes to expand in to the Philadelphia market in the future.
"I'm a mom and working, and trying to do a side business. I'm juggling and I love it," Salamone said.