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DeWitt teen crafts leather-bound journals to pay for class trip abroad

Evelyn ties the string that holds the pages into place
Posted at 5:10 PM, Sep 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-18 17:10:07-04

DEWITT, Mich. — Trips abroad aren't cheap. That's why, when DeWitt High School freshman Evelyn Yuhasz saw the price tag on her upcoming class trip to Europe, she knew she had to help foot the bill.

Evelyn cutting the leather using a template she created
Evelyn cutting the leather using a template she created

"We have this band trip," Evelyn said. "But the school isn't really fundraising."

For two weeks in Europe, the trip will cost almost $5,000.

"Evelyn has always had an interest in finding a way to pay her own way for everything, from ice cream to a European band trip," said her dad, Jason Yuhasz.

But, as Evelyn's mom, Kathleen Yuhasz, noted, "a 14-year-old can't go out and get a job."

Evelyn's solution? Start a business of her own.

Evelyn cutting the leather using a template she made
Everlyn cutting the leather using a template she made

"Since we do the leather business, she thought she could do something that would bring a little funds in for her trip," Jason said. "I started showing the girls how to make some things and Evelyn took right off."

Great Lakes Leathercraft, LLC is Jason and Kathleen's business. Evelyn's is EJY Designs.

The Glowforge uses a laser to burn Evelyn's logo into the leather
The Glowforge uses a laser to burn Evelyn's logo into the leather

Evelyn can create one of her refillable leather-bound journals in roughly 20 minutes, which is great considering the number of orders she has been getting since Kathleen posted about the journals on Facebook last week.

"We're getting orders every single day for her, and we're only social media," Jason Yuhasz said.

For two journals in a leather binding, Evelyn charges $24.99. For four journals in a leather binding, it's $34.99.

Evelyn Yuhasz explaining a two-notebook vs. a four-notebook leather journal
Evelyn Yuhasz explaining a two-notebook vs. a four-notebook leather journal

The leather journals are made so that their pages inside are refillable.

"We've sold about 50 journals and we still have a lot more coming in," Evelyn said.

So far, Evelyn has raised about $1,000 for her trip.

"Anything she can do to not have us pay her way on anything. She would rather earn her own money, and it's probably going to serve her pretty well for the rest of her life, yeah," Jason Yuhasz said.

Evelyn putting two notebooks into the refillable leather journal
Evelyn putting two notebooks into the refillable leather journal

Both Great Lakes Leathercraft and EJY Designs will be at the Grand Ledge Fall Festival on Oct. 9. For custom orders, Kathleen Yuhasz said to reach out to Great Lakes Leathercraft on Facebook or Instagram.

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