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Made in Michiana features local artists

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Work produced by 40 local artists fill the shelves of the Made in Michiana store in downtown South Bend. One of the artists is trying turn is his passion for pens into profit.

Just a few months ago, 71-year-old Al Ladyga's vision was almost gone.

“I didn't think I would ever be able to do anything being able to see this close,” said Ladyga.

Surgery spawned a new hobby.

He carefully, meticulously and very slowly spins a simple piece of wood into a one of kind hand-carved pen.

“It's a hobby but it’s a hobby that's paying for itself, but I am hoping down the road it will be profitable,” said Ladyga.

They are almost profitable and already popular.

One customer purchased Ladyga’s pens for his clients in Asia.

“Here are 10 of my pens going to China and Japan instead of the other way around,” said Ladyga.

That's what the ladies who opened Made in Michiana wanted all along.

“It's helping people with jobs, it's helping our artists be able to buy their own Christmas gifts or pay bills or have extra spending money,” said Ann Rudasics of Made in Michiana.

The great part about Made in Michiana is the money stays right here in our community. If you purchase one of Ladyga’s $65 pens, $25 goes to the store and $40 goes to Ladyga.

The five owners of the Made in Michiana store are so dedicated to supporting local artists, they volunteer full time.

All of the profits go to upkeep of the space.

The store's dog is also local. They rescued him from the Humane Society.

Click here for more information about Made in Michiana.

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