Chicago Lost and Found

May 17, 2011 9:41:13 AM PDT
Chicago Lost and Found turns trash into treasures.

The organization that re-purposes materials that is otherwise sent to the landfill, is gearing up for its annual fundraiser. Chicago Lost and Found is committed to art education and inspiring creativity throughout the city. They create unusual art and functional furnishings. Sales from the creations generate funding to provide hand-on art education.

The Coat and Tie bag is the latest design produced in the CL&F studio. These chic carry-all bags are fashioned from men's suit coats and neckties. The jackets are deconstructed and re-cut with nearly 90% of the coat transformed into a new purpose. Yesterday's out-of-style becomes today's must-have fashion accessory. The interiors are as beautiful as the exterior. Inside pockets of the suit coat are used as lining, providing interior compartments for easy access. May 24th, Chicago Lost and Found presents "The Big Picture" where the Coat and Tie bag premiers accompanied by other fabulous pieces from the creative team. This event is a complimentary cocktail party providing an opportunity to learn more about this unconventional vision and introduce CL&F to a wider audience.

For more information:
To Register for the event:
Tuesday, May 24th
Lifebook Lounge Chicago
1200 West Lake Street

About Chicago Lost And Found President ? Mitchell Pennell (release) Mitch Pennell is a junk collector. Not the kind that hauls off unwanted refuse to the dump, but a junkie who collects and saves anything he can get his hands on to add to the inventory of reusable materials for his one-of-a-kind creations.

The alleys of Chicago, dumpsters, salvage yards, demolition sites, construction sites, basements, garages and attics are the target source for booty when it comes to collecting needed supplies. The menagerie of oddities finds new life as exquisite art and home furnishings created by Mitch and his creative team of artistic pioneers.

From lamp parts to salvaged moldings or discarded men's silk ties ? in Mitch's hands the unwanted trash becomes irresistible treasure. The re-creations are sold through exclusive retail locations while the proceeds, combined with other contributions, fund the Creative Academy at Chicago Lost and Found, which is the primary purpose of the nonprofit organization.

Chicago Lost and Found is certainly an ambitious undertaking with grand ideas and big goals, but for Mitch, this is his calling and passion. While financial shortfall was a challenge in the beginning, it never deterred Mitch's enthusiasm or commitment.

His entrepreneurial spirit is evident with a long-running record of business acumen and success. He refers to his 25-plus years in the creative profession as a "winding path" that ultimately led to the development of Chicago Lost & Found ? his most impressive undertaking to date. For more than 12 years, Mitch owned home interior and décor stores, utilizing his extensive experience as a residential interior designer. His expertise also includes floral design and event planning, along with gift and product development for major brands. Mitch had the honor of being on the 2001 Academy Awards floral design team and the 2001 Tournament of Roses Parade floral design team. Some avid reality TV fans might remember his as appearance in the 2005 CBS Television show, Wickedly Perfect.

Most recently he has been a featured guest on the Food Network Emmy-winning "Paula's Best Dishes" with celebrity chef, Paula Deen. The Christmas tree skirts fashioned from discarded men's ties are featured in the 2010 Holiday/November issue of Paula's magazine.

Through the course of events, Mitch believes he has found his purpose as a modern-day junk collector and he couldn't be happier. He explains, "Where most see trash, I see beauty. When others see the obvious, I see the possibility." His approach to creating may seem unorthodox to those who have not witnessed the evidence, however the results clearly express his creative passion.

If asked his recipe for happiness, Mitch is quick to answer. "Do what you love, be consistent, be persistent and be available to your purpose. Success will always partner with passion".

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