Volunteer firefighter in Summerfield makes bags out of discarded fire hoses

Small Business Spotlight

SUMMERFIELD, N.C. (WGHP) – Life-saving equipment is a key material for Janelle Robinson’s business: Burn Bags USA.

The mom and Summerfield volunteer firefighter uses worn fire hoses to make bags and accessories.

During her days putting out fires and responding to other emergencies in the town, Janelle saw an opportunity. 

We got new hoses, and they were going to throw the other hose away, so I brought them home, so I could see if I could make something out of it,” Janelle said.

She hand cuts old fire hoses and sews pieces together to create her Burn Bags USA totes. 

She’s selling her bags in 37 stores across the country. Each one has a label listing the firehouse where the hose came from. 

These days Janelle’s line includes handbags, wristlets, wine carriers and dopp kits for men.   

“Every fire hose that we get gets cleaned three times before we make it into the bag,” Janelle said.

The women that work for Janelle are part of a local recovery program for people who have recently dealt with addiction or come out of prison.

Janelle also creates custom bags out of firefighter’s old bunker jackets. You can check out the hero collection and her other bags at burnbagsusa.com.

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