License Plate Heaven

licenseplateheavensign (2).jpg

In 2005, my father and son designed and handmade a USA map using recycled license plates. The map got so much attention my father started making different items with recycled license plates as a hobby. He was 80 years old at that time in 2005.
In 2007, I was laid off. The company I had worked for over 20 years closed. I couldn't find work in a corporate office I was in my 50's and nobody was hiring. 
I started going to my dad's second-hand shop I wanted to spend time with him. He would show me how to make things using license plates. I learned how to use a band saw, sander, and other hand tools. Working with metal and learning to handcraft items didn't come easily to me. There is a lot of cutting, pounding and sanding. The plates are dirty, working with wood is dusty, but I found myself enjoying the work.  I didn't miss corporate America at all. I had even stopped sending out resumes.
My parents leave Michigan for the winter. Normally, the shop would shut down. I committed to running the shop while they were away. 
When they returned. I had an Etsy Store and a website. I had done quite a few holiday craft and art shows. I have made enough to live on for the winter and even had a little saving. 
When my parents returned they offered their help in opening my own business. I was given an area in the front of his shop to do the work, his customers and license plates.
I opened License Plate Heaven in May 2011. 
Where license plates get a new life and so did I.
UPDATE
In October 2013 my son, Patrick moved back to Michigan. He had moved out of state to find work and had been gone 7 years. He now helps in every asset of the business. I couldn't run the shop without him. My father comes by the shop daily when he is in Michigan. He turned 90-year-old in 2015. 
We have 3 generations working together making recycled license plates into art and always on the look out for license plates.