From prison to entrepreneur, Miracle McGlown is an inspiration for Flint

FLINT, MI – His day usually starts at 6:30 a.m., working at the Flint Street Maintenance Center, cleaning streets and sidewalks.

Her day usually ends around 11 p.m. Handmade luggage, purses, shoulder straps, wallets and more.

His name is Miracle McGlone — a Flint native who received a “miracle” from former US President Barack Obama that allowed him to follow his dreams.

The 41-year-old soft-spoken McGlone has lived two different lives.

Before 2008, he was on the streets, around the wrong people, which eventually led to a 20-year prison sentence for drug conspiracy.

After his release in 2008, McGlone started living together, started working and recently launched his own website, 1:Eleven, where he says the quality can’t be found anywhere else.

“I bring a fresh look to fashion,” she said.

The term “1:11” means a sign of angelic guidance that means a chapter in your life is coming to an end and you are ready for something completely new. McGlone developed a close relationship with God while in prison and credits him for his turnaround.

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His birthday is also on January 11.

McGlone’s journey to entrepreneurship began in prison. Around 2011, he was offered to take a hobby craft class and teach the basics of belt making.

Everything from leather stitching and hole punching without a sewing machine was taught.

“It’s just one of those cases where I took a negative and turned it into a positive,” he said. “It was hard to get into class, but if they saw that you were taking things seriously, you were more likely to get into class.”

McGlone discovered his talent when he started making purses and applied his own style, attracting the attention of his teacher.

“My teacher started laughing and said, ‘You got it,'” she said.

In prison, McGlone made a book bag for his daughter and drew her name “Leilani” in the middle.

“Everyone from the inmates to the guards asked, ‘How did you do that?'” he said.

After his release, McGlone started making bags just for his family and then expanded to selling the bags to different people.

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This month, she held her website launch inside the Flint Bookstore and Community Center and showcased her bags.

A bag can take up to three weeks to make, but a double bag takes McGlone about three months to make.

“I’m designing bags that no one has seen before,” he said.

Flint is known for its high crime rate and poor economic development. For years, McGlone wandered the streets of Flint, without direction, and no path to success.

In many ways, serving time at FCI Elkton, Ohio saved his life by getting him off the streets.

“I’ve never had a job in my life,” he says.

When Obama pardoned McGlone on January 17, 2017, he held the record for the most one-day use of the pardon power, granting 330 pardons on his last full day in office.

He wrote to Obama about 50 times and was rejected twice.

McGlone saw the news on CNN and the supervisor asked him if he wanted to accept the pardon.

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“Fourth quarter, last second on the clock, I believe in God as always,” he said.

As the father of three children, Nova, Leilani and Miracle Jr., McGlone supports his wife Dominique Strong in any way he can through the non-profit organization Umo Strong Marshall Outreach.

When he finally puts his head down after 11 p.m., that’s when the creative genius really kicks in.

With over 100 bags made in his lifetime, the best is yet to come.

“My best ideas come when I’m lying in bed,” McGlone said.

Follow McGlone online at 1elevenleather.com.

Read more at Flint Magazine:

A local charity offers free clothing to give back to the Flint community

The two Flint sisters meet privately with Pope Francis

A local charity offers free clothing to give back to the Flint community

Parades, fireworks are held at Linden’s holiday celebration

Volunteers followed to lay wreaths at Great Lakes National Cemetery

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