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

FLINT, MI – His work day usually starts at 6:30 a.m. working for the city of Flint’s street maintenance, cleaning streets and sidewalks.

His day usually ends around 11 p.m., handcrafting luggage, bags, shoulder straps, wallets, and more.

His name is Miracle McGlown, a Flint who received a “miraculous” pardon from former President Barack Obama that allowed him to pursue his dreams.

The soft-spoken McGlown, 41, has led two separate lives.

Before 2008, he was on the streets with the wrong people, leading to a 20-year prison sentence for drug conspiracy.

After his release in 2008, McGlow got his life together, started working and most recently launched his own website, 1:Eleven, which he says is of a quality you can’t find anywhere else.

“I brought a new look to fashion,” he said.

The term “1:11” has meaning as a sign of angelic guidance, meaning that one chapter of your life is coming to an end and you are ready for something brand new. McGlown developed a close relationship with God while in prison and credits him for what happened.

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His birthday also falls on January 11.

McGlowan’s road to entrepreneurship began in prison. Around 2011, he was offered to attend a hobby craft class that teaches the basics of belt making.

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

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

McGlown discovered his talent when he started making purses using his own style and caught the attention of a teacher.

“My teacher started laughing and said you got it,” he said.

In prison, McGlown made a book bag for his daughter and carved her name “Leilani” in the middle of it.

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

After McGlow became a free man, he started making bags just for his family and then expanded to selling the bags to different people.

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This month, he held a grand launch of his website at Flint’s Comma Bookstore & Social Hub, showcasing his bags.

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

“I design bags that no one has seen before,” he said.

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

Serving at the FCI prison in Elkton, Ohio saved his life in many ways, getting him off the streets.

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

When Obama pardoned McGlown on January 17, 2017, he held the record for the most single-day use of the pardon power, granting 330 commutations in his last full tenure.

He wrote Obama a letter about 50 times and was rejected twice.

McGlown saw the news on CNN and a supervisor asked if he wanted to accept the pardon.

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“In the fourth quarter, in the last second of the clock, I believed in God as always,” he said.

Being Nevaeh, Leilani and Miracle Jr. a father of three, McGlown supports his wife, Dominique Strong, through her non-profit organization, Umo Strong Marshall Outreach, in every way he can.

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

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

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

Follow McGlown’s online business at 1elevenleather.com.

Read more on the website Flint Magazine:

A local charity is offering free clothing to give back to the Flint community

The two Flint sisters meet privately with Pope Francis

A local charity is offering free clothing to give back to the Flint community

Parade, fireworks at the celebration of the Linden Festival

Volunteers tried to lay wreaths at the Great Lakes National Cemetery

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