It's always a bit ridiculous how these documentaries end up happening. I first caught wind of Flattail Furs from my awesome photographer friend, Bethany Fritz of Maypole Studios. I was telling her about the documentaries I had been up to, and all of the sudden she mentions knowing a great couple who raise foxes on a small island in Michigan. Of course I made her tell me every detail. As soon as I had some free time I called up the Flattail Furs team, Mark and Laura. I was shocked, they were completely open to letting me, a total stranger, come on up and photograph every aspect of their life for a few days!
It was about an 8 hour drive and then a 20ish minute plane ride to get over to Beaver Island, and as soon as I landed Mark and Laura were leaning up against their car waiting for me. They immediately started showing me around the island, and telling me all about their time living up on their appropriately named farm "Skully Acres". Mark built the entire place, not just the barn, or the fence but absolutely everything up there house included.
What's even more interesting then the farm itself is Mark and Laura's story. Mark actually met Laura for the first time when she was working on the island for a summer in College. Well they were almost inseparable that entire summer. But they had to say goodbye when Laura needed to go back to school. Fast forward over a decade and Laura was back on the island to run a marathon, and they just happened to bump into each other. Immediately they went back to their old ways. A short while later Laura left Chicago and moved up to the farm on Beaver Island.
Now Mark and Laura make their living from their Etsy shop, and a brick and mortar store that they run during the tourist months. They make everything by hand, from the fox fur hats, gloves, beer cozies, you name it. Not only is it all hand made, but nearly everything available in the story is from animals they raised, or caught in the wild themselves.
Check out the whole story!