Are you looking for the perfect Mother’s Day gift? Harriet’s Hides has you covered. Best of all, support a business owned by a Rogers Park resident. 20% off all purses on, Jan. 28 – Feb. 4.
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hh sheryl“Sheryl Rosenberg’s journey to handcrafting her own line of handbags began with a chance encounter in Minnesota. While at a baseball game, she spied a woman carrying a cowhide tote bag. Introducing herself to this mystery woman, and complimenting her purse, Rosenberg discovered her new acquaintance was a local boutique owner that sold cowhide bags. Rosenberg snapped one up, receiving compliments on that tote everywhere she went. “I just knew I had to figure out how to make these bags, she recalls. In a clever display of forethought, she began collecting the email addresses of everyone stopping her on the street to ask her about her tote, building her future client base.

The budding designer already knew a thing or two about the material she’d be working with – her uncle Goodman “Goodie” Tasman began a family business processing hides back in 1947, now a world leader in the leather industry – and had a mind for creating and for business. Full of entrepreneurial spirit, she began a successful ceramics business as a new mother over 30 years ago, and later joined a party décor company, where her centerpieces garnered attention for many years.

Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Rosenberg raised her two children – sons Jordan and Jason – in the northern suburbs of Chicago before moving to Rogers Park. It was in her new neighborhood that she discovered the Chicago School of Shoemaking and Leather Arts participating in a community event. She contacted owner Sara McIntosh, with whom she spent countless hours learning precise leather-working skills.

At a birthday party on the North Shore, Rosenberg was wearing one of the new bags she’d just made. “The girl next to me said, “I love your bag! Where’d you get it?” It was the first time I was ever able to say, “I made it.” She was not expecting that response. She told me she wanted to be my rep and by the time I got home, she’d already written me an email.”

While starting out on this new endeavor, Rosenberg’s mother, Harriet Waldman, a nursery school teacher for nearly 50 years and party planner in Louisville (“She was a part of people’s lives from when they were children to creating their bar mitzvahs and weddings,” Rosenberg shares), was diagnosed with lung cancer, despite never smoking a day in her life. Known for her upbeat, rosy personality – accentuated by the rose she wore on her lapel – it was Harriet who would become the inspiration for Rosenberg’s project, its namesake, and its signature: each purse is hand-stamped with a red rose.

In 2014, Harriet’s Hides was first showcased at the One of a Kind show at the Merchandise Mart alongside her former mentor, McIntosh –Rosenberg is now in her third year of exhibiting solo at the show. “Though mom is no longer her, she is part of so many women’s lives through these bags,” she says.”

The above article was published in Sheridan Road Magazine, Feb. 2019.

Sheryl’s Note: It’s been 9 years almost to the day since I made my first cowhide tote bag. Want to know what makes me the happiest? Seeing a beautiful Harriet’s Hides handbag hanging from a very happy woman’s shoulder.

Sheryl Rosenberg
Harriet’s Hides

For more information, call (847) 668-8668, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the Harriet’s Hides website,

 This article reposted from Sheridan Road magazine