HAMILTON COUNTY — Giving their pain a purpose, that was the first step in healing for a Hamilton County Couple.
Between a cancer diagnosis and a battle with alcoholism Matt and Cari Hahn started Clutch and Kindle, a business they said saved them and works to help first responders as well.
“During my treatment I always had fragrance around me. So, I was always burning candles. Well during this time, I downloaded an app called Think Dirty and I learned how many chemicals and toxins were in everything we were using every day,” Cari Hahn said.
Nearly seven years ago Cari was battling bi-lateral breast cancer.
“As a cancer survivor I wanted to make sure that I didn't ever get cancer again, so I wanted to do everything in my power to have clean fragrances,” Cari said.
Since then, she says working with fragrances has become her therapy and also a portion of her business Clutch and Kindle.
“It would calm me as I would go to my doctor's appointments,” Cari said, “I have been scanned 20 times I think for terminal breast cancer, I mean, that scares you.”
Clutch and Kindle means perfect fire and that’s where her husband Matt Hahn comes in.
Matt has been an Indianapolis firefighter for more than 20 years.
This summer he’ll celebrate five years of sobriety.
“It takes a little while to do it because again it's all by hand,” Matt said.
His therapy, painting decommissioned fire hose. With that the couple makes hats, jewelry and other accessories out of the retired hose.
“Maybe it was burned or damaged or whatever the case may be and so it has no use and so instead of going into a landfill it's repurposed,” Matt said.
A portion of their proceeds goes to IAFF Recovery Center.
The organization helps firefighters cope with the stress of the job and everyday life.
“It doesn't matter what department you're on at some point you're going to go through a really difficult challenging difficult time and firefighters are people too and they have to process all of that stuff. And it can be really hard and it's hard sometimes for people to admit that they need help,” Matt said.
As their business grows, they have no plans of mass producing their goods.
“I want to hand paint every hat and I’m sure that financially and business wise that doesn't make a lot of sense, but I don't care. They’re all going to be hand painted by me or another firefighter who's wanting to help others it's all been me so far which is cool because I really enjoy it,” Matt said.
“It is us giving our pain a purpose, and it is very you know, whatever door kind of God wants us to walk through we will, and you know there's pain in both of our stories,” Cari said.
Last year the couple was able to donate more than $7,000 to the recovery center.
They hope to top that next year.
You can find them onlineand at several boutiques here in central Indiana.