While working on a Brooksville farm raising crops and livestock, Meghan Farrell began to feel restless creatively and decided to make a leather wallet. It was the beginning of a business, although she didn't quite know it yet.

These days, Farrell can be found working rivets through leather, filling her downtown Rockland studio with the smell of the material. She has been dying leather, sewing and fastening rivets for so many uninterrupted hours, the 29-year-old said she tells friends she fears developing arthritis.

The strenuous work of farm life, although creative in its own way, had not created the tangible, beautiful result Farrell sought. She started making wallets and bags for family and friends, until she was encouraged to sell her designs.

"It was a different kind of satisfaction, and I figured out what I wanted to do," she said.

After graduating from Parsons School of Design in 2007 with a degree in photography, Farrell said creative work was hard to come by. When she had the idea of making leather goods, she hoped to apprentice with leathersmiths. But the reply was, maybe in a year or two. Not wanting to wait, she became self-taught.

"I was sick of working for people, and I need to be creative everyday or I sort of become crazy," she said.

In February, Farrell promoted her idea on fundraising website Kickstarter.com and her one-woman company, Farrell & Co., was established.

Finding a leather bag Farrell wanted and could afford was nearly impossible; "Everything was bedazzled," she said, and she realized she would have to make one herself to have the simple, versatile look she wanted.

"I like vintage, simple, straightforward and versatile," she said.

Farrell gets ideas from older bags she finds at markets, which she deconstructs to map their design. She dyes the leather, which is porous and soaks up the dye, herself. She uses a cloth to rub dye onto the leather, but the natural colored bags, she said, develop a patina from the sun. As Farrell designs and creates the bags with a free hand, all pieces are unique. She has about 20 designs.

Her idea was funded more than the Kickstarter goal, and she began to concentrate on her business full time this summer. Farrell estimates she has made more than 1,000 pieces in three years. She said her first attempts at making bags show squiggly threading, a testament to how much she has grown in the craft.

Growing up in Connecticut, Farrell spent childhood summers at the same rented home in Owls Head with her family. She also attended Maine College of Art in Portland for a time. After living in many places, she returned to Maine full-time because she said it is the only place that really feels like home.

With here business flourishing, and more orders coming from her website and stores in Maine, Massachusetts and California, Farrell may now need an apprentice herself. For more information on her designs, visit farrellandcompany.com.

Courier Publications' reporter Juliette Laaka can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 118 or via email at jlaaka@courierpublicationsllc.com.