Inside the Story: Utah man goes from Wall Street to wallets after devastating diagnosis
(KUTV) — A devastating disease, and a handmade paper wallet, has led a Utah man on a path he never imagined.
"I never thought I would do anything like this," said Curtis Calder.
This twist of fate came during a painful time in Calder's life. He noticed some of his muscles weren't working properly, and were getting worse.
"Certain muscles have completely deteriorated, so when I lift up my arms or if I go to do something above my head, it's very painful," he said.
At the time, Curtis was at the peak of his banking career in New York.
"I loved what I was doing," he said.
After numerous tests, Calder was diagnosed with a form of muscular dystrophy, called Fascioscapulohumeral dystrophy.
"When I was diagnosed, it was a relief to understand, 'This is why,'" Calder said.
But the reality that he could be in a wheelchair by 50 years old, and could even pass it along to his children, was very tough.
"It's genetic and it's hereditary, so it's a 50 percent likelihood I pass it on to my kids. We now have four kids," he said.
Calder's grandfather has the same disease.
His doctor told him he needed to find a new job — something that doesn't involve sitting at a computer.
So Calder started trying to make things. He ended up constructing a wallet out of paper and packing tape.
He started experimenting, and after months of work, he and his wife have now mastered leather wallets and other leather goods.
"Very high end, very well made," Calder described.
Calder's business, Anson Calder — named after his son — started four years ago.
In August 2018, he opened his first retail store at City Creek in Salt Lake. It was the last place he thought of opening a retail store.
But, the Salt Lake store has proved to be more successful than his other two stores in New York, which were only temporary.
"I love it. I love it even more than what I was doing in banking," Calder said.
Calder is looking to open a retail store in Los Angeles, and another one in New York possibly this fall.