My life in Istanbul in 2012 was exciting and creative. I took Turkish lessons, frequented the sprawling outdoor farmers markets and discovered the industrial parts of the city where artisans went to buy leather, findings, tools and yarn. I was in maker heaven.
I’ve made physical objects my whole life - from knitted hats to sewn dresses and handbags you could always find me creating. And I was always trying to sell my creations, even when I didn’t know what I was doing.
Living in Istanbul inspired me and my leather sandals and knit skirts took on the essence of the exciting city. I would combine colors and techniques that no one else was using, reveling in the excitement of creating something new.
A natural extension of making is selling my art. So, I opened an Etsy store and listed my products, having a friend take photos and modeling everything myself. While I never sold anything I made at the time I started to make local friends in Istanbul through Etsy’s community.
One of my maker friends knew I was obsessed with vintage Turkish headscarves adorned with ‘oya’ a hand crocheted lace edging. She invited me to her mother’s house to learn this technique and that changed the trajectory of my life.