"This challenge came with the fear of starting something new, without the certainty of the future. But I pulled myself together and learned how to work with leather."
"I am a graphic designer and I enjoy everything about the creative process. A few years ago I was left without job, and though it was a difficult time in my life, it became a positive challenge for me. I saw it as an opportunity to create my own – and stable – source of income.
"And so I decided to make some changes in my life.
"My first decision was to get married. The second was to learn a new craft that would become my source of income and my profession.
"This challenge came with the fear of starting something new, without the certainty of the future. But I pulled myself together and learned how to work with leather. Soon I was motivated by the challenge of becoming a shoemaker.
"It's not a well-paid job but I knew that learning the techniques and everything about this job would later come in handy. And it did. As a shoemaker I was interested in finding out what else could I do with leather. I learned how to handle the tools, select the best piece of leather, cut it, and achieve nice finishes.
"I am a self-taught artisan. Becoming a shoemaker took many long working hours and some ruined pieces. One must be experienced to know how the leather will respond and be aware that a badly placed cut can potentially ruin a piece. So when I felt more confident working with leather and using the tools, I used what I know about graphic design and computer programs in order to create new designs.
"This creative journey has been a lot of fun. It has made me dream and think for hours. I love seeing people wearing my designs and thinking how to improve them. I'm inspired by a desire to create stylish accessories that would help my clients organize and simplify their lives. My designs are minimalist and compact so people can keep their things in order and get rid of unnecessary disorder.
"I'm excited about the thought that – although I presently work on my own – as sales increase and my venture grows, I'll be able to teach other people, share my passion for tooled leather accessories, and generate work opportunities in my community."