Monday, January 5, 2015

Artist Showcase

Today's featured artist is Anna M from GemsPlusLeather. Anna creates beautiful accessories from leather, beads, gemstones, fur, and she offers custom designs and patterns as well. Here is one of her beautiful items:

Tell us a little about yourself and your creative business.

  Let me introduce myself, I’m Anna, a self taught designer living in Prague, Czech Republic. I’m mostly known in connection with Gemsforall ( I’m a beadsmith and a leather crafter inspired by the beauty of nature. As you can see my art is quite unusual and is meant for the people who appreciate handmade designs and "outside of the box" solutions. I love working with beads, gemstones, fur, leather, wire, cabochons but I'm also open to anything new. If I see something interesting I'd like to try - 99,9% I'm gonna give it a try. Thus, I always learn something new and improve existing skills. Visit my page and shop and my art will tell you much more than any words could...

  • How did you get your start?

My beading addiction began over 7 years ago. Later on in 2012 I fell in love with leather tooling & started creating leather projects. Since then I combine leather, beads, fur, gemstones and anything else my imagination may come up with. It all began as a hobby, thus it is now difficult to define when exactly it became more than that. I’d say I’ve understood it became something more serious once I’ve opened my first online shop. Originally my brand name was Gemsforall. It was created in 2008 when my website was born. I was in love with gems and wanted to share my passion with everyone. I've opened my shop on Etsy much later, in November 2012 and by that time I already had 2 passions, both gems and leather. Thus I couldn't keep the old name for my shop though many people already knew the name Gemsforall… That’s why I had to arrange “re-branding” coming up with the name “GemsPlusLeather” (


  • Where do you get your inspiration?

  I live a very quiet life enjoying medieval atmosphere of old Prague (I see it from my window). I don’t know how and where my ideas come from. Some movies I watch, some music I listen to, beautiful pictures of nature and architecture I see on the internet and around me – inspiration is everywhere!

• What has been your biggest successful moment so far?
I’m happy finding out that people have, use and wear pieces I’ve made 6-7 years ago and hearing feedbacks “made for ages”. It really makes me proud!

What challenges do you face selling online?
The biggest challenge is to become visible for buyers. Unfortunately recently Etsy is becoming a place for Chinese manufacturers and it’s very difficult to compete with them. I’m all by myself and don’t have anyone but me for production, marketing, advertising, public relations, etc… Thus I have to spend more and more time advertising myself in teams, making treasuries, using all other available sources for advertisement.


What advice would you give someone just starting out on Etsy?
I assume that person who is going to open a shop on Etsy should read Etsy seller’s handbook and to learn more about selling on Etsy, its “do’s” and “dont’s”, useful tips and ideas. It's quite helpful. Maybe that someone will find and understand more than I did and will be more successful... :)

Thank you Anna for sharing your beautiful designs with us! If you would like to see more of Anna creations you can find them here.

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