love handmade! I have a beautiful handmade leather coin purse that I purchased from Gypsy Tailor back in 2011. I keep it in my car to hold my spare change. I wanted something charming to hold my coins, and this did not disappoint. My “Mini Gypsy” is made of Argentine leather on the outside and a recycled men’s tie for the lining. This cute, but handsome coin purse is perfect for both women and men.
I asked Isabel, the creator/owner of Gypsy Tailor, if she could share her story of her handmade adventures. She took the time to answer a few of my questions. Please take the time to learn about Isabel the world traveler, and her splendid creations.
Tell us a bit about you and your shop.
My name is Isabel. I was born in Ecuador but in 2000 I moved to the US when I got married to my husband a guy from North Carolina. Since then we have moved a lot because of his job. My shop name comes from the fact that we move around the world like gypsy people and my sewing machines always come with me so I am the Gypsy Tailor!
I started my shop when we were living in Argentina in 2009. I discovered Etsy by pure casualty while I was trying to find on the internet how to make a handmade label to attach to a coat I had made for my hubby!
I sell accessories made mainly of leather but I also use vinyl and fabrics. In 2010 I started making ties and bow ties for dogs. That is when I introduced Bubba my Boston Terrier to Etsy.
What inspires you to create?
It can be a piece of fabric or a painting or something I see people wearing. I think there are many things that inspire me. I like to go into my shop and pull out leathers and fabrics and draw ideas. Sometimes I am able to make them a reality and others stay in paper.
What are your favorite materials?
Leather, wool, silk.
What’s your favorite item in your shop? And why?
I think it is my coin purse the “mini gypsy” because I totally created that one on my own. Started as a drawing in my sketchbook and then I made it and it was a hit in my shop. Since I made the first coin purse in 2010 I have not stopped making them.
I try to take advantage of the new place where I live or travel by going out to look for fabrics that are typical from there. For example from Argentina, I got a lot of leather. From Vietnam, I am using their beautiful silks as well as from Cambodia.
I also like to use vintage and recycled materials. Most of the items that I have in my shop for men are lined with recycled ties.
My mother-in-law gave me a ton of fabric that belonged to her mother. All pieces are from the 50s, 60s, 70s. To me those materials have a special meaning, nobody else can have the same fabric so that makes my pieces unique in some way.