Shop Etsy

Featured Seller: Gift Shop Brooklyn

May 4, 2012

by giftshopbrooklyn

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Tell us a bit about yourself.
Annie is my real name, not a nickname. I love creating and working with my hands. I adore working from home and being my own boss. The need to craft and create greatly outweighs the annoyance of having the smallest workspace possible in my Brooklyn apartment.

I started Gift Shop Brooklyn in July of 2011, almost a year ago. I decided on this name because I wanted something simple and literal. I also wanted a name that was not specific to any one item, giving me the freedom to carry different items in the future – if that’s where the future takes me.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?
My husband Alex and I like to make big dinners on the weekends, usually including a platter of cheese and wine. I take way too many pictures of my cats, Murray Hewitt and Sophia Petrillo. I love baking. Selling cookies on Etsy was my plan B if selling bags was unsuccessful. My procrastination time consists of researching and/or purchasing vintage items on Etsy, spending way too much time on the Internet, and watching cooking shows.

What would be the title of your memoir?
All I Ever Have To Be. When I was little, my mom was always listening to Amy Grant. One song stayed with me through the years: All I ever have to be is what you’ve made me. It sounds so simple, yet it’s so hard to stay true to oneself amid all the distractions of this world. I still play this song over and over. I even chose it for my mom to sing at my wedding. I love how it reminds me to be myself and stay true to myself wherever I am, whatever I am doing.

Where does your inspiration come from?
In my opinion, color makes or breaks an item. Color is so influential; it’s usually the first thing that catches our eye and it makes us stop and take a second look at an item. Nature goes along with color. I mean, nature is giving us all the answers when it comes to design, color combinations, and texture combinations. I get so inspired when my husband and I go for walks on the beach. Cobalt blue and violet shells next to the camel-colored sand and burnt orange dune shrub: so amazing!

I always design by color. I go to my suppliers with no agenda, choosing fabrics and leathers that speak to me at that time. I like this process, because I never know what I’m going to be attracted to; sometimes I surprise myself. However, whatever the print or texture, my decisions are more often than not based on color.

What does handmade mean to you?
I grew up in a household where handmade was a way of life. Both of my parents are designers/artists. They have an immense appreciation for antiques and quality handmade items. I grew up watching them make items, or use the resources they had available before running out to purchase a mass-market item. When I want a change or something new, it’s only natural for me to first see what I can do with resources I already have. It’s this type of critical thinking and resourcefulness that I learned from them. I believe it helps me as a designer and helps me to be happy and content as a person, too.

Who has been most influential in your craft?
My husband. Before I even opened a store, I started having doubts. I felt the items I made were not as unique, well made or appealing as I originally thought. I wanted to quit, but he talked me out of it. In the beginning, especially, he would come home from work and have to basically talk me off a ledge.

Now that I am more stable and secure in my new business, I have design meetings with the poor guy as soon as he walks in the door. He is a designer as well, with a great eye. I’m always asking, ‘‘Does this look cool? Does this look stupid? Does this look amateur?’’ He doesn’t know too much about handbags, but he always finds time to give me a design critique, even after he’s worked all day. If it weren’t for my husband, I would not have been able to take this chance on turning my passions and projects into a business.

When did you know you were an artist/maker?
It was my first year in college. I hadn’t decided on a major yet, and all of my classes were just general education. It was the first time in my life I wasn’t in an art class of some sort. Though it was subconscious at first, I felt so pent up creatively. I would make all these items to decorate my dorm room and elaborate cards for holidays and occasions, rather than working on my real homework. That is when I really knew creating was a true passion and would be a part of my daily life forever.

If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
Leonardo da Vinci. I started to become interested in him when I was in my teens. After I discovered him in an encyclopedia, I fell in love with his delicate yet powerful painting and sketches. I mean, would anyone not want to watch this genius at work?

What handmade possession do you most cherish?
There’s really no way to answer this. I feel so blessed to have a family filled with artists. Ever since I can remember, I have been surrounded with handmade items. As a child I took it for granted, of course — my mom sewing outfits for me, and my dad building custom shelves and furniture in my bedroom. Now, as an adult, I can truly appreciate and see the real value of handmade. I have at least one handmade item given to me by every person in my family. I cherish them all equally.

How do you get out of your creative ruts?
I try not to force myself to design, because the result always looks well, forced. I have yet to experience a creative rut — I think because I try and am interested in so many things. If one aspect isn’t working for me, I move on to something else for a while.

I do this thing that can feel like a rut. I will make a prototype and like it, but then feel like “that was too easy.” I analyze it to death, trying to make it better and end up not liking it. I get frustrated for wasting time and materials. Ultimately, I return to the first prototype – my original instinct. I’ve started to catch myself before I go through the cycle. I’m trying to trust my first instinct and accept the fact that sometimes it does work on the first try.

Where would you like to be in ten years?
Wherever makes me happy at that time. Right after college, I truly realized there are so few things you can count on or plan for – I guess you could call this growing up. So many random things happen, things you would never have expected. Since then, I have stayed true to the belief that things happen for a reason, and if you live your life in a positive, forward direction, the universe will work in your favor and you will be happier knowing it’s what’s meant to be.

Featured Seller Archive

SUZIE Leather purse Pouch. Small Leather Purse. Metallic Leather Bag. Leather Crossbody Bag
SUZIE Leather purse Pouch. Small Leather Purse. Metallic Leather Bag. Leather Crossbody Bag
AnnieBukhman
$149.00 USD
Leather Hair Tie. Hair Accessories Elastic for hair and Wrist. Hair Elastic. Hair Ties. Leather hair Accessories.
Leather Hair Tie. Hair Accessories Elastic for hair and Wrist. Hair Elastic. Hair Ties. Leather hair Accessories.
AnnieBukhman
$16.00 USD
MAE Lavender Clutch. Purple Leather Bag. Pastel Leather Pouch. Light Purple Leather Wallet
MAE Lavender Clutch. Purple Leather Bag. Pastel Leather Pouch. Light Purple Leather Wallet
AnnieBukhman
$58.00 USD
LEATHER Card Case. Credit Card Case. Metallic Leather Wallet. Card Holder
LEATHER Card Case. Credit Card Case. Metallic Leather Wallet. Card Holder
AnnieBukhman
$25.00 USD
EMILY Rosegold Leather Clutch.  Small Copper Leather Pouch. Small rosegold Leather Bag. Leather Makeup Bag. Leather Cosmetic Bag.
EMILY Rosegold Leather Clutch. Small Copper Leather Pouch. Small rosegold Leather Bag. Leather Makeup Bag. Leather Cosmetic Bag.
AnnieBukhman
$68.00 USD
Leather Glasses Case. Leather case for Sunglasses. Metallic Leather Case for Glasses
Leather Glasses Case. Leather case for Sunglasses. Metallic Leather Case for Glasses
AnnieBukhman
$40.00 USD
Leather Coin Purse. Change Purse. Coin Purse. Small Leather Pouch. Key Chain Pouch
Leather Coin Purse. Change Purse. Coin Purse. Small Leather Pouch. Key Chain Pouch
AnnieBukhman
$40.00 USD
SMALL Leather Pencil Case. Small Leather Brush Bag. Artist Pencil Case. Small Pencil Case. Metallic Leather
SMALL Leather Pencil Case. Small Leather Brush Bag. Artist Pencil Case. Small Pencil Case. Metallic Leather
AnnieBukhman
$48.00 USD
Leather Hair Tie. Hair Accessories Elastic for hair and Wrist. Hair Elastic. Hair Ties. Leather hair Accessories.
Leather Hair Tie. Hair Accessories Elastic for hair and Wrist. Hair Elastic. Hair Ties. Leather hair Accessories.
AnnieBukhman
$16.00 USD
TESSA Black Leather Purse. Small Black Purse. Bracelet Bag. Small Black Bag. Small Leather Pouch
TESSA Black Leather Purse. Small Black Purse. Bracelet Bag. Small Black Bag. Small Leather Pouch
AnnieBukhman
$198.00 USD
Leather Hair Tie. Hair Accessories Elastic for hair and Wrist. Hair Elastic. Hair Ties. Leather hair Accessories.
Leather Hair Tie. Hair Accessories Elastic for hair and Wrist. Hair Elastic. Hair Ties. Leather hair Accessories.
AnnieBukhman
$16.00 USD
LEATHER Card Case. Credit Card Case. Leather Business Card Holder. Metallic Wallet
LEATHER Card Case. Credit Card Case. Leather Business Card Holder. Metallic Wallet
AnnieBukhman
$25.00 USD
REBECCA Leather Pouch. Small Leather Clutch. Small Leather Bag. Leather Makeup Bag. Leather Cosmetic Bag.
REBECCA Leather Pouch. Small Leather Clutch. Small Leather Bag. Leather Makeup Bag. Leather Cosmetic Bag.
AnnieBukhman
$94.00 USD
MAE Tan Leather Wallet. Saddle Leather Pouch. Light Brown Clutch. Brown Clutch. Leather Makeup Bag
MAE Tan Leather Wallet. Saddle Leather Pouch. Light Brown Clutch. Brown Clutch. Leather Makeup Bag
AnnieBukhman
$58.00 USD
MAE Metallic Blue Leather Pouch. Navy Blue Leather Pouch. Dark Blue Leather Clutch. Blue Leather Wallet
MAE Metallic Blue Leather Pouch. Navy Blue Leather Pouch. Dark Blue Leather Clutch. Blue Leather Wallet
AnnieBukhman
$58.00 USD
LEATHER and Brass Key Fob. Leather Key Chain with Swivel Hook. Leather Keychain.
LEATHER and Brass Key Fob. Leather Key Chain with Swivel Hook. Leather Keychain.
AnnieBukhman
$25.00 USD
LARGE Tote Bag. Lightweight Travel Bag. Weekender Bag. Extra Large Tote Bag. Black Tote
LARGE Tote Bag. Lightweight Travel Bag. Weekender Bag. Extra Large Tote Bag. Black Tote
AnnieBukhman
$238.00 USD
Leather Hair Tie. Hair Accessories Elastic for hair and Wrist. Hair Elastic. Hair Ties. Leather hair Accessories.
Leather Hair Tie. Hair Accessories Elastic for hair and Wrist. Hair Elastic. Hair Ties. Leather hair Accessories.
AnnieBukhman
$16.00 USD
Leather Hair Tie. Hair Accessories Elastic for hair and Wrist. Hair Elastic. Hair Ties. Leather hair Accessories.
Leather Hair Tie. Hair Accessories Elastic for hair and Wrist. Hair Elastic. Hair Ties. Leather hair Accessories.
AnnieBukhman
$16.00 USD
CLARA Leather Envelope Clutch. Camel Leather Clutch. Light Brown Leather Clutch. Saddle Bag
CLARA Leather Envelope Clutch. Camel Leather Clutch. Light Brown Leather Clutch. Saddle Bag
AnnieBukhman
$145.00 USD
Leather Key Chain. Leather Key Fob. Leather and Buffalo Horn Fob. Brass Hook Key Chain
Leather Key Chain. Leather Key Fob. Leather and Buffalo Horn Fob. Brass Hook Key Chain
AnnieBukhman
$28.00 USD
CLARA Leather Envelope Clutch. Brown Leather Clutch. Brown Leather Bag. Brown Leather Purse. Cognac Leather Bag.
CLARA Leather Envelope Clutch. Brown Leather Clutch. Brown Leather Bag. Brown Leather Purse. Cognac Leather Bag.
AnnieBukhman
$145.00 USD
Velvet Scarf. Silk Scarf. Silk Velvet Scarf. Velvet Neck Scarf. Gifts for Her
Velvet Scarf. Silk Scarf. Silk Velvet Scarf. Velvet Neck Scarf. Gifts for Her
AnnieBukhman
$128.00 USD
MAE Gold Leather Pouch. Gold Leather Clutch. Gold Leather Wallet. Small Leather Pouch. Gold Wedding Clutch
MAE Gold Leather Pouch. Gold Leather Clutch. Gold Leather Wallet. Small Leather Pouch. Gold Wedding Clutch
AnnieBukhman
$58.00 USD
Leather Fold Wallet. Leather Card Case. Metallic Wallet. Leather Fold Wallet.
Leather Fold Wallet. Leather Card Case. Metallic Wallet. Leather Fold Wallet.
AnnieBukhman
$48.00 USD
LEATHER Wrist Strap.  Removable Wrist strap for Clutch. Leather Wristlet. Leather Strap for Keys
LEATHER Wrist Strap. Removable Wrist strap for Clutch. Leather Wristlet. Leather Strap for Keys
AnnieBukhman
$25.00 USD
EMMA Leather Fold Clutch. Metallic Copper Leather Fold Clutch. Small Leather Fold Pouch. Metallic Wedding Pouch
EMMA Leather Fold Clutch. Metallic Copper Leather Fold Clutch. Small Leather Fold Pouch. Metallic Wedding Pouch
AnnieBukhman
$138.00 USD
LUCY Small Leather Pouch. Leather Wallet. Leather Change Purse. Leather Clutch
LUCY Small Leather Pouch. Leather Wallet. Leather Change Purse. Leather Clutch
AnnieBukhman
$48.00 USD
Leather Wallet. Leather Card Case. Metallic Wallet. Simple Leather Wallet.
Leather Wallet. Leather Card Case. Metallic Wallet. Simple Leather Wallet.
AnnieBukhman
$48.00 USD
SUZIE Leather purse Pouch. Small Leather Purse. Metallic Leather Bag. Leather Crossbody Bag
SUZIE Leather purse Pouch. Small Leather Purse. Metallic Leather Bag. Leather Crossbody Bag
AnnieBukhman
$149.00 USD
Large Tote Bag. Large Beach Bag. Large Bag. Market Bag. Striped Bag. Beach Bag Tote
Large Tote Bag. Large Beach Bag. Large Bag. Market Bag. Striped Bag. Beach Bag Tote
AnnieBukhman
$68.00 USD
EMMA White Leather Fold Clutch. White Leather Fold Clutch. Small Leather Fold Pouch. White Wedding Clutch
EMMA White Leather Fold Clutch. White Leather Fold Clutch. Small Leather Fold Pouch. White Wedding Clutch
AnnieBukhman
$138.00 USD
Leather Hair Tie. Hair Accessories Elastic for hair and Wrist. Hair Elastic. Hair Ties. Leather hair Accessories.
Leather Hair Tie. Hair Accessories Elastic for hair and Wrist. Hair Elastic. Hair Ties. Leather hair Accessories.
AnnieBukhman
$16.00 USD
Petite Gold Sequin Clutch. Gold Wedding Clutch. Metallic Gold Clutch. Small Gold Pouch. Gold Evening Bag
Petite Gold Sequin Clutch. Gold Wedding Clutch. Metallic Gold Clutch. Small Gold Pouch. Gold Evening Bag
AnnieBukhman
$54.00 USD
LEATHER Card Case. Credit Card Case. Hair on Hide Leather Wallet
LEATHER Card Case. Credit Card Case. Hair on Hide Leather Wallet
AnnieBukhman
$25.00 USD
LEATHER and Brass Key Fob. Leather Key Chain with Swivel Hook. Leather Keychain.
LEATHER and Brass Key Fob. Leather Key Chain with Swivel Hook. Leather Keychain.
AnnieBukhman
$25.00 USD
JANE Whiskey Leather Clutch. Brown Leather Clutch. Brown Leather Pouch. Leather Makeup Bag
JANE Whiskey Leather Clutch. Brown Leather Clutch. Brown Leather Pouch. Leather Makeup Bag
AnnieBukhman
$88.00 USD
EMILY Leather Makeup Bag. Small Leather Pouch. Small Leather Clutch. Small Leather Bag. Leather Cosmetic Bag.
EMILY Leather Makeup Bag. Small Leather Pouch. Small Leather Clutch. Small Leather Bag. Leather Cosmetic Bag.
AnnieBukhman
$68.00 USD
Velvet Scarf. Silk Scarf. Silk Velvet Scarf. Velvet Neck Scarf. Gifts for Her
Velvet Scarf. Silk Scarf. Silk Velvet Scarf. Velvet Neck Scarf. Gifts for Her
AnnieBukhman
$128.00 USD
JANE Cherry Red Leather Clutch. Red Leather Clutch. Soft Leather Clutch. Leather make up case
JANE Cherry Red Leather Clutch. Red Leather Clutch. Soft Leather Clutch. Leather make up case
AnnieBukhman
$88.00 USD
REBECCA White Leather Clutch. Leather Makeup Bag. Leather Pouch. Leather Make up Bag. Leather Cosmetic Bag.
REBECCA White Leather Clutch. Leather Makeup Bag. Leather Pouch. Leather Make up Bag. Leather Cosmetic Bag.
AnnieBukhman
$94.00 USD
EMILY Small Leather Pouch. Small Leather Clutch. Small Leather Bag. Leather Makeup Bag. Leather Cosmetic Bag.
EMILY Small Leather Pouch. Small Leather Clutch. Small Leather Bag. Leather Makeup Bag. Leather Cosmetic Bag.
AnnieBukhman
$68.00 USD
Leather Glasses Case. Leather case for Sunglasses
Leather Glasses Case. Leather case for Sunglasses
AnnieBukhman
$40.00 USD
SUZIE Leather purse Pouch. Small Leather Purse. Metallic Leather Bag. Leather Crossbody Bag
SUZIE Leather purse Pouch. Small Leather Purse. Metallic Leather Bag. Leather Crossbody Bag
AnnieBukhman
$149.00 USD
MARY Silver Leather Clutch. Leather Envelope Clutch. Leather Envelope Wallet. Silver Bridesmaid Clutch
MARY Silver Leather Clutch. Leather Envelope Clutch. Leather Envelope Wallet. Silver Bridesmaid Clutch
AnnieBukhman
$98.00 USD
GOLD Choker. Gold Choker Necklace. Gold Necklace. Gold Necklace Dainty. Crystal Necklace. Crystal Choker. Gold Chain Choker
GOLD Choker. Gold Choker Necklace. Gold Necklace. Gold Necklace Dainty. Crystal Necklace. Crystal Choker. Gold Chain Choker
AnnieBukhman
$44.00 USD
Change Purse. Leather Change Purse. Coin Purse. Leather Coin Purse. Small Leather Pouch
Change Purse. Leather Change Purse. Coin Purse. Leather Coin Purse. Small Leather Pouch
AnnieBukhman
$40.00 USD
MAE Whiskey Leather Wallet. Brown Leather Pouch. Brown Clutch. Bordeaux Leather Bag
MAE Whiskey Leather Wallet. Brown Leather Pouch. Brown Clutch. Bordeaux Leather Bag
AnnieBukhman
$58.00 USD
CLARA Leather Envelope Clutch. Brown Leather Clutch. Brown Leather Bag. Brown Leather Purse. Cognac Leather Bag.
CLARA Leather Envelope Clutch. Brown Leather Clutch. Brown Leather Bag. Brown Leather Purse. Cognac Leather Bag.
AnnieBukhman
$145.00 USD
MAE Red Leather Wallet. Red Leather Pouch. Red Leather Makeup Bag. Leather Cosmetic Bag. Small Leather Pouch
MAE Red Leather Wallet. Red Leather Pouch. Red Leather Makeup Bag. Leather Cosmetic Bag. Small Leather Pouch
AnnieBukhman
$58.00 USD
CLARA Leather Envelope Clutch. Brown Leather Clutch. Brown Leather Bag. Brown Leather Purse. Cognac Leather Bag.
CLARA Leather Envelope Clutch. Brown Leather Clutch. Brown Leather Bag. Brown Leather Purse. Cognac Leather Bag.
AnnieBukhman
$145.00 USD
MARY Copper Leather Clutch. Rosegold Leather Clutch. Leather Envelope Clutch. Small Leather Clutch
MARY Copper Leather Clutch. Rosegold Leather Clutch. Leather Envelope Clutch. Small Leather Clutch
AnnieBukhman
$98.00 USD
GOLD Choker. Gold Choker Necklace. Gold Necklace. Gold Necklace Dainty. Crystal Necklace. Crystal Choker. Gold Chain Choker
GOLD Choker. Gold Choker Necklace. Gold Necklace. Gold Necklace Dainty. Crystal Necklace. Crystal Choker. Gold Chain Choker
AnnieBukhman
$44.00 USD
CARD. Birthday Card. Birthday Gift Tag. Bridesmaid Card. Small Birthday Card. Simple Birthday Card. Gift Wrapping
CARD. Birthday Card. Birthday Gift Tag. Bridesmaid Card. Small Birthday Card. Simple Birthday Card. Gift Wrapping
AnnieBukhman
$2.50 USD
REBECCA Leather Clutch. Black Leather Pouch. Leather Cosmetic Bag. Leather Makeup Case
REBECCA Leather Clutch. Black Leather Pouch. Leather Cosmetic Bag. Leather Makeup Case
AnnieBukhman
$94.00 USD
JANE Black Leather Clutch. Black Leather Pouch. Simple Leather Clutch. Black Leather Clutch Wristlet
JANE Black Leather Clutch. Black Leather Pouch. Simple Leather Clutch. Black Leather Clutch Wristlet
AnnieBukhman
$88.00 USD
Makeup Brush Bag. Metallic Leather Pencil Case. Leather Brush Bag. Artist Pencil Case.
Makeup Brush Bag. Metallic Leather Pencil Case. Leather Brush Bag. Artist Pencil Case.
AnnieBukhman
$68.00 USD
Leather Pencil Case. Small Leather Brush Bag. Artist Pencil Case. Small Pencil Case
Leather Pencil Case. Small Leather Brush Bag. Artist Pencil Case. Small Pencil Case
AnnieBukhman
$48.00 USD
MAE Copper Leather Wallet. Copper Leather Pouch. Metallic Leather Clutch. Rosegold Leather Clutch.
MAE Copper Leather Wallet. Copper Leather Pouch. Metallic Leather Clutch. Rosegold Leather Clutch.
AnnieBukhman
$58.00 USD
MARY Blue Leather Clutch. Metallic Leather Pouch. Navy Blue Wedding Clutch. Slim Leather Wallet
MARY Blue Leather Clutch. Metallic Leather Pouch. Navy Blue Wedding Clutch. Slim Leather Wallet
AnnieBukhman
$98.00 USD

3 Featured Comments

  • sadiedesignsca

    Sarah from CAMPandQUARRY said 4 years ago Featured

    I really appreciate your comment about trying to use the resources you have when you want something new. I think especially as makers its easy to forget sometimes the supplies we have hidden away. Digging those things out can lead to the creation of things you'd never have planned for in the first place! Great interview, Annie. Congrats on the feature!

  • Voicilesviolettes

    Voicilesviolettes from Voicilesviolettes said 4 years ago Featured

    Annie, I was so touched after reading your biography - thank you for sharing your struggles about liking what you do and not being sure sometimes. I could so identify with that. I also had very artistic family members, from way back, but for some reason, the artistic side was not validated in me when I was growing up, so it has not been easy just letting my creativity flow out. I am slowly learning to just take off the pressure, and enjoy whatever I'm creating at the moment. Your personal story has encouraged me (I'm 53 years old, so a bit behind in my artistic development!), and I think your bags are amazing! I also looked up that song by Amy Grant, and loved it! Thanks for sharing! Christina

  • EvesLittleEarthlings

    Eve Geisler from EvesLittleEarthlings said 4 years ago Featured

    I truly enjoyed all your answers. I love that your inspiration comes from colour and the fact that you look to nature to solve design problems. I have a feeling that we will be seeing your successful work for years to come. On a seperate note, a small studio space can sometimes be a blessing. It dictates a high level of organization and materials curation. Congrats on your inspiring feature!

298 comments

Sign in to add your own