Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m Mine Kurtulmus from Istanbul. Being a fashion designer was my childhood dream — I studied fashion in high school and graduated from a textile program. I worked for big brands for several years and designed for women, kids and babies. I always wanted to make my independent designs. One day I quit my day job and began work as a freelance designer. After some time I opened LoveandDream and LoveandKnit. There are three people behind LoveandKnit: me, my mom (Naile) and my sister (Merve). You already know Merve from the photos in our shop — she is also our model.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
Creating is my full-time job and how I spend most of my time. I love traveling to different places as well as discovering what’s in my own country. I take my camera everywhere because taking photograph is my other passion. I love music (I play violin), chocolate, movies and magical moments of life.
What would be the title of your memoir? Why?
It would be Follow Your Heart, because I know I won’t regret anything as long as I listen to my heart.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Mostly it comes at unexpected times when I’m trying to sleep, while I’m listening to someone or when I’m watching my favorite TV program. My inspiration comes from the child inside me, movies (especially those by Tim Burton), the circus, vintage finds and my sister.
What does handmade mean to you?
Handmade is like giving life to an object. When you create something, it owns a piece of your soul, a piece of your feelings and taste. This is why handmade objects are precious and unique.
Who has been most influential in your craft?
I come from an artisan family. My grandfather (and his father, too) were pottery artists. I remember how much I enjoyed watching him while he gave shape to terra cotta. My mom is a pottery artist as well. My sister is a jewelry designer. The three of us were always like a crafting team, influencing one another as we worked.
When did you know you were an artist/maker?
My favorite childhood activity was sewing clothes for my dolls. It was my childhood dream to become a fashion designer. Designing was always a part of my life, and it still is.
How would you describe your creative process?
Sometimes I sketch or gain inspiration from materials. I feel like a child in a candy shop when I am in a yarn store: I want to buy everything! The process begins when I find beautiful yarn. I make the first samples for myself; I’ll never sell anything that I wouldn’t wear.
If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
The gorgeous Salvador Dali.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
It’s portrait of myself made by my mother. It is the most beautiful and precious gift that was ever given to me.
How do you get out of your creative ruts?
If I begin to repeat myself, it means I need a break to feed my artistic side. It’s not a difficult thing if you live in Istanbul because concerts, movies, exhibitions and art galleries are just outside your door.
Where would you like to be in ten years?
I want to create and make things with my hands forever. I want all my loved ones by my side and I want to know that they are happy.