Hi! I’m Christina Anton – creator, designer and maker behind Boo and Boo Factory. I make colorful and creative leather jewelry and accessories with lots of love at my home studio in Chicago, Illinois.
I graduated with an architecture degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. In architecture, most time is spent in the digital world; during my studies, I found myself wanting to reconnect with tangible objects, so I began crafting and making smaller objects for fun on the side. After undergrad, I worked as an architectural designer in various firms in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. The economy was hit hard around then, so finding architecture work became difficult. That’s when I decided to take matters into my own hands and start Boo and Boo Factory. I started my line with about 30 dollars, using the leather from skirts I found at thrift stores and the supplies I had acquired in school. It was an exciting time that forced me to think more creatively about my career.
Shortly after, I attended the Southern California Institute of Architecture. While I was there, I used my jewelry business as a hands-on creative outlet to supplement my architectural ideas. The income from Boo helped me pay for my supplies, rent and other expenses. Even though I loved experimenting with animation and cutting-edge fabrication techniques at school – like laser cutting, CNC milling, and 3d printing – I was still drawn to handmade, traditional crafts. This inspired me to take my growing jewelry business and pursue it full time after graduation.
Each one of my pieces is hand cut, hand painted, sewn and assembled in my Chicago studio. When I’m working, I like to combine different colors of leather until I find a good fit; then the design just comes to me. I am inspired by art, pattern and especially color. Throughout the years, I’ve been able to collect over a hundred different colors of leather hide. The material itself makes my imagination flow; I never sketch my ideas, instead I prefer to jump right in, combining different hides, cutting, painting and arranging as I go. I usually never know what the end result will be, which keeps the design process exciting.
I’ve been selling on Etsy since 2010, and I went full time at the end of 2013. Etsy played a large role in the success of my business, and it’s great to see how much I’ve grown since then, and how much I continue to grow. I’ve also been able to meet, converse, collaborate and work with people all around the world during my time here. It’s so exciting to know that my pieces are being worn across the globe! The Etsy community continues to inspire and motivate me – I’ve made great friends through Etsy who are amazingly supportive. In the future, I hope to continue growing my business into other product lines, get my items into more stores, increase wholesale and my overall brand awareness worldwide. The future is looking bright!
All photographs by Boo and Boo Factory.