Hello, I’m Gabriella. My partner, Adam, and I make leaf-shaped backpacks, bike messenger bags, pannier bags, and fanny packs. We run Leafling Bags from our home studio in Budapest, Hungary.
I started sewing as a hobby. In the beginning, I was using a sewing machine that I borrowed from a friend’s mother to make easy things like pillow cases. Then, when my favorite bag broke, I started playing with designs to make a replacement. That first bag was a huge success in my circle of friends, and their support and encouragement made me want to create more. At the time, owls were a big trend, and since I’m a fan of the woodland theme, I decided to make my bags in the shape of leaves.
Once I had a few designs that I was happy with, I started researching sites where I could sell them; that’s how I came across Etsy and decided to open a shop. When I started out, I didn’t have high hopes for Leafling Bags — I only had a few listings, and I considered it more of an experiment to see if people around the world would like my creations as much as I enjoyed making them. However, after my first sale, I was super motivated to create even better bags. I started playing with new fabrics and techniques and purchased some industrial sewing machines. I loved what I was doing, even when it was challenging or when I made mistakes.
Adam helped a lot with finalizing Leafling Bags’ designs and product lines. We have entire sketchbooks filled with the ideas we’ve come up with over the years. We want our product to be useful and cute; our bags are made for people who enjoy nature, biking, festivals, and life itself. Getting feedback from our customers is also really valuable to us — it helps us figure out what our target audience needs and wants.
Etsy has given us a platform to sell products that come from our heart to people everywhere who appreciate handmade goods. It also helped us achieve our dream: What started as a hobby is now a full-time business for both of us! There is so much more that we would like to do in the future, and we look forward to creating new designs and developing wholesale relationships with boutiques overseas.
All photographs by Leafling Bags.