My name is Guliz Mustafaoglu, and I’m the designer of the jewelry brand Yuka. I live in Istanbul, Turkey with my husband, Sinan. I work in a small studio showroom close to my home.
I’ve always been creative. I studied cinema at university, and afterward I went to London to study art direction for film. When I came back to Turkey I worked as a freelance art director for seven years; I was also designing jewelry for myself using polymer clay and stones.
I opened my Etsy shop in 2009; Etsy gave me courage to design more. I furthered my creativity by attending a metalsmith workshop so I could start using brass, bronze and silver. Two years ago, I quit my day job and opened my studio.
I’m inspired by nature and my experiences. When I design, I like thinking about the collection as a whole, as opposed to individual pieces. I make some of my collections using wax models and some with traditional techniques.
What I like most about Etsy is that it gives me an opportunity to share my work all over the world. I’m able to communicate directly with my customers and learn their needs. I wouldn’t have met so many lovely people without Etsy, and I’m thankful for that.
My goal for next year is to participate in different shows and fairs around Europe and the US; the first one on my mind is Maison Objet in Paris, which will help me gain exposure in the international wholesale market. I hope that Yuka will known to people all over the world!
Maker portrait by Beste Zeybel, process photos by Yuka.