I just love seeing what folks are collecting. I guess I feel it tells us just a little bit about what inspires them, what they love, and what they choose to surround themselves with in their homes. Today, I’m delighted to present the next in an ongoing series here on Etsy’s Blog: The Collectors. First published on my own little blog, the rikrak studio, it’s 11 and a half quick questions with a wonderful artist on what they’re collecting (apart from their art supplies!). â€¨
Gosh. I just adore a great story. And I love the tales behind handmade collections: the where did it come from; the how did it begin. You know the kind of fables I mean: a collection story that can capture our imaginations with riveting plotlines, exotic scenery, inspiring characters, all the while allowing us to escape into another world, if just for a few minutes! Now that’s a good story in my book.
Such is certainly the case with today’s beautiful handmade hats and shoes collection. Talented Belgian Etsy designer fleurfatale began her collection while on a journey to adopt a child on another continent. Each piece she gathers tells its own important tale within her inspiring and amazing life story.
Who (are you): My name is Greet Tanghe and my Etsy shop is fleurfatale.
What (are you collecting): Handmade Asian tribal children’s hats and tribal baby shoes.
When (did you start): I bought the first back in 1998 in the mountain hills of North Vietnam when I went to Hanoi for the adoption of my eldest child, Maia. â€¨
How (many do you have?): Not too many, as you only find them here in Europe in antique shops and they are quite expensive! â€¨
Where (do you find them): I brought some from Vietnam, friends bring them from their travels and my brother (who is married to a Chinese woman and lives in Beijing) gives me the Chinese ones. â€¨
Where (do you keep them): They travel around my house, changing with the seasons and my mood —â€¨sometimes I expose just one, sometimes more, in combination with my other thrifted finds.â€¨
What (‘s an interesting story behind one): I like the traditional Chinese belief behind the tiger hats and shoes: Chinese parents believe that these tigers protect the little babies and kids from any danger.
What (piece would you like to add): I saw some very cute antique tiger boots in a shop in Bruges, but they were very expensive!
Why (do you love them): I was touched by the beautiful handiwork of the women in the hill tribe Hmong (North Vietnam), from which my daughter originates. I love the embroidery, the lively colors, the use of fabric scraps and thrown away materials. â€¨
Which (one is your favourite) & why: The hat with the bells and the blue cat shoes with embroidery on the bottom. â€¨
What (else do you collect): I also collect vintage buttons, miniature teapots, vintage wallpaper and all kind of vintage findings that I can reuse in my jewelry work.
Thanks so very much for sharing your wonderful story, fleurfatale. Like her beautiful collection, fleurfatale’s own fabled handmade jewelry boutique captures our imaginations, each piece telling a story rich in whimsical artistry. Be sure to visit her inspiring blog for a delightful trip into her world.
How about you? Have a great collectors story? What do you collect? I’d love to hear. Please post in the comments below.