Handmade by Gloria
Imagine a situation of ending a big chapter in your life and standing on the precipice of something new, unknown – let’s face it, we have all been there. In this particular case, we have a very creative 25-year old Ana Strnišnik who had at the time just graduated in Sociology and decided to quit illustrating a children’s magazine after 11 years. What did she do? She tried different things until she found herself in the place she already knew like the back of her hand – her father’s leather workshop. So she sat down behind a sewing machine and stubbornly went at it for hours and days, learning and making mistakes on her own, not listening to anyone.
Out of her new found joy for sewing and an unparalleled passion for all kinds of leather, came a wonderful product she calls THE BAG, and its smaller version, the mini. It’s unique, just like its creator, because like all good products she started out wanting to make something useful and nice for herself – the multi-functionality of THE BAG stems from this. You can wear it two or three different ways: as a rucksack, a shoulder bag or a computer/tote bag; changing between these she made possible by adding various adjustable straps. The other unique thing about it is that not one is the same as another. She also gives them names! So you get a bag that nobody else in the world has and it’s named something classy like Seashell, Queen, Forest or Lioness.
The reason for all this uniqueness is because Ana (or Gloria, which is her middle name and also the name of her brand) doesn’t abide trends and doesn’t like the term ‘fashionable’; what’s important to her is that the product has character. That’s actually what makes pairings between the bags and the women who wear them so special. There’s no need to add that she does everything herself, from thinking about leather combinations to the hammering of the last little rivet. She also doesn’t do orders, because she prefers to just express herself and make her own creations. This bold statement didn’t come easy for her, it took her a long time to really believe in herself – and she says you need that, even though the first thing that comes from your hands looks more like panties than a bag!
All the leather that comes into her hands is from Italy, and she is so in love with its beauty and durability that she puts most of her earnings back into the material. The praise for her work has spread mostly by word of mouth, although the brand is also present on Facebook, Instagram (search for the name in the title) and has her own website (gloriaslittleworld.com). For novelties, such as the safe bag, leather bracelets and even wallets, definitely look it up. It took a lot of courage to just drop the known and plunge head first into sewing leather, but this brave lioness is making it work, one creation at a time.
Text: Jasna Rajnar Petrović; Photos: Jasna Rajnar Petrović