The Handmade Interview: Star of the East!

We have again -in most part of Europe- another sunny weekend! These 2 words combined makes you think about the beach, and thinking about the sea, who’s better to be introduced in our weekly interview than the creative pair of mother and child made by Esther and Estella from Star of the East, Star Bags and Gifts and stars! 

1. Tells us about yourself. Where do you come from? Where do you live?

We are a mother and daughter team, Esther & Estella. Esther originally came from Spain, Madrid, but moved at the age of 17 to Holland, Amsterdam. Where I was born.

When my mother got an accident at a building site, now almost 20 years ago, she was inable to continue her work as civil engineer and had to learn to walk and live all over again.

Her love for Turkey had been there for many years and when our house sold in Holland we moved to the most south west point of Turkey, where summers are hot and long and winters rainy and mild, a tropical temperature which did her health good.

2. How would you describe your style?

We describe our work as Baroque, eclectic, exotic, anything but boring. We love to explore new materials and techniques, and having each our taste and our different ages we have a nice mix in our shop.

3. What are your main sources of inspiration? Do you have any secrets on your creative process that you can share with us?

Our main source of inspiration is nature, I know how classic that sounds but as our niche is working with sea urchins and shells, nature is also our main source of materials! We love to mix and match unusual combinations of materials, and we love to use plenty. Do not be afraid of using the unknown!

4. Has your art or craft affected your life? How?

Our work has affected our lifes enterily. This is now our only income so not only a passion but it fills our lifes and refrigrator! Everything we do is; making, creating, thinking about a new creation, finding new materials and ways to sell them too of course. It is really great to be able to live by creating, not only can we create all day, selling them is a great kick as people love your work enough to pay for what you love doing :)

5. Do you have a favorite item you have made? Tell us about it!

It is impossible to name a favorite item. We love what we do and what comes out of it. Some are more loved then others but everything that comes out of our hands is made with love, so we love the results :)

6. What is the best reaction you have gotten from your items?

We love it when people contact us full with heart warming words. Often we get to know those people a bit as they tell us stories about their lifes to explain why they were touched by our work. Such stories and words are amazing and makes our days!

7. Tell us 5 words that define you.

We are taking care of 13 dogs, all rescued from the streets or bad owners, so Dogs are definetly something that defines us.
Creating. Nature. Diligent. Stuborn :)

8. Favorite Color?, Music?, Season?, Place?

We do not really have a favorite color, we do use some colors more then others. We love to go to the seashore to collect treasures and enjoy lovely weather, which is one of our biggest luxuries of living here!

9. Share a tip with us. (Selling in Etsy, or in your expertise in your craft, or any other you want to share)

With selling online I think the best tip I can give is that you have to keep in mind that you are not selling your items, you are selling the images of the items. So take the best pictures you can, as people are not able to touch and see it for theirselves you have to be their eyes and show them every nook and corner of the item.

10. Share a wish with us.

We hope to be able to travel (having a vacation) more often, but our income is not enough yet, and for 13 dogs is not easy to find someone to take care of them for a period of time. So for the moment we will be stuck at home ;)

11. Apart from your Etsy shop, where else can we find you and your products?

We have four shops on Etsy, our jewelry shop: , bagshop: , giftshop: and supply shop:

We also have a jewelry shop on Dawanda: and also a bagshop there: and we recently opened a shop on ArtFire:

We share parts of our lifes and our creative processes on our blog:


  1. P8ronella

    great interview with the two lovely E’s !

  2. Susana

    it might snow here today and tomorrow, so seeing the beautiful pieces the sisters made truly makes me long for the Summer and the beach and all of the good things that come with it

    they’ve had such interesting lives too! and the story about their mother is inspiring, awesome interview!

    • Van

      Hihi, nice compliment to Esther ;) Esther is the mother, Estella is the child ;) big hugs Susana and keep safe and warm (here is sunny but coooollld and windy) what an envy and deliciousness to live in south Turkey!

  3. Annuk

    Great interview!!! It’s always inspiring to me to read about Esther and Estella’s beautiful success story, I find their mother-daughter team absolutely wonderful!
    I loved getting to know more about your inspiration and work! Keep the great work, girls! :)

  4. Nauli

    What a lovely interview! So nice to meet Estella and Esther here!


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