Meet the Maker: Anita Gronstedt of Gronstedt Designs.
Anita Gronstedt has lived in Colorado for 20 years. But she was born and raised in the very north of Sweden, about an hour from the Arctic Circle. The Sami people, Laplanders, are the natives of the Nordic countries. For several centuries the Sami people have made jewelry of reindeer leather, pewter and antler. Anita bases her Lapland bracelets on their traditions but uses a new technique, new designs and new colors. Each bracelet is made of high quality vegetable tanned reindeer leather, hand twinned pewter thread (nickel free) with 4% silver added to it and reindeer antler button. We're thrilled to share more about her journey.
Let's start at the beginning. When did you discover you wanted to be a jewelry designer?
Ten years ago my daughter got ill. I couldn't continue working as a graphic designer/creative director. So looking into our art cabinet I found material from back home, which is the very north of Sweden, at the Arctic Circle. I found a hide of reindeer leather, pewter and some buttons made of reindeer antler, and did a trial and error version of a bracelet that hardly held together. A neighbor who was a fashion consultant happened to see it and ordered three. I made one more and posted that single one on Etsy. A minute later my computer pinged at 1 am. It was a request from a woman in Australia for 10 more. OMG did she laugh when I told her I only made one...Well that woman had a jewelry gallery. And it's been rolling ever since.
Tell us how your upbringing in Sweden inspired your designs.
Being from the very northern part of Sweden I was growing up surrounded by the Sami culture, the natives of Sweden. As a graphic designer I always strived for simplicity. Now I'm trying to combine a more than 400 year old tradition with simplicity in design and colors.
Each of your bracelets can take anywhere from 3-10 hours to make. Do you have a process by which you begin a piece from start to finish?
Yes, since all is truly handmade from scratch, it has to follow a special order from beginning to end. For now it's a trade secret but I might start doing classes in a few years.
What is your favorite thing about your workspace?
I'm working from home and designed it to be an inspiring space no matter the weather. If inside I have huge patio doors to look out. If it's sunny and nice outside, I'll move my work to the patio.
What characteristic do you admire most in other makers?
People who really know their material and are proud of and passionate about what they do. Artisans who are striving to create their own pieces rather than copycat. That goes for displays and presentations of their work as well. It shows, and I happily support them.
We are grateful to you for bringing a piece of the Swedish Lapland here to Colorado! Don't miss these gorgeous designs at our upcoming Spring Market, June 9th and 10th at Embassy Suites, 6201 Canyon Blvd., Boulder!
See more Gronstedt Designs here: