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Real Life

Woman left her job to Run a Business of Gorgeous Handmade Embroidery
This artist from Istanbul is living her dream as she decided to quit a 15-year-old job to follow her passion of handmade embroidery.

This artist’s handmade embroidery inspired by nature will leave you mesmerized!

Handmade embroidery has always been greatly valued. A few decades ago, it was a practice-for-maidens. However, with time, the human race has evolved and it is very hard today to find something hand-woven, thanks to the growing age of industrialization.

Handmade Embroidery

Hand Embroidered buttons with nature-inspired designs. (Source : Defne Gunturkun)

In times like these, Defne Gunturkun‘s crafts are here to provide you all the right 19th century vibes! She doesn’t just make simplistic handmade pieces of embroidery but puts her unique touch in every single piece she creates.

Yes, she is no normal artist; she is someone who combines nature with her passion and the end results are gorgeous nature-inspired fabric designs for you to drool over!

Handmade Embroidery

Defne’s collection of different badges reflecting her love for nature. (Source : Defne Gunturkun)

She has an applaudable 15-years experience with designing fabric patterns and experimenting with colors.


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She said, “I have great knowledge when it comes to dealing with color combinations and exploring different kinds of plants. So illustrating them has been helping me a lot with my embroideries.”

Handmade Embroidery

A plant-themed embroidery design in process. (Source: Defne Gunturkun)

You will observe a lot of plant-based embroidery in her work. The way she captures the soul of the particular plant is pretty astonishing. The best part is that it’s all natural: the fabric, the plants, the passion and pure hard work.

Defne is from Istanbul, where she got her Bachelor and Master degrees in Arts. However, this was not her original plan for life.

She started off as a science student. She even got admission in a Biology program in one university but after a year of uncertainty, she changed her path.

Defne said, “I quit Biology. Because I was certain that it will make me very unhappy in the long run and I need to study art.  Which was the best decision of my life. After which I got into Mimar Sinan Fine Arts university.”

Handmade Embroidery

The artist embroiders letters with beautifully combined colors . (Source : Defne Gunturkun)

After getting her degree, she worked as a designer for different textile companies. However, this too left her unsatisfied. She felt like she was capable of doing so much more than just taking care of someone’s day to day orders.

Her great breakthrough came when she opened an art studio with one of her best friends, where she would work on weekends. There, she eventually discovered her true self!

Handmade Embroidery

Defne’s den aka her workplace. (Source : Defne Gunturkun)

Soon, Defnse quit her job and started doing freelance textile designing. Within these eight years, she learned to do handmade embroidery.

Defne talked about the highlights of her journey, “I used to make some embroidered portraits in the beginning when I first started and I went back to that recently. Improved my style and combining my botanical designs with them.”

“I prefer to see my needle and thread as pencil, illustrating directly on fabric. So it is a freestyle embroidery, sometimes combined with details of traditional techniques.”

Handmade Embroidery

Defne working in her studio, making embroidered masterpieces. (Source : Defne Gunturkun)

As soon as an idea pops in her head, she gets down to work, letting her instincts and feelings guide her through. The source of her inspiration is the world around her.

She said, “I can’t just name one thing as an inspiration. All the things I see, observe, process, the books I read, a movie I watch makes me wanna do what I do.”

Defne has an art studio in the historic district in downtown, Istanbul. This is where she spends most of her time. Currently, she is running a small business through a website where she sells her embroidered artwork.

Handmade Embroidery

Some of her breathtaking pocket-sized embroidery. (Source : Defne Gunturkun)

“My dream is to keep creating one of a kind pieces and share them with the people around the world.”

Not all people are able to find their passion, let alone making a life out of it. Defne is the perfect embodiment of someone who followed her heart. And today, here she is, creating masterpieces for the world, all in one life!

Changing the course of your life is nothing less than lifting a bus on your bare shoulders and requires a strong sense of bravery. Way to go, Defne!


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