Greek American mum turns her hobby into a business

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By Athena Mavromatis 

She’s not just a regular mum; she’s a creative mum! Greek-American small business owner Mary Houllis Hankenhof turned her jewellery making hobby into a successful business when one of her daughters went on a hunt for the perfect pair of earrings with tassels. When Mary heard she was unable to find what she was looking for, she took matters into her own hands (literally) and simply made it herself!

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It was from this day that the busy mum turned her hobby into an online handmade accessory boutique, GEMA Creatives. The name “GEMA” derives from the first two letters of her devoted husband Gene (GE), and the first two letters of her name, Mary (MA). It’s safe to say that with the accessory needs of her daughters and the love and support from her husband, GEMA Creatives definitely derived from the importance of family and the love received by them.

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GEMA Creatives was established in 2016 when Mary had to retire early in order to assist her disabled mother. Being retired resulted in boredom, which made her pick up some materials and start crafting glamorous goods! With the excitement of how great her daughter’s desired earrings turned out and the boredom of retirement, GEMA Creatives finally became established in 2016.

Her Instagram page features all of her colourful, bold, unique pieces, which is also the best social media platform you can order from, as well as connect with Mary. Customers are also able to place custom orders where they can design with Mary exactly what they want. The materials used in her creations range from vibrant tassels, marble, beads, stones, shells, and the list continues as Mary gets inspired everyday! It is the materials used that Mary feels sets her apart from other jewellery and accessories brands/stores.

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The e-commerce shop owner hopes that her carefully hand-crafted pieces continue to sell and for GEMA Creatives to continue to grow to its’ fullest potential.

Some of the pieces are already stocked at Ella’s Boutique in downtown Tarpon Springs, as well as Shell Shop located at the Sponge Docks in the heart of  Tarpon Springs’ Greek town.

GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.