Artist: Ivonne Schippers
Location: Barcelona, Spain
About the maker:
Born in The Netherlands, Ivonne Schippers moved to Barcelona in 2008 to start a new life. After working at an internet company for sometime, she decided to pursue her creativity and start something truly meaningful.
In 2012 she founded Ada Blackjack, a brand of handmade bags and leather goods.
The brand is inspired by Ada Blackjack, an Inuit woman who was the heroic and sole survivor of a two year expedition on the uninhabited Wrangel Island in northern Siberia. Ada Blackjack stands for resilience, endurance and bravery.
All Ada Blackjack goods are carefully crafted by hand using only the ﬁnest fabrics and hardware. Each item is made with great attention to detail and special craftsmanship, essential when making goods that last. The minimal designs are characterized by simplicity, timelessness and durability.
“The brand is inspired by Ada Blackjack, an Inuit woman who was the heroic and sole survivor
of a two year expedition on the uninhabited Wrangel Island in northern Siberia. Ada Blackjack stands for resilience, endurance and bravery.”
Originally from Utrecht in The Netherlands, Lucas and I moved to Spain in 2008 to start a new life together. As with every new beginning, it wasn’t an easy start; we didn’t know many people and I didn’t speak the language. After some searching, I found a job at an Internet company doing digital marketing. That experience didn’t last long, and when I finally quit, I started making knitted accessories and handbags at home.
Before I knew it, I had a small studio in our apartment. At the time, I didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted to do; I kept trying out new things. Ada Blackjack started to become something I felt more and more passionate about, so in 2012 I opened my Etsy shop and launched my brand with a small collection of totes, clutches and satchels. In the meantime, Lucas went to Stockholm for work; there, he met the designer Tobias van Schneider, who fell in love with the story behind Ada Blackjack and helped design our brand identity. Slowly, we began to collaborate and think about future projects.
A lot of our inspiration comes from the materials we work with, which are both sturdy and sophisticated. In fact, most of the products we create are items that we originally created for our own everyday use, such as our backpack and cardholders.
Our process is pretty simple and straightforward. We typically start by collecting lifestyle images we like on Pinterest. Then I use pen and paper to sketch products and make annotations on how functional details should work. After I get my supplies, I start making quick prototypes, sometimes even using cardboard to make the first samples. When I’m happy with the result, I make final adjustments using canvas and leather.