Hello and welcome!
My name is Ekaterina Gakman, I live in St.-Petersburg, Russia and I've been creating stuffed toys since I was 5 years old.
Not one of the first, but sometime in 2011
Since 2008, when I was 18, I started to work in mixed techniques (stuffed toys with solid parts). My first steps were hard. I lived in a small Siberian town in those days and didn’t have the right tools and materials. I even didn’t have internet access at home, so I also didn’t have a chance to find any tutorials or list some useful information about the creating process. However, I had two hands, a passion of my life, and lots of free time, so I started to learn and invent myself.
In 2012 I finally moved to St.-Petersburg, the second biggest in Russia and one of the most beautiful cities in the whole world. It was my dream since childhood when I was in St.-Petersburg on vacation.
St.-Petersburg, the city of great Russian writers and poets, such as Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Vladimir Nabokov, Alexander Pushkin, and many others. This city gave me so much inspiration! Even now, many years after it still inspires me every single day and helps to stay creative.
Also, living in a big city granted me access to stores with high-quality materials and a chance to participate in local fests, which helped me find many new admirers of my work.
In 2013 I already had lots of customers from the different parts of Russia. And in early 2015, the first creature was shipped overseas, and it was Germany, by the way.
Spotty Kitten, 2016
Spotty Kitten, 2014
By the end of 2019, I have already made and shipped over 1300 creatures all over the world. There is at least one of my creatures in each country of Western Europe and almost in each state of the US.
It’s been a long time now, and I’ve improved my skills incredibly since then, but the basic concept is still the same. I don’t make stuff for the mass market. All of my creations are completely hand-made, which means that each of them is hand-sculpted, hand-sewn, and hand-painted, so every single creature is truly unique. Yes, it slows the creating process dramatically, but it’s the only way to stay authentic, keep the product's superb quality, and be ready for custom commissions.
Many of the creatures in my shop were originally requested by clients as the custom order. I highly appreciate my customer’s creativity which also helps me make new beautiful creations.
Night Kittens, 2017
So if you have some thoughts and want me to create a creature based on your ideas or personal design (or resemble an already existing character you like and have a picture of it), please feel free to contact us and ask any questions.