It started as a hobby but Mary Houllis Hankenhof, of Tarpon Springs, Florida, a bastion of Greek-American life, has turned her jewelry making into an online business featuring the fashion of the heritage producing it.
It began when one of her daughters couldn’t find a pair of earrings with tassels. When her mother found out, she made her own and that experience prompted her to create the handmade accessory boutique, GEMA Creatives, said the Sydney-based Greek City Times.
The name comes from the first two letters of the name of her husband Gene (GE) combined with her own, MA from Mary. It began in 2016 when she had to retire to care for her disabled mother and as she made the at-home business flourish.
Her Instagram page features the unique pieces, the paper said, and customers can ask for special pieces made for just them, choosing from tassels, marble, beads, stones, shells, and other materials that Hankenhof said inspires her to create designs not available in mass production.
Some pieces are 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.