1.4. Our People

OUR CUSTOMERS

Our customers are independent, adventure-loving women who appreciate true craftsmanship, timeless elegance, and originality. If you are an AnatolianCraft woman, you are a wholehearted, self-confident individual who lives her values. You have a sophisticated style, but you don’t fall for ever-changing trends or fads. Slow fashion is your state of mind, and you have a penchant for the eclectic. You'd rather buy fewer but better pieces, investing in handmade, refined, striking rare finds that will stand the test of time and set you apart in a sea of sameness. You don’t buy for the sake of buying. You have artistic needs. And you long for stories, for culture, for history, and the extraordinary. You care about the ingenuity and the narrative of any item that is special enough to deserve a place in your life. You are a lover of nature and animals. Before you make a purchase decision, you want to know for sure that the materials used are genuine, earth-friendly, and ethically sourced. You don't like mass-produced; you prefer artisanally-made. For you, objects are not things to consume and throw away. Instead, you seek to have a meaningful, deeper connection with what you buy and who you are buying it from. You yearn to live a soulful life, build soulful connections, and fill your life with soulful things—your very own talismans that uplift your mood and honor the unique being you are.

OUR ARTISANS

Our motto in life and business is, “A woman can transform a family, and a family can transform a community.” This is the idea we live and breathe as we grow our brand and run our business. It is an important mission of AnatolianCraft to bring as much work as possible into our community and to our local women artisans who can work from their own homes, make a good living, and be in charge of their own lives and families.⁠ We currently partner with 33 women in Eastern Anatolia and provide them with good wages. We aim to collaborate with and support 81 women artisans in all 81 cities in Turkey by next year. The value of something you wear comes from the masterful work of skilled hands. When you buy a pair of AnatolianCraft shoes, you know two things for sure: First, that you are investing in high-quality, hand-made, couture products, which will delight you for a very long time. Second, that you are investing in the economical empowerment and financial freedom of women artisans.

OUR TEAM

Bilge Can

Founder & Creative Director

Mother, architect, designer, entrepreneur. Born and raised in Istanbul, Bilge received her Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies from the Istanbul Technical University. After getting married, she and her husband, also an architect, ran their architectural firm. When her husband passed unexpectedly at an early age, Bilge devoted herself to the upbringing of her very young three children. At the same time, she worked as a real estate agent. When the children grew up into teenagers, she took a career break to focus on their education and upbringing. Bilge was ready for a new entrepreneurial adventure when her kids turned into brilliant adults. She founded AnatolianCraft in her beloved hometown in 2016 and created a successful fashion brand with raving fans across the globe. As a lifelong learner, Bilge always pursues new growth opportunities in the areas of entrepreneurship, fashion, and design. When she is not designing new shoes for her brand, you can find her immersed in testing a new baking recipe or reading a historical page-turner with a woman protagonist. 

Begüm Can Öcal

Marketing & Sales Director

Daughter, economist, brand storyteller. Begum is fluent in English, German, and in the business of storytelling. Born in the early ’90s, she graduated from St. Georg Austrian High School in Istanbul, Turkey, and then studied finance at Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien in Vienna, Austria. Upon receiving her degree, she worked for various international firms in Vienna in the hospitality and gastronomy industries. In the past, Begum used to be her mother’s right hand as the eldest of three siblings. Since 2020, she has become her mother’s biggest supporter once again—this time, as the marketing and global sales director of AnatolianCraft. With one foot in fashion and the other in finance, Begüm loves connecting with customers and helping bring timeless beauty and modern luxury to women’s lives one pair of shoes at a time. When she’s not in Vienna with her husband, you can find Begum on a plane headed to Istanbul —to visit her mother and enjoy the magical charm of the city.