Pioneer Profile - Erica Verges & Anna Zietz

Erica Verges met Anna Zietz while the two were working service industry jobs in Atlanta - Erica at Victory Sandwich Bar and Anna at Krog Bar in Atlanta’s Inman Park. An experienced seamstress, Erica had been collecting and selling vintage items and tinkering with making leather goods when the two met by chance. They were fast friends, and soon Erica asked Anna to partner up on her new leather goods business. She agreed, having just finished design school at the Portfolio Center and looking for a fresh challenge. Taking inspiration from an E.E. Cummings poem, Glad and Young Studios was born.

“you shall above all things be glad and young

For if you’re young,whatever life you wear

it will become you;and if you are glad

whatever’s living will yourself become...”


Experience in the leather industry has been hard-won. Although Erica is a veteran seamstress, neither she nor Anna have been trained in leather working. It’s taken grit to get where Glad & Young is today. Most of the leather industry is dominated by old men who are loathe to give up secrets, but many hours of YouTube videos and a few good samaritans (as well as a bunch of creativity and a badass, get-it-done attitude) have turned Glad & Young Studios into a growing force within the artisan community, not to mention one of the only women-run leather workshops in the country. Their focus is on crafting quality works of art that will be functional forever, and lots of folks are starting to notice. Today you can find Glad & Young products in seven stores in Georgia, Tennessee, and South Carolina, as well as seeing and shopping the entire line on their website.

The growing success of Glad & Young doesn’t mean they aren’t still bootstrapping their way through the maker world. Each one of their pieces is still handmade, dyed, and painted by Erica and Anna.
If you’re in the market for a handcrafted leather bag, go get one from Glad & Young, and hurry up before everyone else has one.


Until next time,

John - Founder, IGWM


Pioneer Selects: Erica Verges and Anna Zietz

Currently Reading: 
E - “I’m still working on Harry Potter
A - “We don’t have a lot of time to read, but we listen to a ton of podcasts.”

Currently Listening: 
A - “Homecoming was REALLY good, and I think we both listen to The Daily every single day.”
E - “I listen to Lore to scare myself in Anna’s basement.”

Current Inspiration: 
E - “Shapes. Interior design is big for me.”
A - “I’m constantly inspired by travel.”

Favorite IGWM product: 
A - Mini Copper Indian Coin Ring
E - Chill Out sweatshirt