On Thursday I attended my first Design Council Take 5 Talk to hear Harriet Vine share five insights, and answer five questions for £5 (you see how the name came about).
I discovered Tatty Devine about seven years ago when a colleague in my office was wearing the classic trapeze necklace and I promptly went online and ordered a load of shiny Tatty bling.
I’d read a few interviews in the past with Harriet and Rosie but otherwise I didn’t know too much about them personally, or how they had come to grow the business.
Not only was it really inspiring to hear the history of their friendship and the start of Tatty Devine, but it was just so joyous to see how genuinely excited and passionate Harriet is about what she does. At one point I realised I’d stopped taking notes because I was so engrossed in her stories!
I won’t list each and every thing that Harriet shared, but I did love hearing about her inspirations – how her mother was a couture dressmaker and her father a carpenter so she grew up with them always making; how at the Chelsea School of Art she learnt that being an artist didn’t mean you had to be good at drawing; her trips in her campervan (“Going outside of London is like closing my eyes. You know how people close their eyes when they’re trying to do a hard sum. It helps me work out what I want to make next, why I’ve fallen in love with certain things and ideas…”).
It was also lovely to hear about her friendship with co founder Rosie Wolfenden, whom she met at Chelsea School of Art, and how they’ve grown up together, finishing each other’s sentences and building on ideas and plans together.
For those who don’t know, Tatty Devine came about as, after graduation, they started making jewellery to sell at markets. Harriet found bin bags full of upholstery cuttings on the street, dragged them into the flat and they worked together making leather cuffs. It was only a few months (oh, and a feature in Vogue magazine) before they found themselves selling to high end retailers like Harvey Nicholls.
They also made name necklaces for friend’s birthdays and as gifts, and more and more people kept asking for them. The necklaces became a key feature of the business, and are still their biggest seller today.
The talk ended with a wonderful William Morris quote (almost shown on the picture below) that you can tell truly embodies how Harriet, Rosie and Tatty Devine work:
The secret of true happiness lies in the taking an
interest in all the details of daily life.
It was a brilliant evening. It really made me love Tatty Devine all the more, and I’ll definitely be signing up to more Design Council Take 5 Talks in the future.
Tatty are celebrating their 15th birthday this year so have brought 15 classic pieces back to the shop. I’ve had my eye on a Rabbit in a Hat necklace for years so we all know what I’m getting for MY birthday.
Harriet and Rosie have also been doing numerous super interviews, so do some Googling and get inspired!
Latest posts by Jen Wright (see all)
- House of Illustration (and a cheeky giveaway) - October 3, 2014
- Take 5 Talk with Harriet Vine, Creative Director of Tatty Devine - September 30, 2014
- Inky Interview: Francois Schlebusch, Bon Soaps - September 23, 2014