Tabitha shares some insight about her label ‘Tabitha Emma’ with FK.
Explain the world of Tabitha Emma & what kind of things we can expect to discover.
It’s a world of nostalgia and whimsy, full of beautiful textiles and illustrations. It is soft youthful and feminine. You will find yourself in a world of tea parties with delicate china and scrumptious cakes, vintage lace, little birdies, owls, deer and mushrooms.
What is your background in creating and how has that shaped what you do today?
From an early age I had a keen interest in creating. My mum is an artist and she would teach my brother and I how to paint, draw, sew and make things when we were young. In high school I became interested in design and went on to study Fashion at the Whitehouse Institute of Design. Studying fashion gave me strong skills in sewing and pattern making and taught me various textile techniques that I use in my work today. Fashion illustration was also part of the course, which gave me good grounding for my illustration work. I am now studying graphic design, which has helped strengthen my visual skills.
What materials do you enjoy working with?
I love fibrous materials such as paper and fabric. I especially love old vintage and textured pieces, things with character, like a piece of vintage lace or an aged document. I also love little trinkets like buttons and other oddments.
How long have you been creating TE and how did you start?
I started the business in early 2007. I had recently graduated from Fashion College, and was looking for full time work. I had dreamed of starting my own business, but had thought I would need to get some experience in the industry first. One day I discovered Etsy, a site for selling handmade goods online. I looked into it, did some research and decided to give it a go, as it seemed an easy way to get started. I just started with a few handmade purses, which I had made years back for a high school design project, and it quickly grew.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I draw inspiration from all over the place. The designer in me is never switched off. I am always on the lookout for inspiration. I read a lot of blogs and magazines and look at things in everyday life, simple things like the texture of old posters on the street and things in nature. I also like to reflect on the past, the things I enjoyed as a child, like tea parties.
What other things are you working on and where would you like to take TE?
At the moment I am also working on a project called Forth Thread, with a friend of from Tafe. It is an aspiring creative art/design/culture zine and website, which will be used to help support emerging talent.
In terms of Tabitha Emma. I am hoping to soon work on a range involving gocco printing. I’d like to continue to expand my range of designs and also participate in more market stalls. I’d also like the opportunity to exhibit my illustration work. And maybe one day have a bricks and mortar shop of my own.