Tell us a bit about yourself (name, location,affiliations, personal stuff).
Hello! My name is Tiina and I live in a little village near Cambridge, in the UK. I come from a creative family, my little sister Heidi is an artist too!
My obsession with textiles started when I was tiny, influenced by my Mum (who used to make all my clothes). I almost didn’t follow this path though, as I found it difficult to reconcile my views on fashion with the consumerism and throw away culture of the time. I couldn’t stop thinking about making clothes though so I started a part-time degree course at the London College of Fashion. I graduate this summer! It has solidified my feelings for designing outside the fashion cycle, making garments which wear gracefully season after season.
Photography is a far more recent endeavour for me. I’m pretty much self taught, with lots of help from my partner Mike. There’s something magical about the whole process of capturing light and memories into a solid form, and I use a variety of vintage and odd cameras to help me.
What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it?
I drew designs for clothing even when I was very young. One particular dress I remember was a fabulous concoction (for the 80s) with a multitude of frills and ruffles, to be made from yellow satin and black lace. I asked my parents to buy me the fabric, even though I had no idea how to sew or draft a pattern yet. Luckily they said no!
What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?
I find a lot of inspiration in my dual heritage (half British, half Finnish). To me Finland has a special purity; a minimalism and melancholy through the landscape to the design history. The rich texture and eccentricity of life in the UK is a great contrast to this and together they balance wonderfully.
What are your favorite materials?
Fabrics of all kinds, especially natural fibres. I love the tactile quality of fabric and all the weird and wonderful things that can be done with it. Paints and dyes. Ink for drawing. Film and light.
What is your favorite color?
I’m a sucker for dusky purple, and of course warm tones of black and white.
What are your most and least two favorite films?
My childhood favourite was The Neverending Story. Delicatessen is my grown up favourite.
Any good horror films give me nightmares sadly. I wish I could watch them! They’re my least favourite just for scaring the living daylights out of me.
What are you reading right now?
I’m dipping into The Art of Manipulating Fabric by Colette Wolff, Folk Socks by Nancy Bush, and A Dyer’s Manual by Jill Goodwin, amongst others. I adore books and use the excuse that they’ll help with my college work to buy them.
Any tips on selling handmade stuff?
Listen to your instincts and follow your dreams. Give the best customer service possible!
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
I love to play Boggle with my son, and drink vast amounts of tea! I’m hoping to have more of a life after college.
How can Etsy be improved? Any feature requests?
I’d really appreciate a holiday mode for my shop. It would make getting ready to travel so much easier! A currency converter would be useful too, or anything else that makes it easier for people across the globe to buy things here.