Sometimes the same name pops up again and again on the orders we get at the Tatty Devine studio. After a couple of emails with a customer, and a phone call or two, we suddenly realise we're getting to know you!
We began to recognise Sarah O'Brien as one of our most loyal customers way back when we only took orders over the phone (yep, before the days of internet shopping). We suspected she'd built up quite a Tatty Devine collection, but we didn't realise just how big!
Sarah sent us photos of her full collection. She owns vintage pieces that even Tatty Devine designers Rosie and Harriet don't own! We had to find out more.
That's a lot of Tatty Devine! Do you know how many pieces you have?
I counted after taking the photos and it's 131 pieces! (Make that 132 as I just bought the Banana Brooch this week.)
How do you store all your jewellery?
I have one jewellery box and the rest stays in the original boxes.
How do you find a particular piece of jewellery when you need it?
It's pretty hard! I have a good memory though, so I know what I own and roughly where I will find it.
How do you decide what jewellery to wear?
It depends on the occasion. When I was at uni I would layer it and wear several bracelets and brooches at once. I have the red Tape Measure Rosette brooch and always wore it on my coat, so I would constantly have strangers stopping me in the street and asking me where it was from! It gets noticed because it is so unusual.
What are your favourite pieces of Tatty Devine?
I have so many! The Record Bag has been used on many a night out. I love my Ghost Brooch, the Peas Bracelet, the Domino Bracelet, any of the Pirate collection pieces, my Mittens Pins, and the Maze Keyring. The Horse and Carriage Necklace is stunning. The Knitted Prawn Brooch is so cute. There are also pieces I missed out on like the Cocktail Umbrella Bracelet, and others I wish I had bought like the Pearly Anchor Large Brooch or Necklace.
What else are you into apart from jewellery?
Film is my passion. I love all kinds of music, too, and I'm always going to concerts, especially Lady Gaga who I have seen seven times in the last couple of years. On her new album she has a song about a unicorn, so next on my Tatty Devine list is one of the unicorn pieces to wear when she is next on tour. She is amazing. You will also find me in museums and art galleries seeing the latest exhibitions.
Do you have any other collections?
I have a lot of original film posters and press kits. Also I loved the recent Royal Wedding and have been collecting lots of memorabilia. I got the Tatty Devine Cameo Brooch and Ring to add to it. Anytime I go to a concert I have to buy the most unusual piece of merchandise available, and so far a toothbrush at a Killers gig is in the lead!
When and how did you first discover Tatty Devine?
It was about 10 years ago when the TV programme This Morning did an item about it. I can remember seeing the Tape Measure Rosette brooches and wanting one so I went to the shop in Brick Lane and bought two of them. I also got the Plectrum and Record Bracelets at the same time, and then became a regular visitor along with my sister who also has quite a collection herself.
How would you describe your style?
I would say I don't dress over the top but my jewellery is always a statement. I can be wearing jeans and a top and then accessorise it with Tatty Devine.
Only the bear necessities for Sarah... and her Tatty Devine Record Bag, of course!
What's your favourite outfit?
For the past few months it has been a black jumper dress with a big white owl on the front. I wear it with leggings and black Ugg boots. I am in love with owls at the moment. (Owls, you say? Keep your eye on our website over the coming months, Sarah...)
What do you wish Tatty Devine would make next?
Maybe a big jewellery box for my collection? Or some watches as I have the Knitted Watch Bracelet and would love to see what you could do with designing a real working one.
And our final question: would you ever sell your collection?
I would never sell it as each piece means so much and reminds me of a great night out or a day when I wore it and it made me happy.
Thank you Sarah. We'll be sending you some jewellery to say thank you for being our Customer of the Month - it will be hard to find a piece you don't already have but we think you need a Unicorn Necklace for Lady Gaga's next tour.
If you'd like to be our Customer of the Month, here's how to get noticed: tag Tatty Devine any time you post a photo of you wearing your jewellery on Facebook (we'll ask to add you to our Fan Photos album). Or mention @tattydevine when you post photos of you wearing your jewellery on Twitter.
What do you think of Sarah's collection? Even we're jealous!