Meet Steph Fox and her mum, Cath. We feel personally proud of Steph, because she started her career with an internship at Tatty Devine, and now she's the Online Shop Assistant at Tate.
We've wanted to feature Steph as our Customer of the Month for a while, but we chose this month because we've just created a new special collection for Tate Shops. The Tate is a British institution, which you probably think of as huge, as big as the famous Turbine Hall at Tate Modern. But behind all the art are great people like Steph making everything happen. And behind all the great people like Steph, are great mums like Cath!
Steph has a fantastic fox/scarf combination in this photo.
We took a peek into both their lives... and their jewellery collections.
When and how did you both discover Tatty Devine?
Cath: We first discovered Tatty Devine when the plectrum jewellery was featured in You magazine. We went up to visit the shop (small and ‘tatty’ in those days) to buy Steph’s first piece of jewellery for her birthday. I think it was her 16th.
Steph: It was a plectrum bracelet - still a fave! I remember it really vividly because it was the only one in the shop with a tortoiseshell plectrum on it, so I thought it was super special.
Cath: I think I bought the fried egg brooch then too.
We've just recreated the Fried Egg Brooch. It was first made in 2003, so that's probably when you visited. Here's the new version:
And when did you do your internship with us, Steph?
Steph: It was in the summer of 2008, after my second year studying product design at uni.
What do you remember from your internship?
Steph: The best fun! All the interns and the team had lunch together every day, so you really got to know everyone and learn about all aspects of the business. Even the ‘Friday Tidy’ was fun - the music was blasting and everyone was chatting about their weekend plans…
It hasn't changed much! What does your new job at Tate involve?
Steph: I’m the online shop assistant - it’s a really varied role which I love. I work on everything from loading products to the site, to social media and marketing, to finding new limited edition prints to sell as online exclusives.
How did you get your job? Did internships help?
Steph: I started at Tate in customer service, then when my current job became available I applied and was lucky enough to get it. As well as my placement at Tatty Devine I’ve done a few others, and I think they are really great for helping you clarify your interests and learn more about the opportunities available.
What advice would you have for anyone starting out in the creative industries?
Steph: Hunt down opportunities, and be open to all of them! I didn’t know that a job like mine even existed when I was at uni, but now I love it! Think about people you admire, and see what you can learn from them - be bold and ask for their tips and advice, the worst they can do is say no, but I bet you’ll be surprised at how many say yes.
Cath, what do you do?
Cath: I now work for Lewisham Education Authority as a governors’ clerk – but BC (before children) I was a forensic scientist. It all contributes to an eclectic life.
Are there any stories about your amazing surname, Fox?
Cath: Fox is a great surname isn’t it? Even though lots of people have it. People enjoy spotting all the fox items we have around the house: door knocker, doormat, lampshade, Fantastic Mr Fox picture… one of the displays even features the Tatty Devine fox jewellery!
Do you borrow each other's Tatty Devine?
Steph: I wouldn’t mind swapping, but I think we’ve chosen quite different pieces. I’m jealous of mum's mini Gilbert and George Glasses Necklace, though, so perhaps I should borrow them more often.
Do you both want the same pieces, or are your tastes different?
Steph: When we dug out our collection to take these pics, I noticed that mum's gone for the big, bold statement pieces in greys and silvers and blacks, and my collection's much more higgledy piggledy - I just buy whatever captures my imagination!
Steph's collection is on the left, Cath's on the right[/caption]
Cath: On the whole we haven’t gone for the same Tatty Devine items although I loved the silver shoes series. We got Stephanie the ruby slippers pair for her 18th birthday (red sparkly was a theme of hers long before it was everywhere). At the time it seemed wrong to get a pair for me just for fun – but I sometimes wish I had. In particular, I think there was a leopard print pair?
This was one of our favourite ever collections, too. We made solid silver shoe necklaces and earrings in coloured enamel. There was no leopard print, but the tiger print came in two colours:
And this was the red glitter colourway you bought for Steph:
Are there any other brands or styles which you're both a fan of?
Cath: We’ve both been fans of Office shoes over the years – though I can only dream about wearing the shoes Stephanie does! And I seem to have passed on my love of magazines to Steph. And of course we both love Rob Ryan who we found out about through his association with Tatty Devine.
How would you each describe your style?
Cath: Accessories are very important in my style and I have scarves, bags and jewellery ranging from the classic to the quirky. My wardrobe staples are white or pale coloured t-shirts with trousers and bright-coloured cardis and jackets which I’ll then accessorize according to my mood. It's great fun.
Steph: I wish I had a more defined personal style, but I think I’m still playing and learning what works.
Steph, are you inspired by your mum's style?
Steph: My best friend always says my style is ‘all about the accessories’ so perhaps I’m inspired by her more than I realise! We have lots of things that are different, but I’m ALWAYS asking to borrow bits and pieces that she has… Mum’s a great collector, and buys lots of beautiful things just because she LOVES them, so its great to be able to take advantage of that.
What are your favourite Tatty Devine pieces?
Steph: My red sparkly shoes were for my 18th birthday so they’re pretty special... My red glitter Name Necklace is very precious too as I begged you to make it for me while I was an intern, and it was the first glitter red name necklace you ever did! I wear those two lots, but recently I’ve been wearing my Will and Kate Cameo Pendant to death!
Steph in her red glitter Name Necklace on her 21st birthday.
Steph serves up Royal Wedding cupcakes in her Cameo Pendant.
How do you store your jewellery?
Cath: Some of my jewellery (when I’m not wearing it) is kept in boxes in drawers, but as you can see from the pictures lots of it is proudly displayed around our house! It has always been my intention to get a wall cabinet of some sort so I can display all my collections – I’m still looking.
We've got a new special collection coming out at Tate, inspired by colour theory. What's your favourite piece, Steph?
Steph: I love the Colour Theory Bangle. The combination of clear and coloured acrylic feels really unusual. I loved it as soon as I saw the sample!
What would you get your mum from the Tate collection?
Steph: I can definitely imagine her wearing the Colour Spot Charm Bracelet. It's bright and fun, but she could still wear it to work.
What do you each wish Tatty Devine would make next?
Steph: I’ve just come back from a trip to Las Vegas, where I visited the Neon Boneyard. It’s a scrapyard full of old Vegas lights, from the 50’s to the present day. I'd love to see Tatty Devine’s take on the bright lights of Sin City. And another range for Tate of course!
We'll get working on it, Steph! In the meantime, we're sending you and your mum a piece of jewellery each to say thank you for being our Customer of the Month. Let's see - red glitter for Steph, silver mirror for Cath, right?
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. Or mention @tattydevine when you post photos of you wearing your jewellery on Twitter.