Don your best party hat and reach for the confetti, we’re celebrating twenty years of Tatty Devine and as you might just agree, our talented team is vital in the development, making, fulfillment, wholesale and retail... As part of our touring Crafts Council Misshapes: The Making of Tatty Devine exhibition, we hosted talks from members of Team Tatty and fans alike but they’re just too good to not turn into blogs for everyone to enjoy!
So, first up: Brand and Sales Manager Amy D! With a penchant for car boot sales, Ferrero Rocher and Rose Gold mirror acrylic, Essex native Amy can sometimes be found behind the counter in our Brick Lane and Covent Garden stores, flying the Tatty Devine flag at trade shows and wow-ing the team with pieces from her very own Tatty Devine archive. Having first joined Tatty Devine a whole 12(!) years ago, she’s forged her way through many, many areas of the business and we thought it was about time she told her story.
LET’S TAKE IT FROM THE TOP! WHEN DID YOUR JOURNEY WITH TATTY DEVINE BEGIN AND WHAT WAS YOUR ROLE?
Are you sitting comfortably? Ok, so I started working for Tatty Devine way back in 2007 as what was supposed to be a temporary press intern position for six weeks…. 12 years later I’m now Brand and Sales Manager. I always knew I wanted to work for someone indie, someone authentic, a brand that was inherently cool and Tatty Devine was it!
Don't mind me, just layering a Moustache Necklace and a classic Name Necklace!
When I joined, the original store at 236 Brick Lane (where we’re still based today) had just had a makeover complete with a pink glitter floor and rainbow shop keys, it was just so exciting to work in a such a fun and fancy new office. Anyway, after six weeks, I just knew I belonged at Tatty - and luckily so did everyone else! At the time, there were three other Amy's here and so Rosie christened me ‘Amy D’ and it’s stuck forever. I tried a little work experience at a newspaper for two days but being surrounded by portraits of Rupert Murdock just wasn’t for me and I came back to Tatty pretty sharpish!
In June 2007, Rosie offered me a part-time role as a press assistant and I was also the Sunday shop girl selling what felt like hundreds of Moustache Necklaces, Ric Ric Bracelets, and Cartoon Eye Rings for a few years. I was working at Tatty during my third year and final year of university, splitting 3 days at Tatty with 4 days at uni and loved it - it didn’t seem too much, I was working hard but also learning so much and having a lot of fun. Oh, and I got a 1st Class degree, weee!
Fast forward to January 2009 when I became Press Manager and immediately took on two HUGE projects: celebrating 10 years of Tatty Devine and opening our store in Covent Garden. Have you got a copy of our MISSHAPES: The Making of Tatty Devine Book? You can spot me in the parade sporting a giant glitter heart from our old Soho space to 44 Monmouth Street - we didn’t ask permission from anyone, we just stopped the traffic and off we went!
I went on to wangle lots of exciting coverage, including getting the Tiger Necklace on the front cover of the Sunday Times STYLE Magazine, Karlie Kloss shot by Mario Testino in the Posie Statement Necklace for a vintage-inspired British Vogue editorial, Miley Cyrus and Lil’ Kim hanging out and sharing the Eyelash Sunglasses on IG and Katy Perry in the Lolly Necklace.
In 2012 we expanded into Selfridges and Dublin's BT2, and being a people person that loves our team and the brand, it was natural for me to move into Retail Management and help with the openings across the UK and manage a team of 20+ across 5 Tatty Devine sites, plus all the pop-ups and events in between. Phew!
Whipping up charm bracelets after installing the stand at Dublin's BT2!
2015 saw my role encompass Wholesale too, then last year I became Brand and Sales Manager, which if I HAD to explain in 10 words would be something like, “be the Tatty Devine oracle, supporting the team where needed.”
One of my favourite parts is working with all the cultural spaces, museums of galleries, including Tate, the Lethaby Gallery, Design Museum and also collaborative partners such as Peanuts and imminently, Moomins! Every day is different, I never really know what’ll suddenly appear in my inbox, be it requests from potential partners and charities to varying ideas and projects Rosie and Harriet are cooking up.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT WORKING IN TEAM TATTY?
The friendships made: we are totally 100% there for each other, zero judgement, I mean it! We have each other’s backs no matter what and people who’ve moved on are still our pals. Our ‘girl gang’ encompasses customers, neighbours, collaborators - everyone! We count husbands, boyfriends, mums, and dads as friends, too. There are always new adventures to be had and you never know what Rosie and Harriet are going to tackle next. It’s never a case of giving something 'a go', we make it happen!
OKAY, WHAT ARE YOUR PROUDEST MOMENTS, AMY D?
This is SO hard to answer so let’s work backwards… It’s been such a joy to celebrate our 20th birthday this year and our Misshapes: The Making of Tatty Devine exhibition is definitely key. From the private view the night before it opened at the Lethaby Gallery when we finally got to celebrate with 20 years of friends and family, to Hollie’s incredible work - hand bending every single stand, to Harriet stickering the bench with hundreds of individual Tatty Devine price tickets, to Charlotte and I unpacking the giant jewellery and seeing ourselves splashed all over the paper carrying the lobster through the fountains in Granary Square!
As for a couple of vintage highlights, I love, love, loved hosting the Pearly Kings and Queens party in our Brick Lane store in 2009, showcasing Harry Dutton’s photographs of Pearly royalty, with proper singalongs and £1 per piece sold from our Button Up collection was donated to support the Pearly Kings and Queens Association!
Here we go, our annual Sample Sales! They take months of hard work, meticulous planning and organising - I hand price everything (that’s thousands of pieces!) and then it just happens and it brings us all together as one, both fans and Team Tatty. Reading the comments on social media afterwards is so, so powerful, especially when our fans tell us they made friends in the queue who helped them find the exact necklace they were looking for. That makes the sleepless nights so worth it!
Stacks of popcorn ready for our super Sample Sale-rs!
Our Vital Arts Kaleidoscopic Reflections installation at the Royal London Hospital was such an incredible project: 36 pots of paint + 3,688 laser cut bones = 10 very late nights. You can spot a couple of the pieces in the exhibition and it just brings it all back to me: sitting on the floors peeling and sticking and cleaning until it all came together! We take the traditional themes in jewellery design and turn them on their head, we don't think like fine jewellers: when the Southbank Centre requested Christmas trees you could ‘see from outer space’, Harriet rose to the challenge with oversized foamboard ornaments taken from our Classic collection. When the Greenwich Peninsula’s NOW Gallery wanted a Christmas tree, Rosie pitched up with a star arch, a statement about unity, love, and joy! Mmm, I’m getting festive thinking it all, Harriet worked so hard - sometimes through the night to make them happen and I can’t wait to see what’s up her Santa sleeve this year!
LET’S GET SERIOUS: WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PIECE?
Oh yes, it’s got to be the Paisley Rose Brooch and Earrings from AW12, My mum and I still fight over them… They’re laser cut in glossy black acrylic, etched and hand inked with metallic gold paint and just COVERED in rainbow Swarovski crystals. I remember watching Amy Newman glueing all the crystals on them and just being in awe of her talent. Team Tatty all have a special connection with the jewellery as its been made by our friends, we know exactly who did what to make them exist and as a result, we really take care of our pieces!
I know it’s about as edgy as a satsuma but I’m a Mighty Boosh fan, and I remember the exact moment Noel Fielding wore the Feather Necklace from AW08 on Top Of The Pops. I was watching it in the living room with my mum and dad and as soon as I saw it I just went WILD, they didn’t really understand what was going on but it was so incredible to see someone really cool wearing *our* jewellery on TV. Noel actually gave my dad a goth makeover on stage at a charity event but that’s another story for another day… I might divulge all if you catch me in-store, but don’t even think about playing your love games with me!
Everybody in the world should have a Tatty Devine Name Necklace, they’re personalised, there are hundreds of options, they’re so easy to wear over and over, they’re a bestseller for a reason!
WHAT DOES TATTY DEVINE MEAN TO YOU?
Love! That’s it in one.