Don your best party hat and reach for the confetti, we’re celebrating our 20 amazing years of Tatty Devine! Members of Team Tatty and Tatty fans even joined us at the Lethaby Gallery leg of our Crafts Council Misshapes: The Making of Tatty Devine touring exhibition, to wax lyrical about their all-time favourite designs, themes and how it's so much more than 'just plastic jewellery.'
Enter Marketing and Events Executive Charlotte P, who's been a regular fixture across our retail spaces for many moons, is pretty handy with the ol’ workshop pliers and a dab hand at social media. Wanna know how her Tatty Devine journey began? Let’s go!
LET’S TAKE IT FROM THE TOP! WHEN DID YOUR JOURNEY WITH TATTY DEVINE BEGIN AND WHAT WAS YOUR ROLE?
So! I first joined Team Tatty in the freezing autumn of 2011… my twin sister was Amy D’s intern and looking after the Brick Lane store at the weekends - I just wanted to be a part of all the fun, and so joined the team. As someone who scraped through college and didn’t go to university (that seemed like a big deal at the time), getting paid to talk about giant Swarovski studded lobsters and make Kate Nash cups of tea whilst she picked jewellery to take on tour felt like a real coup. I'm from a creative, fairly unconventional background: my mum worked at Tate Britain, installing *those* Damien Hirst pieces and making sure people didn’t get too drunk and fall into the art at the Turner Prize awards. She didn’t do her degree until she was 35, so I kind of felt like it wasn’t mandatory and that I could seek out a ‘different’ path to the ones suggested in Careers...
I then began assisting with social media at the start of 2012, from taking social pics to posting on the Tatty Devine Instagram, to running our Tumblr… I’d dabbled in previous jobs but this was a real opportunity to engage with & grow our community. Social media was different then - unlike now, we weren’t slaves to the algorithm and was so exciting, a real way to connect with people all over the world. Like when the internet first exploded and we were all chatting to people on AOL chatrooms, Myspace, Neopets...
We’ll fast forward through many, many years in the Retail Team: spreading the Tatty Devine love in our Brick Lane and Covent Garden stores, our super Selfridges concessions (now THAT was an adventure)… and finally, we kicked off our jewellery making Workshop Programme. Rosie and Harriet's just-make-it! attitude also applies to our team, past and present - whether we’re making ornate paper-cut window displays or whipping up the best Divine costume you ever did see. Getting out there and making with people was just so natural to us and it’s always been a part of our history, from our first ever Hen Party, to jewellery making up the Shard, on Hackney Farm, in Tate, BALTIC and CASS Arts Glasgow. That’s where I first met so many of you!
Our biggest Parakeet Necklace workshop (yet) at BALTIC, 2015.
Skip to January 2018, when the opportunity to apply for this role came up and I just went for it and here we are. My role is a combination of community management (that's me replying to your tweets and liking all those comments!), copywriting, newsletters, PR, gifting, birthday quizzes, events, partnership stuff... It’s full-on and it can sometimes seem overwhelming when you stop and think about the vast, precious 20 year history of the brand you’re looking after but it’s also really rewarding.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT WORKING IN TEAM TATTY?
That’s SO easy and yet so hard to answer: I love working with a team of people from all different backgrounds, walks of life, interests and I’ve made friends for life - both fans and colleagues. We're all very different and yet there’s something innate within us all that brought us together. Amy D and I say we can spot a ‘Tatty fan’ a mile off, it’s just so easy, they just *get it*.
Marching in Processions 2018, complete with pieces from our Museum of London and Fawcett Society collections blown up as banners!
OKAY, WHAT ARE YOUR PROUDEST MOMENTS, CHARLOTTE P?
Okay, let’s get deep: my proudest moment relates to our wonderful fans and how you interpret our pieces. For every other person who says it’s ‘just plastic jewellery’, they’re missing the point because we all know it’s so much more than that…
We encounter so many people and so many life stories through Tatty Devine, via the stores, our social media channels, over the phone and email via our wonderful Care Team. Our fans really warm to us and the way we are and how we do things - you open up and you want to share aspects of your personal life with us, usually unprompted! Whether it’s the Trapeze Necklace for your wedding day because they met their partner at a circus skills course or you just popped in for a Parakeet Necklace to wear to the funeral of someone who was ‘the ultimate free spirit’… I can honestly say we’ve been there, we understand and we don’t take it for granted. It’s a real privilege to become a part of your story and if our pieces can make you feel incredible on the best day of your life or make those terrible times a little easier, I’m very proud to play a part in that. We don’t forget all the stories shared either, they really do stay with us.
Just this week, we were crowned the joint winner in The Good Web Guide Awards’ Best Use of Social Media category, an incredible achievement and testament to our amazing community worldwide - this one's for you!
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE PIECE?
It’s interesting because some of my favourite pieces aren’t in my collection… yet! I loved the Giant Burger Necklace: the walnut wood bun is topped with Swarovski crystals masquerading as sesame seeds, for goodness sake! If I could hop in a Tatty Time Machine, I’d go straight back and nab it… Sometimes pieces just don’t grab you at the time, then 2 years later you’ll see it on Instagram or on someone walking down the street and you think, #TATTYREGRET!
My favourite piece, ever? Hmm, I was lucky enough to win the ULTIMATE prize of in Rosie and Harriet’s words, “anything you want!” at our Christmas party back in 2017. It took ages to decide but eventually, I settled on our original 2012 Parakeet Necklace in a shimmering homage to my favourite colour: orange! All the good things are, you see: Fanta, ginger cats, 70’s shag carpets and YMC fleeces… anyway, it’s pretty majestic and only swoops out for the most special of occasions.