CUSTOMER OF THE MONTH: TAMSIN HARTNELL 28.10.11
"My name is Tamsin and I am a Tatty Devine addict, that’s probably the best place to start."
"I’ve recently moved from Somerset to North London where I currently reside with another Tatty Devine obsessive. I’m 26 years old (eek that is really scary) and I work in PR."
You might recognise Tamsin from our Facebook page (never has one girl tagged so many photos with those two magic words, Tatty Devine). Tamsin's one of those disciplined/addicted people who takes a photograph of what they're wearing every day. We've watched her progress from front room snapshots to London girl-about-town albums, and having got to know her through photos (and the occasional visit to our Brick Lane shop), we wanted to get to know the girl herself.
Hi Tamsin. How and when did you first discover Tatty Devine?
I am a mega fan of the electro girl band Robots in Disguise. I discovered Tatty Devine after I saw the necklace which was inspired by their excellent single The Tears. When I found out you had your own range of name necklaces I was hooked.
What are your favourite pieces of Tatty Devine?
All the pieces in my collection are all really special to me in their own way. One of my most recent items is the Good Morning necklace, which was given to me as a leaving present from the wonderful people I worked with in my last job. I also adore my Great Bear Brooch!
How would you describe your style?
Eclectic on a budget! I love to blend vintage and high street, I don’t own any designer clothes. I was raised by fashionistas, both my parents are St Martin’s School of Art graduates, so from an early age I was encouraged to develop my own sense of style. Accessories have always been key for me. For instance when I was much younger I’d never go to playgroup without having the right colour shade bangles to match my outfits. I also have a rather impressive collection of hats, which range from a late 19th century top-hat, to bobble hats, and of course my Topshop bowler, which is definitely one of the best things I ever bought in a sale.
You often post photos on Facebook of what you're wearing. When and why did you start doing this?
I originally started posting the daily pictures for a project I was putting together, which dealt with the idea that within the workplace it’s often difficult to assert your own personality in terms of dress. It’s easy to fall into a uniform. By focusing on my own tastes I wanted to show that you could still inject flare and your own individual sense of style into everyday work wear. After that it sort of snowballed...
Is this a daily routine?
In the beginning it was, yes. I wanted to showcase a different outfit every day. I also attempted to demonstrate how you could re-use pieces to create different looks, and give the appearance of updating your wardrobe.
Has posting photos of your outfits changed your style in any way?
Yes, definitely. It's led me to experiment much more with my fashion choices. I’ve also learned more about my body shape. My confidence has also grown massively with all the positive feedback I’ve received.
Do you realise you've become a bit famous among Tatty Devine fans?
Infamous perhaps! If that is true then all I can say is that I feel very honoured, as all the Tatty Devine fans are so unique and inspiring.
We feel like we've seen your style change and develop over time. How do you think your style has changed?
Well, I’ve been encouraged to push the boundaries a bit with my own sense of personal style. I’m not sure it’s always worked, but in the future I’d rather look back at a million pictures of me getting it wrong but having a go, than think I just looked really boring.
What are you into at the moment, stylewise?
I’m constantly on the hunt for vintage. I am now completely mental for all the pop-up shops in Shoreditch, since my flatmate Lu introduced them to me a couple of months ago.
What’s your favourite outfit?
That would probably be the Topshop cream floral print summer dress, which I teamed with a vintage yellow and white polka-dot blazer I got in a market in Shoreditch. With this outfit I wore some purple tights from New Look, and a pair of imitation Ray Bans which I bought for £15.
Do you know how many pieces of Tatty Devine you have?
I believe I have around 15 pieces, a mixture of necklaces, brooches and hair clips. I am however now living with another avid Tatty Devine collector, Lu, so our stashes have grown exponentially. We have the habit of buying a lot of the same items, but in different colours.
How do you store your jewellery?
I always read the information about caring for the jewellery. I store each of my pieces in their original boxes. [Tamsin scores extra brownie points with us for this!]
What else are you into apart from fashion?
I am a massive geek. I read History at university and I am planning to get a license for mudlarking [scavenging for historical objects in river mud]. I am also attempting to break into solo stand-up. Currently I’m working on lots of new material. And I am bravely attempting to have a go at NaNoWriMo (wish me luck). I love music as well. Although I play the recorder and the clarinet, I mostly enjoy watching bands perform. One of my favorite bands at the moment is Kitty, Daisy & Lewis.
What do you wish Tatty Devine would make next?
That’s a really hard question. I’d love to see Tatty Devine’s take on Tamara de Lempicka. That or flashing name necklaces, so I’d finally get my name in lights.
Thank you Tamsin. It's been brilliant finding out more about the girl behind the pictures. Rosie loves Kitty, Daisy & Lewis too, and we all love the idea of mudlarking. Let us know what you find when you get your license... There's no need to scavenge for your next piece of Tatty Devine, though - we're sending you some jewellery to say congrats on being Customer of the Month.
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.