TIA came to visit us at the SilkFred HQ a couple of weeks ago to talk about her much anticipated new collection, her recent travels that have inspired its creation and to fill us in on how a hobby turned into a successful career path.
Her new range has been crafted blending exquisite materials, gorgeous prints and easy to wear cuts. She has designed her AW16 collection to be wearable any time of the year, making the clothes versatile and neutral pieces that will see you through all different seasons.
– Do you remember where you were when you decided to set up your own business?
I was in Goa when I first decided to set the business up. I’d moved back to India, after graduating in London with a BA in Interior Architecture, to work with a design firm here in Goa but they then decided they wanted me to go to Mumbai. I’d just left a city and really didn’t want to go back to living in one.
I’d been travelling around India a bit and had really become interested in the textiles and had collected some on my travels. When I got back to Goa I was making clothes for myself but people began asking me where they were from and were really keen on buying my designs. So I produced a few pieces and sold them on ASOS marketplace, as well as shops here in Goa.
– What was the first thing you did when you made the decision to go for it?
The first thing I did when choosing to start my own brand was go fabric shopping – the best bit! I come from an interior background so of course choosing the fabrics was the most interesting part for me. I was only using silks back then and with there being so many varieties, I had a lot to learn.
– So, tell us about your brand?
I’ve always wanted my designs to be simple, sexy, made with natural fabrics only and comfortable pieces that make people feel great. I don’t use synthetic fabrics – I’m into healthy living and I believe your skin needs to breathe, fabrics like cotton and silk allow that to happen.
My workshop is set up in Goa and even though it costs more to make my designs, I do it with just a few valuable members, making sure they don’t work more than 9hrs per day. For me it’s not about the money to be made, I’m trying to run a sustainable ethical business.
– Who would your ideal “celebrity” customer be?
Sienna Miller for sure.
– Have you ever wanted to quit and if so, what kept you going?
I have at times because the production side here in India is a tough job. I’ve had no financial backing either so all of my money has been put into my business – eeek! But what keeps me going is the fact that designing makes me happy and I do get good results. The people who buy from me (especially the personal clients, they’re the best!), they’re what keeps me going.
– What tips would you give someone looking to set up their own business?
Just go for it, don’t be scared! You learn everything you need to along the way and it’s not a race, so just enjoy the journey and make sure your business is about doing what you love – then it will be a success.
– If you could go back in time, would you do anything differently?
I would like to have had a team from the start. It’s hard doing everything alone, I haven’t even had an assistant until recently.
– What gets you out of bed every day?
The sun, the beach and my dog.
– How do you unwind outside of work?
I live in the Coco Islands, so there’s a lot of nature. As well as having TIA, I also run a health food cafe and shop here in Goa so I’m very busy but always manage to get to the beach. I go to the beach every day with my dog. I surf, party and have many dinners!
Whilst at the SF HQ, we took the opportunity to make one of our videos about Tia. Take a look to hear about her experiences first hand and what has led her to where she is today…
Another fun-filled meeting with one of our adored brands!
We couldn’t wait to share this with you all, along with her new collection which has just landed on SilkFred. So if you’re not wanting to waste any time, check out all of the gorgeous new pieces Tia has created especially and uniquely for us.
Ciao for now, SF Team X