INTERVIEW | TANIA OF TANIA MARAS BRIDAL
When I first came across TANIA MARAS accessories pieces (previously known as Percy Handmade) I become memorised by her attention to detail and craftsmanship. I am so excited to interview one of the most humble, down to earth and creative accessories designers, TANIA MARAS we know for our GIRLBOSS series.
Tania's incredible pieces are now available on our Shop.
Name: Tania Maras
Location: Canberra, Australia
Current Title / Company: Creative Director + Designer, Tania Maras Bridal
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB OUT OF UNIVERSITY & HOW DID YOU LAND THAT POSITION?
I graduated from university with a double degree in Communications (Public Relations)/Laws. Being based in Canberra, the next natural progression was a job in the Commonwealth Public Service. I enjoyed it but I was craving a creative outlet.
I started sewing as an escape and I quickly realised how much I loved it. I’m completely self-taught and I taught myself techniques through a combination of obsession and experimentation. Initially my business started as a 5-9 after my 9-5 job but it wasn’t too long before I was working 2 full time jobs and then resigned to take on the business full time several years ago.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CREATE YOUR BUSINESS?
A deep seeded yearning to create and to work with my hands.
TAKE US THROUGH A DAY IN THE LIFE OF YOUR BUSINESS?
Every day varies, especially as I have a 2.5 year old daughter, Isabelle. Generally mornings are spent responding to emails, planning and catching up on social media. Afternoons are spent working on bespoke creations and working with my team to finalise pieces. We release a few collections a year so we’re always busy researching new techniques, designing new concepts and organising upcoming photo shoots.
HAS ANYTHING SURPRISED YOU ABOUT THE JOURNEY TO CREATING YOUR BUSINESS?
I grew up in a family business so I knew that it would be a lot of hard work and a huge time commitment. I think what has surprised me the most is how important it is to trust your instincts. Also, it's important to not just love what you do, but you need to also have a healthy (or not-so-healthy) amount of obsession with it to get you through the hard times.
OBVIOUSLY, YOUR BUSINESS HAS GROWN! SO, LET'S TALK MONEY. TELL US ABOUT THE INTIMIDATING PROCESS OF FINDING FUNDING FOR YOUR BUSINESS. ANY ADVICE FOR WOMEN WHO NEED TO FIND FUNDING FOR THEIR OWN STARTUPS?
The business is completely self-funded, and it has grown organically over 9 years. In the first few years, I reinvested every dollar back into the business. I found it really useful to have a full time job when I first started because it gave me the funds to put into the business but also there wasn’t any financial pressure because the bills were paid for. I always encourage people not to quit their day jobs until they have a bit of savings and/or a viable product or service.
YOUR BUSINESS HAS DEVELOPED QUITE A FOLLOWING. CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS? HOW DID YOU SPREAD THE WORD?
A lot of our business is from a combination of word of mouth and social media. I feel so fortunate that we’ve had some amazing brides who have referred us to their sisters, girlfriends and colleagues.
As social media is so visual and great for storytelling, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook have been great ways for us to convey our brand story and the details of our work.
BEST ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED?
To ride the wave of business. Don’t fight the currents and learn how to hold your breath so that when you’re held down under the water, you can relax and wait it out. It’s just as much about handling the psychological and emotional aspects of business than just managing sales and creating a pretty brand.
I wish I knew how to ….. Draw better.
What is your coffee order? Flat white.
TV show do you wish was still on the air? House of Cards!
Next travel destination? Fiji in mid 2018
What advice would you give your 23 year old self? Trust myself and don’t be afraid to do things a little differently. It’s that difference that sets us apart.